Class of 2016 FELLOWS
Class of 2016 Fellow
University of Denver
Stefanie Arjona was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. As the oldest of three siblings, Stefanie knew from a young age that she had to serve as an example to others. Growing up, however, Stefanie did not have a role model for what she wanted to do: attain a higher education. Nevertheless, her parents serve as her main motive for becoming both a first-generation high school graduate and an eventual first-generation college graduate.
Stefanie was part of the founding class for her high school, STRIVE Prep - SMART Academy, from which she graduated with honors in the spring of 2016. During high school, Stefanie began to take an interest in law and social justice through her awe-inspiring classes and her community-oriented extracurricular activities. She recognized early on that minority groups are disadvantaged by unjust laws and practices. She hopes that, through her education, she will be able to aid minorities.
Stefanie currently is in her second year of college at the University of Denver. She is pursuing a double major in Sociology and Spanish with a minor in Political Science, and she has joined DU’s Mock Trial team. Stefanie is excited about being a LAW SCHOOL…Sí Se Puede Fellow because she will have the guidance she has longed for to get through college and law school to become an immigration lawyer and serve her community.
Coe College in Cedar Rapids
Larrisa Alire was born in Denver, Colorado, and her mother raised her and her older sister. She is a first generation college student who is attending Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on a full tuition scholarship. She is majoring in Political Science. At Coe, she has served as a student senator and created the first Latino organization on campus, called Latinx! Larrisa aspires to become a district attorney. Being involved in the Denver Urban Debate League all four years of high school helped her develop exceptional public speaking skills and prepared her to be in a courtroom. Larrisa wants to be a lawyer because she found her voice through debate and wants to help speak for people who have yet to find theirs.
She is very excited to be able to experience the mentoring and workshops that LAW SCHOOL … Sí Se Puede provides. She appreciates that the program is assisting her on her career and life journey. As the first in her family to choose a law career path, she welcomes all the help she can get. She truly looks forward to continued interactions with other LSYWC Fellows who share ambitions similar to hers.
University of San Diego.
Edgar Chavarria is a first generation, second-year college student studying History and Political Science at the University of San Diego. Serving as a Tutor Coordinator at a Title I, low-income middle school located minutes from USD's campus, Edgar is responsible for working with administrators and one-on-one with two students who are recent immigrants to the U.S. Because of this leadership, nominated Edgar to be the university’s Newman Representative. Edgar also mentors first year students in Student Support Services, which supports low income students, first generation students, and students with disabilities. Next year, Edgar hopes to bring La Raza Legal Society to USD and to work with Associated Students, as well.
Edgar developed a true interest in the law after working in Judge Arguello’s chambers for his senior capstone project. Edgar officially became part of LSYWC in 2016. He now walks throughout USD’s campus feeling well-grounded and prepared because of the support that LSWYC and his mentors provide.
Aluel Nyang Doldol Arrupe Jesuit High School
University of Notre Dame
Aluel Nyang Doldol was born in Abyei, South Sudan (a country in East Africa). The long civil war between North and South Sudan forced Aluel and her family to leave behind the many familiar aspects of the oil town of Abyei, which had essentially become a ghost town. Everything was gone. The family then walked to Kakuma, a Refugee Camp in Northern Kenya. The journey was long and dangerous, taking about a year as the family had to avoid cluster bombs while walking at night. After several hard years in Kakuma, Aluel’s mother eventually gained refugee status and chose to move her children and her deceased brother’s children, who she had adopted, to the United States of America.
While living in the refugee camp, Aluel was inspired by an aid worker, Rebecca, who happened to be a lawyer. Rebecca helped sort out the legal status of the Doldol family and spent her free time teaching the camp’s huge classes. At the age of six, Aluel decided that she would be a lawyer, just like Rebecca.
