Alumni Board

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Suraj Renganathan Scholar Year: 2015 Hometown: Fort Collins College(s), Degree(s):University of Denver, International business and public policy/leadership What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I am currently considering several different options upon graduation. On one hand, I would like to pursue a career in government relations and serve as a liaison between the public and private sector. Specifically, I would like to perform economic and market research in investment or corporate banking, thereby functioning as an advisor for policymakers, other businesses and interest groups. However, I am also considering applying for post-graduate fellowships and pursuing a master’s degree abroad. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. Rather than focusing on a few activities and going “all in,” I have always preferred to involve myself in a wide variety of pursuits. Right now, I am the president of the University of Denver Roosevelt Institute, which is an undergraduate policy think-tank. The Roosevelt Institute attempts to promote a cause dear to me, namely youth engagement in politics. In addition, I am also a research assistant at the Pardee Center for International Futures. Perhaps one of my more “surprising” extracurricular endeavors is acapella, where I sing bass and beatbox for the DU Idiosingcrasies. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. Probably the most significant mentor I have had in my life was my AP U.S. history teacher, Ms. Matthie. Not only was her class my favorite course throughout high school, but Ms. Matthie played an important role in shaping my goals and ambitions. She instilled in me a confidence to stretch myself beyond my comfort zone and tackle issues which initially seem daunting. Though I am now a couple of years removed from high school, I still consider Ms. Matthie to be a strong influence in my life. What's the best advice you've ever received? Regardless of what you achieve, always remain humble. This saying, which was constantly repeated to me by my mother throughout my life, is the most meaningful piece of advice I have received. It serves as a personal reminder to avoid the pitfalls of complacency or arrogance. Despite whatever successes I may have gained, this piece of advice helps to keep me grounded. It also functions as a motivator to constantly try and improve myself and not feel satisfied with the status-quo. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? Ronald Reagan and Alexander Hamilton. Reagan because “The Gipper” was a transformational figure in American history and Hamilton because Lin-Manuel Miranda can spit some serious rhymes about our founding fathers!...

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Ruthie (Martin) Lestikow Scholar Year: 2000 Hometown: Dolores College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s):Colorado College BA in biology graduated 2004; Loma Linda University, master's in physician assistant sciences, graduated 2008 Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? I have been a physician assistant for eight years and have worked in beautiful places like San Diego and Washington, D.C. I have practiced in pediatrics, geriatrics, house-call medicine and internal medicine. For the last four years, I have worked in Highlands Ranch at a small private practice in internal medicine, and not a day goes by that I don't learn something new. Being a primary care PA is very rewarding. You are helping people be healthy and stay healthy while getting to know them and their families personally. I also feel great about being a part of a solution to the problem of a primary care provider shortage in our country. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? Being a Boettcher Scholar has helped to instill philanthropy and service into my daily routine and mindset. It helped me to find a way to use my love of biology and science to give back to my community by working in the medical field. Turns out being a Boettcher Scholar also helped me to find the love of my life, my husband Greg. Without the scholarship I would have not been able to attend Colorado College where I met my great husband! Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. Outside of working as a physician assistant, I also precept physician assistant and nurse practitioner students from many universities and programs from across the United States. I am also a Boettcher Alumni Ambassador and recently took on heading up the Boettcher Class Champion project as part of the outreach committee of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board. For fun, I love playing ice hockey and being with my family outdoors backpacking, telemark skiing, snowboarding, mountain and road biking, hiking and really just being outside all year long. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? Some of the best advice I received when considering going into the medical field was to take time and shadow, or at least talk to, multiple different people who worked in jobs or fields that I was interested in. My advice for current graduates wanting to go into medicine is to take a year or more off after undergraduate school. Allow yourself the opportunity to travel or gain experience in the field you would like to work in. When you go back to school you will be refreshed and can bring so much more experience to the table. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? The first two people from history that come to mind that I would love to have dinner with are the physicist and chemist Marie Curie and the Dali Lama. I would love to pick Marie Curie's brain about her experiences as one of the first females in science to make significant discoveries. I also like to think that just by sitting next to the Dali Lama I would gain more mindfulness and patience. For a person to still be so loving, kind and thoughtful after all the pain and persecution he has suffered is truly inspiring....

