My family moved to the University area where my father worked in the Department of Psychiatry as a psychologist. My mother got her Ph.D. at UNM in Counseling and was one of the first women to become Board certified as a psychologist in New Mexico.

I attended Jefferson Junior High (now Jefferson Middle School) and Highland High School. In 1973 we moved to Albuquerque’s West Side and I commuted to Highland High School where I graduated in 1975. I was President of the Honor Society, on the debate team and in the glee club and chorus.

I attended and graduated in 1979 from Pomona College in Claremont, CA, the same school that New Mexico State Chair of the Democrat Party, Marg Elliston, attended. As a student I had the chance to intern for New Mexico U.S. Senator Harrison “Jack” Schmitt in D.C., to work for Mayor Harry Kinney as his Press Secretary and to work for Dr. George Goldstein, Secretary for Health and Environment in Santa Fe as his press secretary under the Apodaca administration.