Defying the Odds; ¡Si Se Pudo!

By Yoselyn Roman-Rodriguez, Fellow Class of 2018
University of Colorado at Denver

My first year of college was not a smooth transition from high school. I found myself passing classes and struggling to keep my scholarship. I began to question if college was even the right path for me. I knew then that I would have to make a decision – drop out or consider a different major. I decided I would give it another try and switched majors from Architectural Engineering to Political Science. 

My second year of college was smoother but equally difficult. I no longer had studio courses, but instead had courses such as, American Politics– I had entered an unknown world. I relied on my advisor to guide me on my new journey, but there was only so much she could do. However, thanks to her, I applied to the Law School Yes, We Can program. 

After applying to the program, I was filled with anxiety waiting for the program’s response – I was ecstatic. At the interview, I met Judge Arguello who inspired and motivated me after sharing herreasonsto start the program. Being chosen to be a fellow of the program sparked a fire within me – to continue the law school path.

I was so nervous the first day I met my mentors that I anxiously waited for my mentors to find where I was sitting. My team was a perfect match. Russell, Candyce, and Vanessa have done an exceptional job at not only listening but giving advice. I am honored to have them in my life.

I grew up with a single mother and until I met Russell, I did not know what it was like to have a male figure rooting for me. He has been supportive and always makes sure I am on track. I remember the time we had lunch in his office. I was worrying about my LSAT prep course and when I should take it. He listened to every concern I had and then made me realize that if I kept coming up with excuses I would never sign up for the exam. He encouraged me to take risks. But the thing that stood out to me the most was the fact that he believed in me. 

I noticed that I surround myself with empowered and strong women, two of which are Candyce and Vanessa. These two women have taught me not to give up. Candyce always makes sure that I am on track to meet deadlines and with everyday life. Candyce reminds me that its ok to take a step back if I need to and makes sure I recognize the growth I have achieved. She keeps me grounded. Vanessa is always there to root for me, whether it be a good grade or my on-campus activism. Vanessa and I share a special connection because we are closer in age, but also because she makes me realize that I am worthy of wanting more for myself. Vanessa could be studying but still makes the time to hear me out; she is a big sister. 

I can be my harshest critic, but I am extremely fortunate to have my mentors to remind me of my worth. LSYWC has given me the opportunity to bond and share my experiences with people who have already gone through it. I hope one day I can do the same for someone else.