WRITER: Adriana M. Chavez, 575-646-1957, adchavez@nmsu.edu

Holly Raines-Baxter and Kristin Prinn graduated with their master's degrees in social work from New Mexico State University at separate times; the two women have never met. Both are making a positive impact on the lives of children, teens and families in Las Cruces and Camden, New Jersey.

raines baxter rsHolly Raines-Baxter, who earned a bachelor's and master's degree from New Mexico State University, has stayed in Las Cruces to help local children and their families as a therapist at the Southwest Family Guidance Center. (NMSU photo by Andres Leighton)Holly Raines-Baxter
Raines-Baxter graduated with her master's degree from NMSU in May 2017, after she earned her undergraduate degree in sociology in May 2015, also from NMSU. She currently works as a therapist with the Southwest Family Guidance Center in Las Cruces.

Raines-Baxter, who is originally from Logan, New Mexico, knows the foster care system first-hand, helping her better understand the significant role she plays in the families she assists.

"I went through the foster care system in high school, and because of that experience, I decided to do something with it," Raines-Baxter says.

After her mother died when Raines-Baxter was 14, she was placed in five different foster homes. Luckily, her caseworkers made a big difference in her life and motivated her to pursue a similar career. She also had the support of her friends, her last foster family, who Raines-Baxter is still close to, and her now fiancé.

"I originally wanted to work for Child Protective Services, but now I work with teens who are at risk of going into foster care and their families to help keep them at home," Raines-Baxter says. "I've learned that families are complicated, and I've had some good outcomes and not so good outcomes, but I've had kids still text me about how they're doing and moms who still keep in touch. It's very fulfilling to have those relationships."

Raines-Baxter says her experience at NMSU has also helped her tremendously.

"It helped me learn more about the different cultures in our area. It made me more cognizant of issues affecting families here (in Las Cruces). I wouldn't have been able to do my job without that knowledge," Raines-Baxter says.

kristin prinn rsFollowing a one-year mission in Chaparral, New Mexico, Kristin Prinn earned a master's degree in social work from NMSU. She returned home to the east coast and founded LUCY Outreach, a program that helps youth and their families in Camden, New Jersey. (Courtesy photo by Jack Saady)Kristin Prinn, who has been living in Philadelphia for almost 20 years, arrived in the Las Cruces area in 2004, after earning her undergraduate degree from St. Joseph's University. At the time, Prinn was serving a one-year mission with the Associate Missionaries of the Assumption and joined a group of international nuns working with youth and families in Chaparral, New Mexico.

"I fell in love with working with gang-involved youth immediately. I saw very early on in my time on the border that a one-year commitment wouldn't be as impactful, so I looked into staying in the area to pursue my master's degree in social work," Prinn says.

NMSU also proved to be an affordable option for Prinn, who qualified for in-state tuition, and became a graduate assistant by the time she began the social work program in fall 2005. Prinn graduated from NMSU in May 2007, and benefited from the university's diversity.

"I had gone from a predominantly white student body at my college in Philadelphia to the social work school at NMSU where I was one of the only white students in the program," says Prinn, who learned Spanish during her time on campus. "Having the privilege to study with Latinos and American Indian students was an incredible experience for me and taught me so much about myself and the challenges our country faces daily."

Prinn visits the area once or twice a year, including a service-immersion trip to Chaparral to learn about immigration with the youth she works with as executive director and founder of LUCY Outreach, a program in Camden that offers multilingual, culturally-sensitive services to low-income youth and young adults and their families.

"I was no angel as a teenager, so I never dreamed that I would work with this age group," Prinn says. "So many people saw things in me that I never saw in myself. Now, I can pay it forward and bring out the best in my kids."

Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates

Welcome to Three Times Weekly Updates! You will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.
You can unsubscribe anytime. We never share or rent your email to anyone.

Fire Alerts

Editor's Note

Welcome to our new version of classified ads. One has been posted. We invite you our readers to post your own classifieds, which are available for viewing 24/7 and are very reasonable in price.

Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

The Grant County Beat endeavors to post to the Elections page, under News, at the least, notices of candidates for Grant County races. Some candidates for statewide races have also sent their notices. 

The Beat continues to bring you new columnists.Recent additions  include the Christian Corner, for those who are already Christians or are exploring the beliefs.

The second is a business-centered column—Your Business Connection by the New Mexico Business Coalition. The group works to make policy in the state of New Mexico better for all businesses, large and small.

The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues. The first one posted is on Winterizing your houseplants and patio plants.

The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  


All articles and photos indicated by a byline are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ad on the Beat.

Feel free to notify editor@grantcountybeat.com, if you notice any problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

If you subscribe to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option on the left side of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Note: This is another component that is in progress of going to a different software to make it easier for you to use and find classifieds that interest you. Check Out Classifieds. And look at Sponsors to see who is helping the Beat.

It's really easy to check to see if there's a classified ad. Just click on Classifieds in the blue menu and the page will open letting you know if there is a classified ad. Remember that your buying classified ads gives you a wide readership, as well as supporting the Beat. Post YOURS for quick results!

Note that if an article does not have a byline, it was sent to the Beat and written by someone not affiliated with the Beat

When you click on the blue and orange button on the upper left side of most pages, you will find out how you can help the Beat defray its expenses, which, with increased readership, continue to grow. You will arrive at a page that gives you options of how you can Help the Beat. All help is greatly appreciated and keeps the news you want and need coming into your browser.

Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News.

Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—www.grantcountybeat.com