By Tracy Wahl Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board Eastern Colorado is one of the most sparsely populated parts of the state of Colorado, especially as you move closer to the Kansas and Nebraska borders. But, Boettcher Scholar alumni have an outsized impact in those places – serving a variety of community and business leadership roles in the small rural towns, surrounded by wheat, corn, alfalfa and sorghum fields. In February, the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board hosted a meetup in the Eastern Plains community of Sterling to honor Dr. William Buchanan, a 1952 Boettcher Scholar, who recently retired after serving as an eye doctor in Sterling for more than 50 years.  Eleven scholars attended the gathering. The retirement celebration was spurred by Boettcher Scholar Landan Schaffert, who was one of Dr. Buchanan’s patients for years. Landan is legally blind, and he credits Dr. Buchanan with making it possible for him to achieve his goals. Landan is a high school science teacher in Otis (population estimated 475 in 2015). Joining us to honor him were Boettcher alumni from all over the eastern part of the state. Carl McGuire is a district judge for the 13th Judicial District. He lives in Akron (population 1700 in 2010). Lindsey Paulson is a doctor, specializing in family medicine in the town of Wray (population 2342 in 2010) near the Nebraska, Kansas state lines. She is one of only five doctors practicing family medicine at the Wray Community District Hospital. Meghan Neumann, Kaitlin Neumann Johnson and Charlie Johnson -- all have connections to the rural part of the state. Sisters Meghan and Kaitlin are both from Wray. Kaitlin's husband Charlie Johnson, also a Boettcher Scholar is from Kit Carson (population 233 in 2010) and now manages his family's ranch and sells drought insurance. Beth Baker Owens, who now lives in Denver, has family in Sterling, and used the event as an opportunity to visit the area while reengaging with the Boettcher community. Beth noted that her mother was a patient of Dr. Buchanan’s as well. Cinde James lives in Frederick but her family’s roots in Iliff, which is east of Sterling, go back more than hundred years. She works as a seamstress, specializing in wedding dresses and other complex projects. Another small world connection: her dad is the brother to my aunt. JulieMarie A. Shepherd Macklin made the drive from Aurora, which is just on the edge of the agricultural part of the state. She is a member of the Aurora School Board and a talented baker who brought some thematically appropriate sugar cookies to the event. My own family roots go back in Akron to the late 1800s, and both my maternal grandparents were born there in the early 1900s, so the event was a welcome opportunity to return to my home base. It was a great gathering and provided the opportunities for the small town stars in the sparsely populated part of Colorado to meet and greet with one another. I was very proud of the way that Boettcher leadership exists in all parts of the state. At a time when the national story has been the divide between urban and rural America, the Boettcher Foundation has clearly made it a priority to be geographically diverse. I can’t wait for us all to meet up again....

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Alex Gordon Scholar Year: 1997 Hometown: Denver College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): University of Denver, B.A. in communications, 2001; starting executive MBA program at DU in spring 2017 Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? Since co-founding Syntrinsic Investment Counsel eight years ago, I have served in a variety of roles at the firm. Currently, I am the chief operating officer as well as the chief compliance officer. As a boutique investment firm that specializes in financial stewardship advice for nonprofit organizations, I have been able to blend my problem-solving skills with my passion for giving back to the broader community. In addition, I enjoy moonlighting on the weekends as a DJ and videographer for weddings and private parties. This allows me to explore my artistic side and love for music. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? Twenty years ago I had no idea that becoming a Boettcher Scholar would be one of those key inflection points that changed the course of my life. Not only was I receiving the financial award to finish my education debt free, but there was a longer-lasting benefit. I was welcomed into an extended family of scholars that provide such a diverse network which I can tap into for professional or personal advice. Now I am continuing that tradition by finding ways to be a role model for the next generation of scholars. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. It has always been important to me to have three pillars in my life - a loving and supportive home life, an engaging professional life and an authentic community life. When all three are solid, I feel happy and content. My community life has included coaching my sons' soccer teams, leading 13-year-olds through an unforgettable trip to Costa Rica and serving as a board member of a supporting foundation. More recently I have chosen to expand my knowledge of Denver through my involvement with the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation’s Leadership Denver program. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? One of my favorite memories of my first rock concert, Jethro Tull, was the song "You’re Never too Old to Rock ’n’ Roll if You're Never too Young to Die." These words have been ingrained in my soul ever since. The first part is a reminder that you should never forget to do the things that you love best, no matter what age you are. The second part solidifies the statement by putting the listener on notice that tomorrow is not guaranteed so you better live in the now. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? There are plenty of people I would love to have dinner with that are still alive, but I am going to hold out hope I may still have that chance. So, I would like to have dinner with a fictional character from the book and musical Les Miserables. Jean Valjean’s life is one that was filled with amazing challenges and tests of his character. I admire his ability to make the most of the chances he was given and stay true to his life of paying it forward. I would also enjoy the opportunity to hear a personal performance of the best songs from my favorite musical....

