PepsiCo Foundation Uplift Scholars

The Colorado Community College System is proud to be a part of the PepsiCo Foundation Uplift Scholarship program that aims to close the wealth gap by providing access to higher education to 4,000 Black and Hispanic students nationally within the next five years. A recent gift from the PepsiCo Foundation is providing 180 scholarships over two years to Black and Hispanic students attending Community College of Aurora, Community College of Denver, and Front Range Community College. These scholarships are empowering students to acquire jobs in high growth and promising fields, including information technology, advanced manufacturing, logistics, sales, and marketing. Thank you to the PepsiCo Foundation for your support of our students! 


William Jaime Acevedo, Community College of AuroraPhoto of William Jaime Acevedo

I am 19 years old and have always wanted to attend college since my parents were not able to. They are both immigrants from Mexico and have always done their best to provide for me and my sisters. I have two younger sisters who I want to be an example for by being the first to go to college. Hopefully, when they decide to go, they can look to me for help. I want to let my family know they made the right choice by coming to the United States by graduating from college and making them proud.





Souhoueto Afionme, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Sohoueto Fionme

I chose computer information systems to learn computer science and business, which allowed me to create a company to help farmers by creating software that will help them facilitate production because we cannot live without them. Therefore, I will transfer to the University of Metro after my associate degree to finish my bachelor’s degree.





Isaiah Alvarado, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Isaiah Alvarado

My name is Isaiah Alvarado, I just turned 18 in May and graduated from Riverdale Ridge High School. I have struggled my whole life with learning and school because of my disabilities. As I got older and found the programs that I really enjoy and with help from people who support me, I was able to graduate and receive awards for the things I did my senior year. This scholarship will help me keep working towards those programs and to be successful after college graduation.






Kimberly Alverez, Front Range Community College Photo of Kimberly Alvarez

I am a single mom of four kids and am currently working towards my A.A.S. in Accounting. When I’m not busy with school and homework, I love to take my kids on hikes. We love exploring all the trails Fort Collins has to offer. I am a very dedicated student and try my best to focus on school and my children as a priority.









Iyauna Anderson, Community College of DenverPhoto of Iyauna Anderson

My name is Iyauna Anderson and I was born and raised in Denver. I have five siblings which all happen to be boys, so I’m the only girl. One of my favorite hobbies is boxing or reading Manga/webcomics in my free time. I am currently pregnant with my first baby so I’m beyond excited and nervous. I have always been interested in modeling and have always been told it is something I should pursue!





Emily Archibeque, Community College of DenverPhoto of Emily Archibeque

I am a single mom going to school and working hard just to get by. I’m going for my Associates of Science in welding and fabrication. I’m a strong, independent, determined person! I went to school late in life but love the challenge it gives me. I can’t wait to break out into the welding field.








Natalie Archuleta, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Natalie Archuleta

I am a mother of five, and a grandmother to three grandchildren. I love karaoke and love to help others when I can. I suffer from health issues but try my best to not let them win me. I believe that anything is obtainable as long as you push yourself to reach for it. I love to give my all in my education and be an example for my children’s future and success.









Pablo Arellano, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Pablo Arellano

I’m a first-generation Mexican American and the first in my family to attend college. I was always interested in building and fixing things, which is why I changed from being an engineer to my current program, Electronics Engineering Technology. One of my main hobbies is working on, and modifying, my car to make it faster and cooler. Aside from finding a good job with my degree, I hope to apply what I learned in school to my car hobby and make my car more unique.








Jandier Arismendy, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Jandier Arismendy

I have worked in the restaurant industry for 14 years; the friendships and challenges that I encountered there are priceless, nurturing friends pushing me to be better and work as a team to overcome the difficulties that come with the job. It is fair to say that I have gained the skills to deal with and communicate with people clearly and effectively by being a server. Through service, I am not only able to improve the lives of those I serve but also improve the general happiness of my own life. When people begin serving others and treating each other with respect, it improves their general satisfaction with themselves and those around them. Helping others will promote personal growth for myself and those around me.



