Help available for teens who want to quit nicotine

The state Department of Health recently announced a program for teens hoping to stop their use of electronic cigarettes, or vapes.

Live Vape Free, a national text-based program, has one-on-one coaching resources available for teens ages 13 to 17 in the state. Live text support and other resources also are available.

To register, teens can text VAPEFREE to 873373. Adults can register in an adult version of the program online at

State launches website for tuition-free schooling

The state Higher Education Department recently created a website, to help college applicants navigate funding opportunities in the state.

The site is set to help students interested in benefiting from the state’s Opportunity and Lottery scholarships, along with other forms of financial aid.

Leyba To Speak At SFCC commencement ceremony

Monica Leyba, the chief nurse executive at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, will address Santa Fe Community College graduates during the school’s spring commencement ceremony Saturday at 10 a.m. in the William C. Witter Fitness Education Center.

Leyba, who said she had long dreamed of becoming a nurse, earned her associate degree at Santa Fe Community College while balancing parenting responsibilities. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing and later a master’s degree.

Maria “Lourdes” Estrada will be the student speaker. Estrada is earning an early childhood education degree at age 51 while juggling her responsibilities as a single parent. She hopes to become a preschool teacher. She earned her early childhood certification from SFCC in 2018.

The ceremony will be for graduates who will complete their programs in spring or summer terms. Masks will be required. A live broadcast of the commencement will be available at It also will be available on Santa Fe Community Television (Channel 16 on Comcast). The ceremony will be rebroadcast May 17 at 6 p.m.; May 18 at 11 a.m.; May 20 at 7 p.m; and May 22 at noon.

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