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Chandler Price Scholar Year: 2013 Hometown: Pueblo College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s):University of Northern Colorado, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 2017 What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? After graduation, I am interested in pursuing a new graduate position in medical-surgical nursing. I would love to stay in Northern Colorado, but I am leaving my options completely open. I’m always up for a new adventure! I am also looking into returning to the University of Northern Colorado within a year after graduation to apply for the School of Nursing’s Post Bachelor's to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program with an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) Emphasis. I have fallen in love with traveling, so I am hoping to pursue nursing-related trips abroad as well. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. While at UNC, I joined three incredible organizations. I joined Christian Challenge because I wanted to build a strong, supportive community. I met all of my dearest friends there - it takes real friendship to support a nursing student! I joined the National Society of Collegiate Scholars where I served as Vice President of Community Service. I wanted to connect deeply with the Greeley community, and I became a huge fan of Habitat for Humanity. Lastly, I served as President of the Student Nurses Association for two years. I wanted to welcome, lead, and network with current and future nurses. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. I am four months from graduation because of many fine individuals, but Deb Rojas, a professor in the UNC School of Nursing, is one mentor I would not be here without. Deb is the definition of a mentor – an experienced and trusted adviser. She allows students to see her heart. She emphasizes holistic, patient-centered care. She teaches the importance of self-care. Deb coordinates the nursing simulation labs and the 9Health Fair at UNC. She has taught me the importance of leading, organizing, and networking, and has given me the opportunity to work and learn alongside her. I am forever thankful. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I’ve ever received came from a picture I found while scrolling on Pinterest. It was written by Gretchen Saffles and the original sources was a website called Life Lived Beautifully. The lovely words said, “Dream your dreams, then ask God to shape them, scrub them, and steward them for His glory.” My jaw dropped as my eyes skimmed over the words again and again. I cherish the freedom I have to dream my dreams, but ultimately I want to glorify God with my life. I’ll be thriving off of this advice the rest of my life. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? If I could have dinner with one person from history, I would choose Mother Teresa. I love the authentic life she embodied. She lived with the servant heart I long for. She was quiet, kind, and compassionate, but she also showed a unique strength. She was passionate about helping others. She lived a quiet life but the impact she made was loud. I’d like to ask her how she handled conflict. I’d love for her to teach me her “Do it, Anyway” approach to life. If I was cooking dinner, I think her forgiving nature would also come in handy....

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Jordan Rudman Scholar Year: 2013 Hometown: Denver College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): Colorado College, molecular biology major, music minor, graduating 2017 What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I’ll be applying to medical school this summer, to begin in the fall of 2018. I’m interested in pursuing emergency medicine, but I’m certainly open to other possibilities as well. In the meantime, I’ll be moving back to Denver where I hope to continue working as an EMT in either a hospital emergency department or with a local ambulance company. Additionally, I hope to continue my musical hobbies: playing jazz piano and singing. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. I’ve been in far too many music ensembles: choir, jazz combo and Balinese Gamelan, to name a few. I have appreciated the opportunity to pursue music along with my pre-medicine studies; I hope to always have that balance in my life. I also help run CC’s student EMS squad. We respond to medical emergencies on campus and provide education and training opportunities in pre-hospital medicine. It’s been extremely rewarding to help lead an organization of students caring for other students. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. I had a middle school teacher, David, who would play geography trivia with me on the school bus ride to soccer practice. He saw me for exactly who I was and taught me to embrace it; for that I will always be extremely grateful. I no longer play soccer, but I still love trivia. What's the best advice you've ever received? When playing in a jazz band: listen more than you play. As someone who is very comfortable talking, that’s been an important lesson and one that I’ve found vastly improves many aspects of my life. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? Dr. Oliver Sacks. He was the most beautiful embodiment of an artistic scientist....