Sarah Arnold Ferreira, Community College of Denver Photo of Sarah Arnold-Ferreira

I’m Sarah Arnold, born and raised in Brazil until I was twelve and then came to the US in pursuit of a better life. I consider myself creative-led and people-led, and I have a passion for art and buildings. I love to express my passion mostly through digital art and explore my horizons through travel.








Bokona Atehu, Community College of Aurora

My name is Bokona Atehu. I was born and raised in Ethiopia. I came to this country in 2016 with a winning of diversity visa lottery. After five years, I was awarded the naturalization of citizenship of the United States. For me, being in this country is like someone who won a power ball 500 million dollars. As one person, I believe in myself and I don’t compare myself to anyone except myself in the past and today. Also, I love everyone equally without considering color, race, religion, and background because of all people are created on this earth by the God.



Elijah Augustine, Community College of Aurora

Biography to come soon.







Nicole Avila, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Nicole Avila

My name is Nicole Avila, I am a 43-year-old Latina, and I am married to my high school sweetheart of 26 years. I have a 21-year-old daughter and a 14-year-old son who are both thriving in their respective institutions of learning. I have always taught my children that the best leaders lead by example and now that I am pursuing a degree in another field, it is important for me to study hard and earn good grades. We all set goals for ourselves and sometimes life doesn’t always go as planned, but I truly believe with faith, hard work, perseverance, and grit, no dream is too big to accomplish! There are moments that I have felt as if I could not bend any further, yet here I stand far from perfect, but so very thankful for each experience and life lesson.



Jennifer Bagliore, Community College of DenverPhoto of Jennifer Bagliore

My name is Jennifer, I strive for the best in all instances of my life. Even when not the ideal scenarios are happening to me, I always keep a positive attitude towards life. Good and bad things happen to anyone at any given moment, but the real difference is how we react to those amazing times and to those not-so-great moments of our lives. I enjoy life to the fullest, and I appreciate everyone who is involved in my life because I know that everything has a purpose in our life and a reason to be present or absent. No moment is taken for granted in my personal life, and all blessings are appreciated and accounted for.





Anthony Balerio, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Anthony Balerio

My name is Anthony Balerio, I’m twenty-one years old. I have been attending FRCC Westminster for a year now. I lived in Pueblo Colorado for most of my life and just recently moved to Thornton, Colorado before I started college. I am an extremely motivated and hard worker and enjoy growing and expanding my knowledge on any topics or subjects that I can. Outside of school, I enjoy playing sports as well as playing with my dog.






Jessica Bernal, Community College of DenverPhoto of Jessical Bernal

I think the best way to describe myself is that I have many goals and have overcome many health obstacles. Because I am a go-getter, I try to serve as an example to my nieces and great nieces to keep moving forward with all their goals. I am an artist and a student, and I work for a beautiful company that I hope to work at for the rest of my life with promotions, of course.






Ramon Burgos, Community College of Aurora Photo of Ramon Burgos

My name is Ramon Burgos, I am a 24-year-old Colorado native that loves the great outdoors as well as the virtual world of video games. As a high school dropout, I wanted to facilitate growth within myself and felt that pursuing a higher education would be the perfect start. In early 2021, I obtained my GED and then started attending CCA in the fall of that year. I am now onto my third semester and couldn’t be happier that I made the decision to further my education.





Manuel Cabello, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Manuel Cabello

My academic goals for both the fall and spring semesters are to attend full time and hopefully find a job in the area of construction focusing on drawing blueprints. With the help of this scholarship, I will not only be able to buy a laptop for my architectural drafting classes but also be able to be able to cover some of the cost of my classes for both the fall and spring semesters.






Marcelina Calderon, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Marcelina Calderon

I am a mother of three young children, the age of seven, four, and one. They are my inspiration in achieving my associates in accounting. As a student, I work very hard and I am focused on my studies to get the best possible grade. My goal is to be certified in accounting so that I can professionally do bookkeeping and accounting in my family-owned business.







