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If You Never Ask, the Answer is Always No
July 2, 2019

High school holds your hand and leads you to different choices that are offered whereas college is a path that you choose without somebody guiding you to the correct answer. The immense freedom university gives can be overwhelming. It is easier than ever to become lost in the daily minutia of classes and club meetings. While a certain amount of focus is necessary to stay on top of work and academics, it can also obscure the numerous opportunities and resources available on college campuses and elsewhere. Through resources at my college, I’ve been able to accomplish far more than if I had simply let tunnel vision direct me to my next problem set or essay. This February, through my college I was able to attend 1vyG, the nation’s largest conference focused on advocacy for first-generation, low-income student resources on campuses. This summer I will be attending the Questbridge scholar summit in San Francisco, after applying for and receiving their summit scholarship to cover my cost of attending. I am in the process of pursuing various graduate school opportunities including the Truman scholarship and various fellowships.

These resources are not university centric either. Every year, millions of dollars in scholarships go unclaimed. Too often, people are either unaware or afraid of putting themselves out there. It can be hard to tell a student — already feeling so overwhelmed with social, academic, and personal challenges — that they need to take more on their plate. I believe that changing that mindset is a key aspect of combating this issue. Seeking out opportunities first of all can save you thousands of dollars and incalculable amounts of stress in the future. But also, it should be fun. Who doesn’t love finding a good deal or getting things you want for free? Want to travel? Apply for a Fulbright. Want to go to a conference? Ask your school if they have funding for students to attend. Aggressively hunting down opportunities is the best way to have a college experience with no regrets.

It is only through my regular check-ins with my Mentors that I am able to get a big picture look at my collegiate journey and remind myself where I’ve come from, and where I want to be in the future. My mentors are able to not only remind me to take stock of myself and my longer term vision, but also help me shape the course I want my life to take and point in in the direction of connections and resources which can make that goal attainable. They make sure than I am not only aware of different opportunities but that I can put my best foot forward in pursuing them.

College gives you incredible opportunities but also the freedom to let them pass you by. Having mentors who can provide their perspective, wisdom, and insight, helps me to not let these resources slip through my grasp.


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“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)