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Jessica Joy (Fawcett) Cuthbertson Scholar Year: 1997 Hometown: Fowler College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): Regis University, B.A., Communication Arts & Sociology, 2001; University of Colorado Denver, M.A., Curriculum and Instruction, 2009; University of Denver, Morgridge College of Education, Principal Licensure, 2015; National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? I currently serve on the communications team at the Center for Teaching Quality, a national nonprofit committed to ensuring a high-quality public education system for all students, driven by the bold ideas and expert practices of teachers. Prior to joining CTQ full time in 2016, I worked in K-12 public education for over 13 years and served as a middle school English teacher and learning lab host, an instructional coach and a "teacherpreneur." Working in public education, both within and outside the K-12 classroom, and now from the nonprofit perspective, is joyful and challenging work. Seeing growth in students and working with educators to elevate and amplify their voices are the most rewarding aspects. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? Without question, the Boettcher Foundation’s values helped shape who I am today. I believe it is vital to cultivate and retain our state’s talent and expertise, in large part because of the Boettcher Foundation’s influence. As a result of the Boettcher Scholarship, I was able to attend my top in-state choice of college, Regis University, and their mission of “men and women in the service of others” has guided my professional decisions and postgraduate endeavors. I also worked for the Boettcher Foundation as a fellow in 2001-02, and my experiences traveling the state to speak with counselors, high school students and parents about the scholarship inspired me to pursue a career in public education. Being a Boettcher Scholar continues to drive my commitment to working toward a more equitable public education system for all students in rural, suburban and urban districts across our great state. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations or groups outside of work. I’m a self-proclaimed “edu-geek” so most of my involvement, unsurprisingly, is connected to the field of education. I serve on Chalkbeat Colorado’s Reader Advisory Board and follow local and national education policy closely. You can find me interacting with educators via social media, including participating in or moderating Twitter chats, webinars and blogging roundtable discussions on any given weeknight. I also serve as the state captain of the Colorado Core Advocates, a network of passionate K-12 educators committed to standards implementation and equitable, high-quality instruction in our state’s classrooms. We are also active members of St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church in Aurora. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for new graduates entering your career field? Growing up in a rural area, my parents always encouraged me to pursue my passions, from community theater to journalism. They’d often quote the phrase: “Don’t do something today, that you wouldn’t want to read about in tomorrow’s newspaper.” Even though we are less of a newspaper culture, I think this is great advice, especially in our social media-driven society. Their support has helped me discern, reflect and fail forward at different crossroads in my life. My advice for aspiring educators? Visit (and study) as many classrooms as you can, and ask for feedback (from students, colleagues and formal evaluators) as much as possible. You’ll become a more culturally responsive teacher much quicker if you let students guide, inform and shape your pedagogy. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? I’d love to organize many dinner parties with historical figures and thinkers from around the globe! I minored in women’s studies at Regis, and believe we’re living in a really interesting time to explore aspects of gender, sexism and civil rights. I would probably start with an invitation to suffragists and abolitionists Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. I would love to thank them for their activism, learn more about the challenges they faced in their advocacy efforts and pick their brain about contemporary social justice issues, including best practices for scaling women’s leadership in the 21st century....

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Angelique Diaz. Name: Brandon Kahlil Thomas Scholar Year: 2014 Hometown: Aurora College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): University of Colorado-Boulder, Linguistics (B.A./M.A.), December 2018 What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? The fun thing about being a linguist is that there are very diverse opportunities available. My current plan is to teach English in Korea before coming back to the metro area and doing the same work for Colorado adults who don’t speak English. I’m also interested in doing work with local governments attempting to communicate with and hear the needs of immigrant populations. Colorado is a hotspot for immigration, and language barriers have left thousands of people without a voice. I want to help build a society where every voice can be heard, in whatever language it has access to. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. At CU, I work often with the Black Student Alliance (BSA), Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPoC) and UMAS y MEChA (a Chicano-run Latinx student group). Identity is at the crux of what I study because I think that identity is at the center of how we learn about ourselves and others. I work with these groups on campus because they build people who look and think like me to be advocates and activists, and build communities together. Connecting with other Black, Latinx and Queer people is key to my emotional health, and the communities I’ve built from these groups encourage me to blossom and be better. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. To this day, my most trusted mentor is an old high school teacher, David Gates. Mr. Gates is one of those rare men who can find beauty in anyone, significance in anything and comedy in any place. And he is brilliant! I spent many weeks just watching the way he interacted with people around us, in the classroom and outside of it, and he inspired me to be to empathetic and caring person I’m growing to be: he truly is the embodiment of caring and understanding. I hope to visit him and his wife soon in Japan. What's the best advice you've ever received? Someone once told me, “At the end of the day, the best way to measure success is looking in a mirror.” I don’t remember who said it to me, but it encouraged me to begin a ritual of looking in the mirror every morning and thinking about who I saw there, and how I felt about him. Especially in recent years, that’s something that I’ve had to do at several points to gauge my own success and make sure I am a person I enjoy being. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? My mother named me after the Lebanese poet and philosopher Kahlil Gibran, and I feel like in many ways, that makes him a part of me. I’ve read most of his works, but I think it’d be pleasant to sit down with him, face to face, and share a nice meal....