Natalie Cartledge, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Natalie Cartledge

I am a member of the LGBTQ Community, and I believe that all people regardless of their race, religion and background deserve respect. I also enjoy reading books about history, science fiction, and technology. I am a first-generation college student. I was raised by a single mom who instilled in me a strong work ethic and always instilled in me pride and self-respect. My mother always tells me to take advantage of resources that will help me achieve my goals.




Erik Casillas, Community College of Aurora

Biography to come soon.







Luis Javier Castro Ortega, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Luis Castro Ortega

My name is Luis Javier Castro Ortega, and I have always been interested in language. I immigrated to the United States in 2014 and began learning English by reading books and playing video games. I decided to study Translation and Interpretation starting in the spring of 2022, and I am looking forward to serving the Latino community in Colorado soon. In my free time, I study Portuguese, enjoy rock climbing, and love studying philosophy. I am grateful for the support of my family in Mexico, and my partner here in Aurora.










Mariana Chavez Palmerin, Community College of DenverPhoto of Mariana Chavez

My name is Mariana Chavez Palmerin, I am a confident a person and I enjoy learning new things and developing new skills. I like to share my knowledge with others, and I love to help people. As a student, I strive to be the best and continue to try to reach my goal of earning a degree in business.




Leslie Cordova, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Leslie Cordova

My name is Leslie Cordova, I am a computer science major as well as a full-time helpdesk support technician. I decided to start school in the Fall of 2020, after the coronavirus pandemic turned the work upside down. Since then, I have been trying my best to succeed academically as well as at my employment. I have been able to maintain a 3.8GPA while also attempting to be the first person in my family to receive any kind of college degree. I am incredibly driven, and I will not stop until I reach that goal and make my family proud.





Rodney Cordova, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Rodney Cordova

My area of study is Cybersecurity & Cloud Computing. This AAS degree is only the beginning. I plan to continue my education by going for my bachelors. The trials and tribulations I’ve experienced in my life have helped mold me into a man who is kind, thoughtful, and hard working. I give what I can even though I don’t have much. I’m determined to make those people who took in a 2-year-old orphan proud!








Maria Cortez, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Maria Cortez

My education desire involves obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science to assist me in going after a Cyber Security career. I am sure that if I do not complete my college degree, I could never have the opportunity to accomplish my career goal. I decided to obtain a career in computer science since my passion has always been computers, math, and science and trying to troubleshoot to improve the system. Therefore, I believe that pursuing such a career will allow me to do something that matters to me.





Selena Cruz, Community College of Aurora

Biography to come soon.








Genea Cunningham, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Genea Cunningham

I am a wife, dog Mom, student, full-time contractor, small business owner, Entrepreneur, dreamer, and first person in my family to attend college. Although it’s taken me some time to enter college, I have always been a proponent of education, as well as personal growth and development. Earlier this year, I worked as a teacher’s aide for first grade, which was very satisfying. I imagine a world that works for everyone, a world where everyone experiences being known. We’re all so busy with the doing of life, that sometimes we forget about our happiness, and that of those around us. After I have completed my Associate’s, I intend to complete Bachelor and Master’s programs, and at some point, I intend to teach other minority small business owners.



Alfred Cusick, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Alfred Cusick

My name is Alfred Theodore Cusick, and I live with my common-law wife (the mother of my boys) and my four young boys ages twelve, seven, six, and four. I started my college journey right out of high school. Twenty-seven years later, I cherish and am protective of this opportunity, because it means a lot more to me now, than it did at eighteen, especially with my boys bearing witness. My goals are to work as a business analyst for the state of Colorado. I am excited about the future and the opportunity to improve the financial health of my family and be there for my boys as they grow into men.





Breanna Daniels, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Breanna Daniels

My name is Breanna Daniels, I have been married five years and we have two beautiful children. I spent six years in the United States Air Force, and I could not have asked for a better experience in my time serving our great nation. I learned a lot about myself and what kind of life I wanted to build for my family and what kind of career I wished to pursue. I volunteer time outside of school in community outreach and good-works projects building relationships with the disadvantaged.





Jorge Davila Palafox, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Jorge Davila Palafox

My name is Jorge, and I love to learn. Whether it’s learning how to land a trick on my skateboard or learning a new programming language. I also really enjoy helping others, and I hope to one day use my degree to help many more people.




