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Organ Mountain High School opens ‘Karen’s Closet’ to help students in need, honor late superintendent

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Organ Mountain High School (OMHS) Assistant Principal Jamie Baker, Ph.D., and her staff wanted to do something that would have a positive impact on students at the school and honor the late Las Cruces Public Schools Superintendent Karen Trujillo at the same time. The answer was Karen’s Closet.

It’s a place at OMHS where students with financial need can shop for clothing (including prom clothes and professional attire), shoes, jewelry, hygiene products and more that have been donated to the school, LCPS said in a news release.

On April 22, Trujillo’s husband, Ben Trujillo, spoke at an OMHS National Honor Society (NHS) induction ceremony, LCPS said. He also visited Karen’s Closet, which is painted red – Karen Trujillo’s favorite color. The boutique’s walls are emblazoned with words of encouragement, including “Bloom where you are planted” and “So many things are possible just as long as you don’t know they’re impossible” – two of Trujillo’s favorite sayings.

Donations for Karen’s Closet came from OMHS staff and students, including NHS members, and from the community, the news release said. The entire wardrobe from the movie “Walking with Herb” was also donated to the closet. The Trujillo’s daughters, Taralyn and Taven, also donated personal items and some of their mother’s T-shirts. 

“It’s really opened up our idea of what it means to truly care about your community,” Baker said. “It really feels like home in there, and that is something that Karen really excelled at, and we want our castle and our Knight family to know what we want that for them as well.” 

OMHS also honored Trujillo with a poetry contest, held May 12 in her honor, LCPS said.

Attendees – who also visited Karen’s Closet – included New Mexico Lt. Gov. Howie Morales, the Trujillo family and LCPS Chief of Staff Tim Hand.

“Help us be the change the world needs for our students, our teachers and our future,” Ben Trujillo said. “Karen wouldn’t want it any other way.”