In New Mexico, low levels of education have been tied to lower-income households, according to data from New Mexico Voices for Children. In foreign countries, more education is tied to so much more than income.

According to The Borgen Project – a national nonprofit working to fight extreme global poverty by making poverty a focus of U.S. foreign aid – increased education in developing nations has been proven to reduce poverty, increase incomes and economic growth, foster peace, reduce child marriage and maternal death, decrease violence and extremism, promote gender equality and save lives.

Currently, 260 million children around the globe do not have access to quality education. A bill that addresses this is the READ (Reinforcing Education Accountability in Development) Act, a piece of legislation that was signed into law in 2017 and needs reauthorization for five more years of investment in life-saving education.

My hope is that this act is reauthorized so that more children and women worldwide can experience the joy of learning and, as a result, open the door to endless opportunities and a brighter future for themselves, their families, their communities and our ever-so-interconnected world.

When impoverished communities across the world begin to thrive, it benefits the U.S. through more economic opportunity, healthier foreign relations, and greater national security. As one of the most powerful nations on earth, let us not forget those fighting to survive every day. Don’t let distance dull compassion and care. Let’s remember them and fight for them, too.

Specifically, as New Mexicans, we know the value of education and the struggle of fighting for the best for our children. I believe the ability and desire to fight for the underdog inherently lives in us, because we are the underdog too. What a beautiful thing it is for one underdog to fight for another – to say: “I see you, I will not forget you, and I will speak up for you.”

Many local Albuquerque libraries have amazed me with this type of care recently by taking the time to learn about this issue, the READ Act, and using their resources to spread the message via a flyer I created about the matter. Their response and efforts are the epitome of who we are as New Mexicans and what it means to simply do what you are able to do to help those less fortunate.

If you want to email your leaders in support of this issue, please visit the following link: If you want to call, all you have to do is say, “I’m a Borgen Project supporter. Please reauthorize the READ Act.”

I call on Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM-001) to speak up, fight for the underdog, and please support the READ Act Reauthorization Act of 2023. I urge their constituents to reach out to them in support of this reauthorization as well.


Kylie Garcia

Borgen Project Ambassador