Take one part innovative leadership and two parts incredible team.  Then add a supportive administration and just a dash of JF Maddox Foundation funds and you have the recipe for an incredible project with potential to impact youth and shape the future of Lea County!

The JF Maddox Foundation sat down with Melinda Medellin, director of the Lovington Youth Center, about two years ago and asked her about her vision for the facility.  She saw great opportunities, but was missing some of the technologies to get there.  After creating a vision and building an impressive team of staff, volunteers, and professionals in the community, Melinda came to the Foundation with the details for a state of the art science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) lab in the heart of Lovington.

The lab includes computers, cameras, printers, a 3D printer, a drone, and several tablets.  However, the equipment is only a small portion of what it will take to make this dream a reality.  The Youth Center has tapped into some statewide resources to provide curriculum, and they have recruited teachers and volunteers to help their students at the Youth Center discover new dreams and career paths that may have been overlooked otherwise.

The lab will consist of several age-appropriate courses that span 12 weeks at a time.  Students have signed up and will commit to each semester in order to build on their skills and learn how to turn their talent into lasting areas of work in the tech industry.

There was a time in Lovington when free access to cutting edge technology was a stretch in our rural community.  Now, thanks to the innovative leadership at the Lovington Youth Center, every student can embrace this technology with their own two hands.