Isabel Delgado, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Isabel Delgado

Proud Hispanic female, first-generation student. I am passionate about technology, science, and education. I’m dedicated to my family, my work, and my education. I hope to accomplish my academic goals and in doing so, become a role model and inspiration for other young adults aspiring to do the same.






Claudia Diaz, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Claudia Diaz

I am a first-generation student. I am the third oldest out of eleven, but I am the only one to continue my education. As of this moment I work for a salon and on my days off I babysit. I am a hardworking student and dedicated to achieving my academic goals.





Kaddisha Dock, Community College of DenverPhoto of Kaddisha Dock

Hi, I am Kaddisha Dock, I come from a big family of eight brothers and sisters, who keeps me grounded and to make sure, I keep my humble beginnings. When, I am not around my family, I am usually in the mountains, or traveling, trying to get a better understanding of cultures. Not, only that I am a student representative in student government, where we get to plan events around campus, and be able to, make sure students are getting the best out of their college experience.







Ezequiel Dominguez, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Dominguez Ezequiel

I am a single parent to a child with special needs. I have good character, and work intelligently and efficiently. I am constantly working towards something and improving myself or my family’s position. I also have a playful nature with a strong desire for success. I love being a parent and it is the best, most difficult, and most rewarding job I have ever had in my life.








Frank Duodu, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Frank Duodu

My name is Frank Duodu, I am a Ghanaian from Ghana, West-Africa. I have been a Colorado resident for the past 5 years. I am currently a student at CCA, studying computer science. I love to learn as I see it as an unending journey. Going back to school at the age of 30 years was a tough decision but in all I was able to take that bold step to accomplish the goals I set forth.





Kaley Encinas, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Kaley Encinas

I am currently 20 years old and just started my college career. I am a very determined person and go after whatever I want. Originally after graduating high school I didn’t think college was a fit for me just because I thought it was a huge debt hole. I have come to realize I think I was pushing off college because I was scared. I am ready and this only pushes me to be better. Growing up I always loved school. My mom said when I was little, I would do my homework and erase it and do it again because I thought it was fun. I hope I can try to keep that mentality throughout college. Thank you again for this I appreciate it.


Soloni Freitas, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Soloni Freitas

I am very determined with my goals toward a hobby or my career. I believe that everything I propose to study will serve as a bridge to help me in other tasks. Art is one of my passions in life. I like to paint especially the human figure and it requires a lot of me, concentration, patience, determination, and willingness to make mistakes and let them go, to say the least. Over the years I have transferred those skills to other activities in my life and I can see the great benefit of it. At school, I am the type of student who likes to participate in discussions and supplement my class with my own research outside of the classroom. I am always trying to improve my grade by meeting with the teacher at least once a month before or after class to clarify my doubts. They know I have a genuine interest in learning. Studying gives me great pleasure and learning is the moment that I am the happiest person that I can be.



Benicia Gabell, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Benicia Gabell

I come from an immigrant family. Because of this, I was raised to prioritize family and make decisions that help improve my family’s status, as my status was also my family’s. Because of this, I have always done my best to be not only a good student but also one who keeps my grades up. This comes from the understanding that my academics can afford me certain opportunities that would have otherwise been closed. I am also a creative person and paint and write poetry. Both helped me be a very disciplined yet expressive person, able to develop a complex understanding of the world around them.




Ashaunaise Gaines, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Ashaunaise Gaines

I am a single mother of two girls. I started baking ten years ago for my daughter’s 5th birthday, I then found it was my peace of mind when life became hectic. After many positive compliments, reviews, and suggestions, I then opened my baking business. I find that adding to someone’s special moment, makes it that much more special. From birthdays, and baby showers to be able to help remind them of a loved one no longer present. I truly enjoy the simple things in life. Family, friends, and good food. I’m the one willing to help others in any aspect that I can even when things aren’t the best for me, no sense in both of us being down and out. This journey as a first-time college student has taught me that my dreams have always been within reach and that I just needed to set my fears aside and take that first step. My Business Communications class last semester really brought me out of my comfort zone, as I had to give speeches in front of an audience. I never thought how bad my nerves were when speaking in front of those I talk to all the time. It felt good to know that I along with my fellow classmates, all had the same fears and helped each other overcome them. I have met some great people on this journey, I look forward to meeting many more.



