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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 6:15pm
ANTHONY, N.M. -- In a town known for gang activity, an Anthony, New Mexico apartment manager was honored as the best in the state by the United States Department of Agriculture on Tuesday for her work in keeping gang violence down at the complex.
Over her six years as manager of the Franklin Vista apartments, Blanca Hernandez has received countless threats from tenants, but still continues to try and make a difference.
"They've broken into my car and they've tried breaking into my apartment," Hernandez said. "I get threats all the time."
Terry Brunner, USDA rural development state director, said it was her dedication to everybody living at the complex that set apart from the other managers at the 120 locations the USDA funds.
"I'm just amazed at the work that one person can do for so many people and make their lives better," Brunner said.
Hernandez has more than 350 apartments with more than 1500 tenants to manage everyday.
Brunner said most people who live in affordable housing are going through a transitional stage
He said even though the days are long for Hernandez, it's her dedication to the job that earned her statewide recognition.
"She's very much hands on," Brunner said. "Every night she walks the entire complex to make sure everything is in order."
Hernandez said she wants to make the community a better place to raise her kids.
"I want to make sure that they grow up in a nice community," Hernandez said. So if I can make a difference here in this place, maybe later on it will grow."
Hernandez was in the top 5 best site managers in the state.