By Jose Martinez III  Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board  Someone once told me that gratitude means nothing if we do not take the time to express it. With this sentiment, we on the alumni board would like to take a moment to say thank you to two very important groups of people. With the first group, our gratitude comes with an additional farewell as these individuals will not be returning to the alumni board this coming year.  These individuals have all served alongside us with grace and determination, and we are forever grateful for their contributions and their friendships. We wish them nothing but the best as they continue their personal and professional journeys, and we feel honored to have them be a part of our network of Boettcher Alumni. Thank you, Alex Ruehle, Kara Penn, Randy Clark, Kay Stafford and Blanca Trejo. With our second group, our gratitude comes with an additional welcome as these individuals have elected to join our 2017 Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board. We are ecstatic to work with these incredible individuals, and we want to say thank you ahead of time for your passion and energy which will help propel this board forward even further. Without further ado, please welcome our newest members. Alex Gordon, 1997, University of Denver; chief operating officer and chief compliance officer at Syntrinsic Bob Yandrofski, 1982, Colorado School of Mines; president of development and chairman of Fundamental Artists Carly Stafford, 2012, Colorado College; admissions counselor at Colorado College Emily Wolverton (2013 Scholar, DU) -- current scholar representative Jennifer Meyers, 1991, University of Denver; CFO and senior vice president of Westerra Credit Union Tony Navarro, 1989, University of Colorado Boulder; judge, Colorado Court of Appeals This board could not exist without the efforts of all of our members, and the staff at the Boettcher Foundation. We wish to extend one final thank you to all of our members and to all of the Boettcher alumni out there. Each and every day, you do incredible things that make our organization and network stronger and stronger....

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Angelique Diaz. Name: Veronica Fernandez-Diaz Scholar Year: 2015 Hometown: Originally from Mexico, spent most time in Thornton College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s): Colorado College; Pursuing Bachelor’s Degree, 2019 What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? I am definitely not sure. I have thought of pursuing law school after college. I know that I want to pursue some kind of role in which I can fight for social justice, but I don’t know in what way I will do so. I am still exploring! Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. Currently, I am a mentor for the Bridge Scholars Program and Questbridge chapter at Colorado College. I mentor upcoming freshmen from different backgrounds throughout their transition to college. I became a mentor because there is no way that I would be where I am now without the people who have challenged me and encouraged me along the way. As a mentor, I want to ensure that upcoming students understand that their presence matters and empower them to pursue their vision of success. I am also part of the Honor Council, which upholds academic integrity on campus. Since last year, I have been a part of the Inclusion and Diversity Committee which ensures that the processes within the honor council and those surrounding the honor code create a system that is fair to all students. I joined the Honor Council in the first place because JROTC definitely instilled in me the importance of integrity. I slowly learned the unjust processes that existed and joined the Diversity and Inclusion Committee to address these issues. I am also a part of Humans of Colorado College, based on Humans of New York, in which I get to listen to the narratives of individuals at CC and then share that with our community. I joined this project because, for me, true connections are those in which you truly get to know people and their story. I know that everyone has something different to share and I find it meaningful and beautiful to listen to the unique narratives of every individual. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. My high school counselor is one the most important mentors in my life. My high school years bring me many fond memories, but they were also the toughest years of my life and my counselor was always there for me when I need her. I trusted her with everything and she would listen patiently. She offered me opportunities and continues advocating for students like me. Mrs. GT helped me understand my limits, understand my worth and pushed to become a better person. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I have ever received is to hold on to the vision that I have for myself. This is honestly advice that I received just a couple days ago, but one that I realized has kept me going through the hurdles that I have experienced. I have this vision for myself, that is blurry and mostly unclear, but one in which I am part in creating change. This is a vision that is hard to hold onto and hard to keep believing knowing all the obstacles on the way, but if I keep that vision in mind I know that I am, in a sense, empowering myself to always chose the path of resiliency. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez come to mind because of the impact that they had on worker rights. After going to Texas and learning a bit about the history of farm workers and the oppression they faced, I would really love to get a sense of the passion that continues to drive Huerta and that drove Chavez to mobilize people in demanding the rights they deserve. I find their dynamic particularly interesting and would want to understand it through each of their points of view....