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Director of Black Programs at NMSU recognized for educational service

Festus Addo-Yobo, director of Black Programs at New Mexico State University, was recently recognized for his educational service to the community by the N.M. Office of African American Affairs.

Addo-Yobo attended the fifth annual awards banquet in Albuquerque that recognized those who have committed themselves to making their respective communities better places to live and work. The theme of the ceremony was "bringing people together" and the four award categories included education, community, human rights and veterans.

"In receiving this award, it doesn't just recognize me, but all the students that Black Programs has served," Addo-Yobo said.

Addo-Yobo said NMSU's black student organizations were recognized by Las Cruces last year for their service to the youth in the community.

The organizations continually help in after-school programs and work on projects that include home repair and health and conflict resolution sessions with youth in the community, El Paso and northern New Mexico.

"Our goal has always been to aspire to understand ourselves, our cultures and to associate with other cultures in achieving goodness," Addo-Yobo said.

Since becoming director of Black Programs three years ago, Addo-Yobo said he strives to advise and retain students.

"The fact that African Americans are graduating with significant degrees means a lot," Addo-Yobo said. "The students that I've worked with in the past years have gone on to achieve great things."

Addo-Yobo also said Tara Gray, director of the Teaching Academy, and Robert Moulton, dean of the College of Education, have greatly contributed to Black Programs student success.

"They'll do things out of their heart to make students have a sense of belonging on campus," he said.

There were 26 award recipients from across the state at the OAAA banquet.