Evangelina Gallegos-Duran, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Evangelina Gallegos-Duran

I am 56 years old and I love reading. Back in Mexico reading Harlequin Romance books and watching movies kept my English alive. In Mexico, I couldn’t pursue a college degree because my father got a stroke, so I had to start working after high school to support my parents. Then I came to the United States with my Mom and daughter and years passed till I got my papers and at 53, started college. And studying has been the best year of my life. I never got married, these classes are my boyfriend and have increased my self-esteem from a low to a high level of feeling good about myself. I am a work-study at the Financial Aid office of CCA and it’s the best job I ever had. I started being a very shy student but now I am a more confident woman. Being a work-study has even better my clothes style and studying gives me great satisfaction when I see those good grades. Not only am I learning something new with every class, but if I do good and work hard, I can have access to scholarships like this one. Some relationships might not work with friends, but I always have my classes to rely on.


Alize Garcia, Community College of DenverPhoto of Alize Garcia

I am Alize Garcia, the oldest of six children. I am a leader and a helper. I persevere my way through everything from a difficult class to just life itself. I am usually nonchalant towards negativity, but like they say kill them with kindness. I am an accounting student at the Community College of Denver, and I hope to become an accountant one day.







Xavier Garcia, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Xavier Garcia

I am a 26-year-old Air Force veteran with a wife and 3-month-old daughter, named Isabella at home. I have been pursuing my education since my contract ended with the Air Force in 2019. I am a welding and business student, hoping to start my own business down the road.







Jose Garcia-Bustamante, Community College of DenverPhoto of Jose Garcia Bustamante

Hello, my name’s Jose Garcia-Bustamante. I’m a first-generation Latino student passionate about the business world. I’m currently attending the Community College of Denver pursuing my Business degree. I enjoy hiking, running, and collecting vinyl records all with friends and family. Communication and being a good listener are key components that I strive for every day because they matter in everyday life.









Chaltu Geletu, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Chaltu Geletu

I am a hardworking, young person of 26 years. I am so passionate in pursuing academic programs especially in the field of computer science and web development. The fact that I am raising my children, 6 years old daughter and 4 years old son, all alone by myself with manner and decency and pursuing my college study with astonishing achievements side by side speak a lot about me – that I am an aspiring person full of perseverance and endurance.





Abebech Gereziher, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Abebech Gereziher

My name is Abebech Gereziher and I’m a Community College of Aurora student, a wife, and a mom of four beautiful kids.








Ashley Giron, Community College of DenverPhoto of Ashley Giron

My name is Ashley Giron I am a 35-year-old mother of two. I have a 17-year-old daughter who will be in college this year and I have a 10-year-old daughter who is in fifth grade. I am a cosmetologist, Barber, and permanent makeup artist. I love what I do! If I could describe my life, I would say it is devoted to being a hero for my children. I have become a professional student I have studied in so many areas and right now I am pursuing a career in the nonprofit industry, so I am getting my bachelor’s in business. I’m not here to play around I’m here to work!







Pedro Gonzales, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Pedro Gonzales

I am an immigrant from Venezuela. I have lived the last 5 years in this great country. This year I became an American citizen and to serve as an example for my daughters I want to study and get a good job. This way I can show them that everything can be achieved with effort and dedication.



Alex Gordon, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Alex Gordon

As an only child to a deaf single mother, I didn’t grow up having very much, but I learned to appreciate the very little that I did have. Being a Colorado native, and raised in Aurora to be exact, I’ve never been outside of the Rocky Mountain state, so my plans are to eventually travel. My favorite hobbies are to play board games with my friends and exercise in my spare time. Admittedly, I’m a very diligent person and a companionate leader. I enjoy helping people execute their full potential. Oddly, I’m very fond of reviewing data and deriving legible information from it. So, I’m a consider person with a habit for playing Catan with my friends, and I feel successful when I help others succeed.