Aluel is participating in LAW SCHOOL…Sí Se Puede because the program will help her reach one of her many goals,. Aluel then hopes to use her education to help develop the entire continent of Africa. The mentorship Aluel will receive from the program will give her the necessary support to succeed as a first generation student: in South Bend, Indiana at the University of Notre Dame, in law school, and in life.
Denver Center for International Studies at Montbello
University of Denver
Jennifer Enriquez was born in Denver, Colorado. She graduated from the Denver Center for International Studies at Montbello with a 4.1 GPA. She is now a second year student at the University of Denver and is the first one in her family to pursue higher education. She is part of a program that empowers women of all backgrounds to be leaders, called Colorado Women’s College Leadership Scholars Program. She is also part of a multicultural sorority called Pi Lambda Chi Latina Sorority Incorporated, which is a support system that promotes education and community service.
Jennifer has a passion for travel and learning about new cultures. While in high school, Jennifer received a scholarship to travel to Uganda and Rwanda for three weeks. In addition, she has traveled to South Korea. Coming from a low-income family with very protective parents, she never imagined travelling abroad by herself. However, as a result of her travels, she now knows that she can accomplish whatever she sets her mind to.
Jennifer discovered her passion for justice because of the many injustices she has lived and experienced. In particular, she remembers when her father was the victim of a hate crime and the authorities took no action to find the perpetrator, merely because they did not understand Spanish, a language barrier that could have easily been overcome. Jennifer believes that the United States’ promises of liberty and justice for all should actually apply to everyone. She aspires to become a lawyer to ensure that the rights of all people, even those who may not speak English, are protected. By participating in LAW SCHOOL…Sí Se Puede, Jennifer hopes to gain the knowledge and support she needs to become a successful applicant to law school.
Metropolitan State University.
Kassandra Escoto was born in Denver, Colorado. She has learned many things throughout her journey. She learned that many things can be taken away from you, but that no one can take your education. No matter where she found herself, she continued to work hard in school. Kassandra’s goal of becoming a lawyer initiated with a family member’s interaction with the broken immigration system. This event aimed her towards becoming an immigration lawyer. Kassandra currently is a sophomore at Metropolitan State University.
Although she is unsure of her major, she is indeed sure of one thing: that she will go to law school with the support of her brilliant LAW SCHOOL… Si Se Puede Mentors. Kassandra believes she is blessed to have been selected to become part of this incredible program. She will reach the stars because she has all of the support she needs.
University of Colorado Boulder
Janelle Martinez is a first generation Sophomore at the University of Colorado Boulder. She majors in Ethnic Studies with minors in Women and Gender Studies and Communications. She grew up in Denver, near Five Points, and she attended the Academy High School of Science and Technology. Janelle, is a sorority thatShe is excited to have been a Law School Yes We Can Fellow for over a year and a half now - meeting so many inspiring people, including her mentors, Marci Fulton and Katie Steefel
Katya G. Martinez University of Colorado-Boulder
Katya Martinez is the first in her family to attend college. Because she is Hispanic and because of her family’s history, she strives to perform her best when it comes to her education. Her education is the greatest opportunity for a meaningful job where she can help others, have a family, and guide her brothers to a better future.
Katya is a sophomore at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Katya currently is in the Leeds School of Business, majoring in Accounting, and plans on earning a certificate in Real Estate. One day, she hopes to be able to pay it forward to those who have helped her throughout her college years.
Katya’s life has always revolved around immigration, so she wants to become an immigration attorney. She wants to be able to help immigrants who come to the United States for a better life and fight for their rights. She believes that LAW SCHOOL Sí Se Puede! will guide her through this process and help her achieve her dreams.
Esly Reyes is from Basalt, Colorado, and she currently attends Regis University as a sophomore. She is pursuing a double major in Spanish and Peace and Justice. She chose these majors because she wants to understand the cause of injustice in our society and then be able to create justice and peace. This is also why she is interested in law. She wants to change our society for the better, help the oppressed, and create ways to fix the damage we, as a country, have done to ourselves and other countries. Esly also hopes to be able to travel the world and photograph the beauty of this world in unexpected moments.
