Our History

It is amazing how a tragedy jolts a person to the core, birthing a sense of urgency and conviction to mentor and impact high school seniors before they graduate and leave home. That is what happened when Janice Barela heard a young lady, a high school graduate from her small, rural community, was attacked on a college campus. She knew she had to do something. She began by enlisting the help of local law enforcement to bring in a professional to train the senior girls in self-defense before they graduated. Ted Barela, Janice’s husband, shared her passion. Through the years they expanded the RESPECT Program to a week-long program, bringing in working professionals and well-respected community members to share their knowledge and wisdom.


The mission of the RESPECT Program is to provide real-life education and training for young adults who are preparing to leave small, rural communities to attend college or work in an urban environment. Our goal is to empower them to make well-informed decisions to avoid dangerous life-changing pitfalls or when faced with at-risk behaviors.

Scholarship Recipients

2018 – Nicole Barela (RESPECT & Anne Marie Memorial)
2018 – Daniel Lujan (RESPECT)
2018 – Carlos Parra (RESPECT)
2017 – Marissa Luna (RESPECT)
2017 – Daniel Lovato (RESPECT)

2017 – Raul Zubia (Joseph O’Keefe Memorial)
2016 – Angelica Barela (RESPECT)
2016 – Caleb Ortiz (Joseph O’Keefe Memorial)
2015 – Levi Dryden (RESPECT)
2014 – Angelica Sanchez (RESPECT)

2014 – Alisa Miller (RESPECT)
2013 – Jason Barber (RESPECT)
2012 – Aylissa Lujan (RESPECT)
2011 – Rose Daniel (RESPECT)
2010 – Robin Jones (RESPECT)