By Jesus Valdez, Former Fellow

Growing up I had difficulty speaking due to a speech impediment. Doctors said this was due to me trying to learn Spanish and English at the same time. I would often confuse the languages, get wrapped up on what I was saying, and end up severely stuttering. Growing up I would often cry and be very upset hoping I only spoke one language so I wouldn’t have a stutter. Today I realize how fortunate I am to have mastered both languages, the power of communication; especially in two languages is truly an amazing privilege.

The biggest benefit that I have gained by being a LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede Fellow has been having mentors that have completed the same journey as I am on and being able to communicate with someone that knows exactly what I am going through. Coming from a Hispanic family whose parents didn’t go to college here in the United States it’s very beneficial to have someone that knows what my particular school is all about. Two out of my three mentors also attended the University of Colorado, Boulder and they are able to relate to me to great extent. They really have a sense of what the school is like and what I’m experiencing because they have been there themselves.

One of my mentors was in Greek life at CU like myself; it’s really cool to have that connection. We are also able to talk about the classes I am going to take and surprisingly enough they have taken some of them too. My mom has raised me by herself my entire life, I believe the fact that I have mentors and more people there to support me has put more ease on her. She still gives me a call or text every day but she knows my mentors are also there for me.

A really cool insightful event that was extremely memorable was actually held a few steps from my residence hall at CU Boulder. Judge Arguello gave us the privilege to see U.S. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonin Scalia speak. He spoke about constitutional interpretation and even compared his efforts to restore constitutional originalism to the challenges faced by Frodo Baggins, the protagonist from the “Lord of the Rings.” Many of my friends around campus were really looking forward to watching Judge Scalia speak but due to limited seats many did not get in, it was great to have been part of that experience. The networking opportunities LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede has created have been once in a lifetime.

My dreams for the future as of right now are to graduate the University of Colorado, Boulder with a double degree in International Affairs and Business with a minor in Spanish. I aspire to go to law school and become a corporate lawyer.