Eric Grant, Community College of DenverPhoto of Eric Grant

I work full time at the City of Denver, and my wife and I have a two-year-old daughter, with another baby due in a few months. As my family grows, I have been motivated to better myself in any way I can to be a better father and husband. I am striving to be the best role model to my kids that my parents were for me, and I’m determined to graduate with a degree that I am proud to have earned.






Gebisa Gurmu, Community College of Aurora

Biography to come soon.







Yvette Hale, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Yvette Hale

I’m a single parent of three. I’m currently pursuing an AAS degree in Accounting to provide better financial stability for my children and me. I will complete my Bookkeeping Certificate Summer 2022, and I will continue fall 2022 and Spring 2023 for an AAS. I work part time and attend school as well.




Patricia Herbertson, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Patricia Herbertson

I made the decision to return to school to earn my degree in fall of 2020. My current goal is to become a bookkeeper or accounting assistant that can work remotely. I am self-motivated and take mostly online courses. I am always excited to learn something new and returning to school has been amazing for that.





Morgyn Herren, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Morgyn Herren

In the last few years, I have fallen in love with project management and everything that is has to encompass, and I feel as that I could have an incredibly fun and success career in this field. I am a very motivated and hard worker but, when I am not in classes or studying, I love to spend time with my family and boyfriend, riding motorcycles, and watching him race at the national level. I also enjoy getting to spend time hiking, riding my bicycle, or just doing any kind of activity outdoors.





Vince Huseman, Community College of DenverPhoto of Vince Hussman

I am 31 years old and living in Lakewood Colorado. When I graduate with my bachelor’s in communication, I will be a first-generation college graduate with a 4-year degree in my family. My education is very important to me and I believe it will help me excel in my current career. My hope is to move up to senior program manager in the next three years and one day a director.






Rashon Hyslop, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Rashon Hyslop

My name is Rashon Hyslop, I’m a student at Community College of Aurora. I love spending time outside, filming, editing, fashion, coding, sports, and helping people in any way that I can. I love being able to put a smile on people’s faces. Just seeing the way people smile makes me smile all the time. I am always willing to learn is something that I take pride in, being able to learn something and apply it to whatever I do in life.







Gilbert Julien, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Julien Gilbert

I am working towards a degree in cyber security and before I complete my degree, I plan to become certified before graduating. I am a veteran, so I’ve been trained to complete the missions no matter the hardships I face in life. Once I have a plan my focus towards that plan is not ever missing. I am persistent and no matter the challenges I face I can’t be stopped.





Hector Lombillo, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Hector Lombillo

My name is Hector Lombillo. I’ve been studying in school for a long time. It’s been 10 years since I graduated high school and it’s been a journey realizing what piques my interest. Usually, I prefer practicality, but this time around, I’m looking into being a bit more technical. On my own time, I prefer being alone, working out, or listening to music, or both. I hope to someday work a career in cybersecurity because everyone deserves the peace of mind from stalkers.


Celeste Lopez, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Celeste Lopez

My name is Celeste Lopez, I am a student, paralegal, veteran and mother. I am extremely dedicated in everything I do. My most recent accomplishment is making the Dean list this semester. I love to help people as much as I can.






Tatiana Lopez, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Tatiana Lopez

I am a mom, wife, a full-time employee but most important I am a woman with dreams, dreams on becoming a more knowledgeable person, more educated, the first of my family to peruse a college degree, I want to better myself and I want my family to be proud of me.







Magda Lopez Paniagua, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Tatiana Lopez

xI am a mother of 5, 4 girls and 1 boy. I work at a preschool as the Business Support. My children and I enjoy hiking and doing homework together we help each other when our projects are hard. I am working towards earning my AA in Business to set the first steppingstones of my education and career. My goal is to specialize in Human Recourses.






