Helping at-risk children to grow and develop to their full potential in nurturing families within a supportive community.
Angie Vachio and Christine Ruiz-Boyd co-founded PB&J in 1972 to respond to “screaming community needs”. What began as a volunteer effort reaching out to 7 children who all had mothers with mental illness, grew into a nationally recognized non-profit serving more than 1,100 families annually.
Through PB&J’s advocacy, talent, and relationship building, New Mexico policies developed that have resulted in cutting-edge practices for those who frequently have no voice at policy tables. PB&J remains the only program to provide intensive wrap-around services for children and their parents, including parenting education in the homes.
Creating supportive communities and families has meant incorporating the spaces of prisons and jails, elementary, middle and high schools, the pueblos and far reaches of Bernalillo and Sandoval Counties – an effort with countless barriers. The growth of PB&J has been, in every instance, a response to the needs of children and families that have emerged in a changing society and the courage, inspiration and vision of our founder, PB&J staff members, our board members, community partners, and courageous PB&J parents.
PB&J’s philosophy focuses efforts on the family as a unit, as well as on individual family members. This approach, takes into account the powerful and unique reciprocal relationship between parent and child, and the impact they have on one another. PB&J believes by enhancing the family members’ sense of self-worth and competency, this will strengthen each individual’s ability to develop as a capable and responsible citizen of our community.