Director of Annual Giving Works to Raise Funds for Student Scholarships

Kourtney Paiz
Kourtney Paiz

Director of Annual Giving Works to Raise Funds for Student Scholarships

Kourtney Paiz, who graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor of Science in Communication in 2012, is the new director of annual giving for the ENMU Foundation. Her job focuses on increasing the fundraising profits and consistency of giving for ENMU.

kourtney paiz family
Kourtney with her husband, Sixto,
and their son, Beaux.

Kourtney's goal for the position is to "raise as much money as I can while creating meaningful relationships with others.

"I want people to view the ENMU Foundation as a valuable place to give and know that no matter how large or small the gift it will be something that will make a difference in lives of students, our campus, our community and the world. The students impacted could be the ones that go on and change the world. A small step to make a huge difference."

One way she is planning to raise funds for scholarships is with a raffle that gives ENMU employees more options for giving to the Foundation. Ticket buyers have the opportunity to win three prizes: a bag stadium logo chair, a $50 ENMU Bookstore gift card or a basket filled with goodies, including a blanket, wine-tasting cards, meal certificates and movie certificates.

Each ticket is $5 or five tickets for $20. The winners will be drawn at a wine event on Sept. 26. You do not need to be present to win. Entry to the event, which takes place from 5-7 p.m. at Enchantment Vineyards in Portales, is $25. The entry fee includes a glass of wine and access to small food trays. The remaining funds of the tickets will go to the ENMU Foundation scholarship fund.

"I want each and every employee to know that no matter how large or small the donation they are able to give that their efforts do make a difference," explained Kourtney. "Winston Churchill said it best: 'We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.'"

kourtney family at zoo

Kourtney is also working with the Greyhound Meal Exchange to help students in need. The Greyhound Meal Exchange is a program dedicated to addressing food insecurity on the ENMU campus by allowing members of the community to purchase meals for students in need. Student Affairs, the ENMU Foundation and Sodexo manage donations that are made toward the exchange.

The Greyhound Grad is giving back to Eastern by serving as a mentor in the Greyhound Connection, a program that prepares freshmen for academic success by providing each student with a faculty or staff mentor and programming focused on excelling in a college environment.

"I believe being involved helps shape and change our community for the better. I quote the Lorax for this: 'Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not,'" said Kourtney, who is from Seminole, Texas. She has a younger sister who lives in Denton, Texas, and three adopted brothers who live with her mother in Lubbock, Texas.

During her time at ENMU, Kourtney held leadership positions as a student senator and director of Mud Volleyball. She was also a cheerleader for two years, served as a Safe Ride Driver and participated in Spectrum. She feels that her undergraduate experience prepared her for the jobs she has had thus far.

kourtney son announcement
Beaux announcing that he will
soon have a little sister.

She previously worked for MTP Hospitality in Midland, Texas, where she oversaw marketing and public relations for five hotel properties. She was also a service manager for Visit Lubbock, where she managed events and meetings that took place in the city. She served as the advertising and events director for the Lubbock Apartment Association, handling events for the association and covering advertising in a magazine and online formats.

She decided to return to Portales with her husband, Sixto, who she met while attending ENMU, because the couple wanted to raise their family here and the position at ENMU seemed like a "good fit."

Kourtney is "passionate about seeing the University that I love succeeding and the students that choose ENMU and Portales as a home to have the most success both on campus and in the real world as they can. This career at ENMU allows me the opportunity to work hard at getting gifts back into the place I love."

She felt a "sense of pride" coming back to Eastern, wearing green and being on the "other side" as a staff member. "It brings joy to know that I can put forth all my efforts in making a difference for students that are just like me and to give back what was given to me," she explained.

The director of annual giving enjoys connecting with the ENMU community, including the people in her office and their "work ethic and heart for Eastern. [Also] the people that I have gotten to thank, meet or talk to about why they give and love ENMU. It is a pleasure to be able to hear these stories, meet these people and know that we all care so much about this University."

kourtney son and dog
Beaux with Mack.

She loves the "smiles you see while you walk around campus. It was one of my favorite things as a student and still one of my favorite things as an employee. It is enjoyable to walk the campus at any time and pass someone with a smile."

Kourtney's role model is her grandmother because she "never lost sight of what was most important and that was the family she had at home. She inspired many with the way she was kind and loved so many, but she always took care of her home and her children.

"I think that is what makes the world a better place when we all chip and give the best we can to our career, organizations and our time, but that we always remember to take care of our home and love those given to us. I know today she would be more proud of how I treat my husband and mother my children than any other worldly accomplishment and I think that is why I admire what she did on earth and for her family."

Kourtney and her husband, who she calls her "best friend," value their family, which is growing. "We have the absolute best tiny human entrusted to us that makes each day so full of adventure: our one-and-a-half year-old son, Beaux. We are expecting a little sister in December. Fun fact: we were all born in December!

"We all really enjoy spending time with each other. Being a wife and mom is my absolute favorite; they are the two titles I dreamed of having. We also have a three-legged border collie, Mack, who is Beaux's best friend and definitely a member of the family. I'm very proud of my family!"