Graphic with image of Hyang “Sunshine” Archibeque and text, "Class of 2024 Graduate Spotlight, Pueblo Community College"

When opportunity comes her way, Hyang “Sunshine” Archibeque asks herself the same question.  

“Why not?”  

From taking on leadership roles to working in the President’s Office, that motto has helped the Pueblo Community College (PCC) student make the most of her college experience. As she gets ready to transfer to Colorado State University next year, she plans to stick with the attitude that got her to the commencement stage.  

“Now I’m here—I’m going to graduate. I’m excited. I still want to be involved at the university, too,” she said.


‘Big Dreams, Big Ideas’ 

True to her nickname, Archibeque exudes positivity. The self-described “certified yapper” can be found greeting guests at her church and volunteering around her hometown of Pueblo.  

In high school, however, Archibeque wasn’t very involved. Her aunt and uncle, both college graduates, saw her potential and urged her to consider higher education.  

“They told me, ‘Go for it, and we’ll support you along the way. When you have big dreams, big ideas, you should reach for them.’”  

Archibeque accepted the challenge, enrolling in PCC for the spring 2022 semester. With the help of her advisor, she decided to pursue her associate of arts degree focusing on business and fashion design.  

“I’m all about vintage. I love upcycling things,” she said. “What am I trying to say with my art? I try to figure that out when I’m making clothes.”  

As she progressed in her art and sewing courses, Archibeque quit her fast food job to study full-time. She blossomed under the guidance of PCC instructors and staff.  

“They provide so much support, whether it be advising or tutoring services,” she explained. “It prepares you for the future because you know that there’s always someone rooting for you.”

They provide so much support, whether it be advising or tutoring services. It prepares you for the future because you know that there’s always someone rooting for you.

Making Change 

Archibeque was determined to succeed outside of the classroom, too. In her first year she joined the college art club and applied for the prestigious President’s Leadership Program, a four-semester commitment that develops students’ civic engagement and critical thinking skills.  

“I was the president of the program for two semesters, so I feel like it really set me up,” she said. “Once I started, I just wanted to try more and more leadership positions.”  

Archibeque (right) pictured at CCCS Day at the Capitol with PCC President Patty Erjavec (left).

Opportunities snowballed from there. After landing a work study job in the President’s Office, she became the sole student representative on the college’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility committee and joined the Associated Student Government (ASG), rising to the vice president position. 

Archibeque was also appointed to Colorado’s State Student Advisory Council that advocates for community college students at the state level. In January the group participated in the Colorado Community College System’s annual Day at the Capitol to meet with elected officials.  

The experience inspired another potential career path for Archibeque. 

“I really like learning about the education system and being able to make active change,” she said. “I got to meet a lot of younger representatives, so maybe that’s a possibility in the future.”  


‘A Lot of Opportunities’  

Archibeque in New York City, New York.

A newly minted community college graduate, Archibeque remains as busy as ever. She hopes to host one final fashion show before she heads up to CSU, where she plans to study apparel and merchandising. Archibeque is considering her minor options, too, whether in leadership, sustainability, or political science.  

And she still is reaching for her biggest dream—attending a one-year program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City once she earns her bachelor’s degree.  

Archibeque is confident she’ll end up right where she needs to be. If PCC has taught her anything, it’s to take chances and bet on herself.  

“There are a lot of opportunities within the school,” she said. “You just have to look for them and not be afraid to ask.”