Pay it 4ward: Assistant principal recognizes exceptional high school student for volunteer work

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque is in the middle of trying to solve the city’s homelessness issue and while leaders look for answers, one teenager and her family are doing their own part to help those who need it.

Anyone who knows Monique Vigil, knows her giving spirit.

"I’ve just always been so impressed with her," said Patricia Divasto Rio Rancho High School assistant principal. "She is just an exceptional young woman. Her life has not been easy, growing up was not the easiest for her, but she always sees life as something positive."

Vigil’s mother died when she was a kid. So her mom’s best friend– Monique’s auntie– took her in at eight years old. She’s who Vigil now helps feed the homeless in Albuquerque twice a month– always on school nights.

"7:20 a.m. she is there with a smile on her face ready to start another day," said Divasto.

She saw the sacrifice she made for others, and wanted to Pay It 4ward.

"Monique, you know how much I love you and for all that you do and just for being you so I have for you, one, two, three, $400. Now onto prom dress shopping! Congratulations, thanks for all you do!" said Divasto.

Between filling up cups of hot chocolate and passing out food– the teen let KOB 4 know why she does it.

"I feel like this is good for the soul, you know? It makes me feel good to help people," said Vigil.

Something her auntie taught her years ago.

"It’s a good feeling, it’s a very good feeling," said Floralea Trujillo, Vigil’s aunt. "I hope her mom’s proud. She’s so giving. And to be this young and be that giving, I think it’s so wonderful."

"I tend to see the good in people more, you know? People see the homeless and I feel like I just see them as another person who needs help, you know? A normal person," said Vigil.