Building Confidence

By Carolina Luna Casas, Fellow Class of 2015
Loyola University

I have had many experiences through LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede and they have all been very impactful.  One experience that really resonated with me was when I met with Judge Arguello and LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede board member, Paula Black, during my spring break.  These two women, who are certainly busy at all times, took time out of their busy schedule to meet with me.  We met at a coffee shop and had a great conversation about business, politics, LSSSP, etc., but the best part about the conversation was that, no matter what we talked about, they always made me feel as if I were at their level.  They respected my input and treated me as if I were as accomplished as they are.  Their actions helped instill a confidence within me, which is not often done by many adults.  Knowing that the people you respect also respect you is a great confidence booster.

Not only did they help me build my confidence, but also, they inspired me to continue working to accomplish my dreams.   Judge Arguello did this when she said something along the lines of, “Fifty years ago we would not be able to be where we are now.  Many people forget the difficulty women had to go through to change the social acceptance of career women, especially for Latinas.”  Judge Arguello and Paula Black were able to break the barriers that stopped Latinas from succeeding professionally.  They are accomplished and have amazing reputations.  But they do not stop there; they give students like me, who face obstacles such as being first generation college students, the tools we need to succeed.  They pushed through social barriers and now they are paying it forward to help us break those barriers.

I would have never thought that a young college freshman could have such an insightful conversation with two very strong and successful women.  I was so filled with joy afterward that I shared the experience with my mom.  My mom said to me that she was so proud of me for surrounding myself with people that do whatever they can to help me succeed.  That was when it clicked.  LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede is not just a mentoring program that describes what we must do to get into Law School.  It is much more than that.  It is a community of that pushes us, to be insightful, attentive, and passionate about life and our goals no matter what barriers may appear.  It is a community of professionals who truly respect and care for our well being.  I am incredibly grateful for the program and look forward to growing as a member of that community. 

Once in a Lifetime Opportunity

By Brittany Solomon, Fellow Class of 2015
Colorado State University

My aspiration to help disadvantaged people living in unsupportive systems has increased my desire to become an international lawyer and, eventually, to work for the United Nations.  Currently I am preparing for my degree in international studies with a concentration in Asian studies, which allows me to study Mandarin Chinese.

I first heard about LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede when I attended the 2015 Denver Law Pipeline Conference, at the University of Denver.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the conference, but I knew if I was interested in becoming a lawyer this event would be relevant. As the day progressed, I heard various lawyers speak, but listening to Roberto Ramirez tell his story really resonated with me.  I stayed engaged the entire time, which proved to be beneficial because at the very end, he talked about a program for future lawyers that would be accepting a new class of Fellows for 2015.  I immediately scrawled “Law School Si Se Puede-Apply Online” onto my notepad and I began filling out the application as soon as I left the room. I knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I could not miss out on.

That proved to be true because I had the ability to progress to the interview process. I arrived and was waiting to be called for the next interview when none other than Roberto Ramirez came to get me. This had to be a sign. The first thing that LAW SCHOOL … Si Se Puede gave to me was experience.  I had never been interviewed before, so being that this was my first interview ever, I hoped I did well. I walked out of the interview knowing that I gave my best and being thankful that my interviewers were kind and understanding.

Being a LAW SCHOOL … Si Se Puede Fellow has proven to be extremely beneficial for me, by ensuring that I am aware about what my goals entail and making sure that I don’t make major mistakes that could potentially prevent me from reaching my goals.  I really benefitted from having people to talk to about my struggles during my first year of college, whether it was other fellows or my mentors.  I was able to ask my mentors for advice about what to do in some of my classes, with my roommate problems, and any other issues I encountered.  I have been able to get help during every part of my journey so far.  It is an asset to have people who care about what I am experiencing, and who want to make sure that I am doing my best and that I gethelp when I need it.  LAW SCHOOL … Si Se Puede sets the foundationwhich will launch me to success.

Resources in College

By Alexis Marie Cano, Fellow Class of 2015
Front Range Community College

With LAW SCHOOL … Si Se Puede, I have learned to use my resources to my best ability. Thinking back to high school I wish I could have been informed on what resources were around me relating to community involvement.  High school holds your hand and leads you to different choices that are offered.  College is a path that you choose without somebody holding your hand.

I remember my first day of college.  I felt frightened, nervous, and I had a gut wrenching feeling the whole day.  I asked myself millions of questions throughout the day.  All my questions started with ‘What if?’  Being a part of my community has always been a passion and value that I carry with me.  I was afraid that I wouldn’t make connections soon with community involvement advisors.  The Career Success Center at Front Range Community College has benefited me with connections and opportunities to reach out into my community.  My advisor, in The Career Success Center, Colleen Toomey, has been a huge help.  She has helped me with resume writing, future suggestions on classes, and advice on community outreach.  I, myself, have researched ideas to share with Colleen and future students to help them become successful throughout their higher education journey.  

Being a first generation college student has been a tough task to keep up with.  If I could go back to high school, I would have asked more questions related to resources and programs that suit me.  I never imagined that it would be this hard to build connections in college.  I am a very social person.  I love asking questions and meeting new people.  Nonetheless, finding the correct resources was definitely challenging.  

As a class 0f 2015 fellow, I advise future fellows to build connections in high school and to also make sure you find great resources online, at school, with mentors, and others who have experience within your desired area.  Believe in yourself, maintain a positive mindset, and just know that change happens for a reason.  I believe that finding yourself is the key to success. Build connections with people that have the same interests as you. I thought I would never be able to find resources but I am thankful that LAW SCHOOL … Si Se Puede has boosted my confidence level.