Jocelin Macias Garcia, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Jocelin Macias Garcia

As a person, I am well determined and an overachiever in everything I do. I believe goals can be achieved if they are started off with the smallest help and grow from there. I love architecture, especially the residential part of making a family happy. I work in carpentry so that allows me to be hands-on with what I chose as a degree and learn so many new things.




Leticia Magadan, Community College of Aurora

Biography to come soon.






Diandra Martin, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Diandra Martin

I’m Diandra, a 31-year-old first-time college student. I am attending Front Range Community College and am obtaining my Associate of Applied Science in Business.  I have dreams and hopes of becoming a successful bakery business owner. I am a mother of 5, so my life is always on the go!







Nairo Matthews, Community College of DenverPhoto of Nairo Matthews

My name is Nairo, and I have traveled around a lot before settling in Colorado. In my spare time I love to indulge all types of art whether music, video games, animations among other things. While I really love those activities, I more so love to create them myself it’s been a passion of mine since I can remember! I’m going to pursue a degree in graphic design so that I am better equipped to make use of my skills so that I can break into the industry and innovate everything I can!




Danielle McKnight, Community College of Aurora

I am a full-time mom, student, and employee. My daughter has been my main motivator to return to school, I want to make sure I can provide the best possible lifestyle for her. Since returning to school, I have tried to network and take advantage of every opportunity as much as possible. I have learned so much about myself and others around me. I am also very passionate in terms of serving my community. I volunteer for multiple non-profits throughout the year to try and give back all that has been given to me.



Freweyini Mehari, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Freweyini Mehari

My name is Freweyini Mehari. I am a first-generation American and the first in my family to go to college. I am Community College Aurora student where I am studying cyber security. I chose this area of study because you can feel good about your work knowing that you’re helping protect peoples’ livelihoods and privacy. I am also a mom to three children.







Benito Mejia, Community College of Aurora Photo of Benito Meija

I would trace my interest in Engineering back to my early childhood and my fascination with legos and design. As a kid, the concept of drawing and designing always fascinated me, therefore I tried to take as many STEM-related classes as I could. I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in engineering but did not know what type. However, recently I have been learning more about what Industrial Engineering has to offer and it’s safe to say that I have found the one. What makes Industrial Engineering so intriguing to me is the fact that it consists of multiple fields such as Mechanical Engineering, Telecommunications, and Power Engineering. By working in overlapping fields, I will be able to branch out and work on multiple projects to solve modern-day problems, rather than just one. I do not want to limit myself; I want to expand my boundaries and tackle the world’s problems from a new perspective, and I feel like Engineering, as a whole, will help me accomplish that.


Eric Mendoza Gallardo, Front Range Community College Photo of Eric Mendoza Gallardo

I am a person who loves to learn new things, and I even spend most of my free time trying to program and learn new things. I work as a janitor and I love my job because I am able to listen to videos which can teach me more about programming and computer science in general. I also love making people smile and helping them feel the same joy that I get out of life, because without enjoyment it would be a waste of time to try to excel at anything.




Jessica Meza Moreno, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Jessica Moreno

My name is Jessica and I’m currently enrolled at Front Range Community College where I am pursuing an associate degree in cybersecurity. I believe that technology is meant to help us live to our fullest potential as human beings, but with it comes greater strides in cyber protection. Being a student at Front Range gives me the ability and knowledge to prepare for my future in tech.






CleydeAnn Mireles, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of CleydeAnn Mireles

I’ve been described by family and close friends as a very dedicated and committed person. Electronic engineering is something that always fascinated me. I love finding out how things work and overcoming obstacles. I specially love the feeling of sharing things I’ve learned. Even during difficult times, I don’t give up. I’m very determined and push through until I make it.







Ileana Molina Caraveo, Community College of Denver

Biography to come soon.







Madeline Nealy, Community College of DenverPhoto of Madeline Nealy

I am 67 years old and I still work part-time I help others by volunteering where needed. Currently, I volunteer at the Denver Rescue Mission serving meals and I take a friend to dialysis Monday Wednesday, and Friday. I have always led a life of service and I always will help where I can. But now I also want to do something for myself and that is by going to school. It is never too late until it’s too late.






