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*photo courtesy Boys & Girls Club/Twitter

Recent Atrisco Heritage Academy graduate Joziah Ramos is making a difference in his community.  Ramos, in partnership with the Play It Forward initiative, chose the Boys and Girls Club of Central New Mexico as the recipient of an $11,000 grant.

Ramos was named the Gatorade New Mexico Boys Basketball Player of the Year. As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Ramos had the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. Ramos selected the Boys and Girls Club of Central New Mexico as the recipient of the $1,000 grant.

“I grew up in community centers,” Ramos said. “My mom was the manager, so I would always be there. I went to the Boys and Girls Club and saw similar traits and decided to choose them.”

Joziah was also eligible to submit an essay to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for the organization of choice.  His essay was also chosen for the additional money bringing the total donation to $11,000.

“The way I connect to the Boys and Girls Club is because of how they help children to become good people,” he wrote in the essay. “Organizations like it have given me role models that I can look up to, to ultimately be a better person.  Organizations like the Boys and Girls Club have impacted me greatly as they helped make me the man I am today, a Gatorade Player of the Year of New Mexico, the Hispanic, 5’8” kid from the South Valley. They mentored me and gave me advice and always cared for me. They have impacted my community by giving kids just like me, a getaway someplace other than the streets, someplace safe. It’s rare that anyone gets noticed from where I live, so allowing that escape for youth like I once was is amazing because maybe someday, a kid might just shock everyone and go further in life than anybody may have thought. This organization deserves an additional $10,000 grant because without these organizations there may not be athletes, doctors, teachers, nurses, so I will forever be thankful for these organizations. I know without them, my family, my friends, my loved ones, my opposers, or my supporters, I would not be who I am today.”

Since 1952, Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Mexico has provided at-risk children, between the ages of 5 and 18, with a safe place to learn and grow.  Currently the Club serves over 4,000 children in its Albuquerque and Rio Rancho Clubs.

On the basketball court, Ramos averaged over 19 points a game leading the Jaguars to the Class 5A playoffs his senior season.  The four-year varsity player also helped lead Atrisco Heritage to back-to-back state championships in 2018 and 2019.  In addition to being one of the top basketball talents in the state, Ramos is a participant in the AVID (Advanced Via Individual Determination) college readiness program, Ramos has also donated his time tutoring children in the community. In addition, he’s volunteered on behalf of carnivals hosted by a local community center.

Ramos committed to play basketball for Western New Mexico University. “I’m looking forward to meeting my new teammates and creating a bond with them,” he said.



Noah Armijo of Taos High School recently signed to play baseball at New Mexico Highlands University.  The left-handed pitcher was also the starting quarterback for the Tigers his senior season and named the Taos News Male Athlete of the Year.

According to the Las Vegas Optic, Skylin Morgan and Cameron Sandoval of West Las Vegas recently signed to play basketball for New Mexico Highlands University.

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