University of Denver
Getssemany Rivera’s family moved to Denver, Colorado,at the early age of five. Since then, Colorado has been her home. A single parent raised her and encouraged her ongoing passion for learning by emphasizing the importance of education. Getssemany is the first in her family to attend college.
She is currently a sophomore at the University of Denver and is a double major in Political Science and Psychology with a minor in Leadership Studies. Her ultimate goal is to become a lawyer and help inform the public of their rights in order to build stronger ties between the justice system and the people. She currently is exploring the career as a legal assistant at a small law firm in Denver.
Getssemany is excited to continue to be a part of LSYWC because it will help her build strong connections with people who have been in similar situations as herself. She is forever grateful to be part of a program that will provide the assistance every college student needs throughout their college experience. She believes the program will provide her with lifelong skills that will make her a better candidate for law school and as her career in the law world begins.
Class of 2016 Fellow
Red Rocks Community College
Magali Rocha was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. Magali graduated from CEC Middle College of Denver and is the first in her family to attend college. She plans to major in English and minor in Philosophy.
Magali works for Groundwork Denver, a non-profit organization that supports sustained improvement of the physical environment and promotes health and well-being through community-based partnerships and action. She cherishes the outdoors and loves to travel. During the summer of 2015, she had the opportunity to travel to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and she built amazing friendships with other teenagers from all over the United States. She is proud of the fact that she became a Youth Supervisor in the summer of 2017. She lead a group of high school students through many trips and events, encouraging the youth to appreciate nature.
Magali thought she wanted to be a police officer after graduating from high school. However, after participating in Mock Trial her senior year, she found her passion - law. Magali wants to be able to help others who can’t speak for themselves. Magali strongly believes in equal justice and treating everyone - regardless of race, culture, or religion - with respect. She applied to LAW SCHOOL…Sí Se Puede because she knew it was the next step towards her future career. She hopes to be the best lawyer she can possibly be and hopes to make a difference, not necessarily in the world, but at least in someone’s life.
University of Colorado - Denver
Frida Silva was born in Louisville, Colorado to immigrants from Zacatecas, Mexico. Frida grew up in Longmont, Colorado, where she obtained all of her K-12 education. She has always been heavily involved in her school and always challenged herself academically. During her junior year in high school, she became interested in her AP U.S. Government and Politics course. That then transitioned into her specialized studies at the University of Colorado Denver as Political Science major. As the first to graduate from high school and the first to attend college, her family constantly supports her in her higher education journey. Frida currently works at her university’s food pantry as a media outreach coordinator. Her love for politics led to her other position on the Student Advisory Committee to the Auraria Board Chair in CU Denver’s Student Government Association. There, she works with her peers representing the student voice.
Frida is proud to be in Law School Yes We Can (LSYWC) because it strives to provide underrepresented college students with opportunities and resources to succeed in a rigorous field that lacks diversity. She is motivated by the support system within LSYWC, from the peers to the Mentors to Judge Arguello and the many others who contribute. Because she is given this opportunity, she wants to use this resource to the fullest and extend her work as a student representative and later represent others through the field of law.
“Sí, Se Puede” is a phrase born of farmworkers, who, under the leadership of the UFW, César Chávez, and Dolores Huerta, fought valiantly for equal protection under the law. As a result of the efforts of the UFW, “Sí, Se Puede” has become well known as a call that engenders hope and inspiration in those who face similar battles. We thank the UFW, whom we acknowledge to be the sole and exclusive owner of the Trademark SI SE PUEDE, for granting us a limited license to use“Sí, Se Puede” in connection with our efforts to recruit, in Colorado, students of Hispanic or Latino descent for our law school pipeline program. For more information about the programs offered by the UFW, please see UFW’s webpage (www.ufw.org); UFW Foundation’s webpage (www.ufwfoundation.org); and UFWF’s immigration services webpage (www.sisepuede.org)