By Jessica Peterson

Original story published in the Front Range Community College blog.

Front Range Community College student Kevin Ortiz has been awarded the prestigious national New Century Scholarship—one of only two scholars selected from the state of Colorado. He was chosen from a national pool of more than 2,200 applicants from more than 1,200 college campuses across the US.

Ortiz worked as a diesel mechanic and is now changing careers, planning to transfer to University of Northern Colorado to complete a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing. He was the top scoring applicant from Colorado in the transfer track, earning him the New Century Transfer Pathway award.

Teachers describe Kevin as an “exemplary” student-scholar with tremendous character. During his time at FRCC, he has demonstrated significant leadership skills in the classroom and his community.

Kevin says he feels privileged and proud to be the first generation of his family born in the US and attending college. “Growing up, translating for my parents helped me gain confidence in public speaking and sparked a desire to advocate for my community.”

Finding His Path

After high school Kevin went straight to work as a diesel mechanic, but he wanted something more meaningful. He now has an interest in social work and plans to pursue a career in marketing—to help “highly effective charities and local organizations grow, despite their smaller marketing budgets.”

He volunteers with the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Boulder County, where he has developed culturally relevant, bilingual social media and branding materials for several COVID-19 Equity Clinics serving underrepresented communities. Kevin is an active leader of the Chamber Student Network in Longmont and served as president of the Everybody’s Business Club on campus.

Connecting People

He has planned and facilitated several networking events that connected students with industry experts and business owners, helped them get internships and even enter their field of work. He has also organized events on campus that focused on equity, inclusion and student success.

Kevin has become a leader among his peers and looks for opportunities to mentor and develop other students. He plans to keep working while attending UNC to complete his bachelor’s degree in business with a focus on marketing.