Valeria Nunez, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Valeria Nunez

I was raised to prioritize and appreciate my family always; we were taught to always wish each other the best, to remind one another to be safe and take care, and to always say I love you when we have to leave anywhere. My culture and my family are what I’m most proud of, especially of my younger siblings. As a young girl, I was raised to hold strong values, to remain loyal to my beliefs, and to be independent. Lastly, I will be the first to graduate with a college degree, as a student I am very organized, dedicated, and creative.


Felix Oesterle, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Felix Oesterle

My name is Felix Oesterle. I have returned to Front Range Community College in Fort Collins to complete a degree in Networking and Virtualization. In my free time, I enjoy politics and watching auto racing as well as going to sporting events. I am also an adult learner who is looking to advance my career by completing this A.A.S. degree. I am looking forward to graduating and finding a job that utilizes the valuable skills that I am learning.






Kieuntha Pearson-Martin, Community College of DenverPhoto of Kieuntha Pearson-Martin

I’m a non-traditional adult learner who’s determined to be successful in the completion of my degree this time around. I’m a former foster youth who was high achieving academically but lacked the support and stability necessary for college success. When I was unemployed twice at the start of the pandemic, I took the opportunity to skill up and discovered a love for coding. Tech helps fulfill my passion for community and lifelong learning. It also gave me the tools that I needed as a CASA volunteer to help other at-risk foster youths transitioning out of care forge their own nontraditional path to success.




Flor Perdomo, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Flor Perdomo

I am a first-generation Mexican American and a first-generation college student as well. However, the most important role I play is being the mother of two boys. Times have been tough, but perseverance has helped me push through the bad and I know that achieving my goal is only a matter of time.






Angel Perez, Front Range Community College

I am a person who works out two times a week, works in HVAC labor. I take classes at Front Range Community College and I am hoping to get my real estate license.






Gerardo Perez-Maldonado, Community College of DenverPhoto of Gerardo Perez-Maldonado

I’m an atypical student because I’m studying for my second career in a different country. I have chosen my academic program because I love the law. The Community College of Denver has helped me achieve my goals because it has opened its doors, has let me get into its rooms, and has given me access to its programs, which in the future will mean my success.




Rylan Phipps, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Ryan Phipps

My name is Rylan Phipps, and I am a student at Front Range Community College. I am an active member at my church and a follower of Christ. I am currently working full time as a framer on pole barns which I enjoy but I still dream of bigger and better opportunities.





David Pinales, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of David Pinales

I’m 20 years old and go to Front Range Community College in Westminster. Something that you should know is that I’m an adventurous person so whenever there is something or a place that I haven’t been to, I’ll go. the activities that I really like doing is playing sports such as volleyball, soccer, basketball, etc. something that I like doing for fun is going hiking, working and driving high-performance cars, and snowboarding. Some things that I would like to do in the future are travel more and meet more people.



Michael Puente, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Michael Puente

I am 30 years old as of January and have been attending FRCC since August 2020. The pandemic lit a fire in me to break away from my laborious job and focus on my future. I love Rock music, riding my bicycle, making others laugh, and spending time with family and friends. I believe taking college courses has made me a more well-rounded person and I am proud of everything I’ve achieved thus far.







Jaime Ramirez, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Jaime Ramirez

My name is Jaime Ramirez and I attend Front Range Community College. I am going to school to have a better future for myself, my wife, and our three-year-old daughter. Front Range has opened new doors for me to pursue my dream job and become a better me.





Ashley Ramos Alcaraz, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Ashley Ramos Alcaraz

I’m Ashley Ramos Alcaraz, I’m 18 years old and in my sophomore year of college. I’m quite thrilled about what the future holds for me since I like to live in the moment. An Interesting fact about me is that where I see a chance for a change, I take it for new opportunities because each new chapter gives me future goals and opportunities to live, in life, I go by every day as a new chapter in life where you achieve your goals and take every opportunity because by achieving them, they can lead to the biggest breakthrough in life.






Rosalba Rico-Cardenas, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Rosalba Rico-Cardenas

You can call me Rosie or Rose. A little bit about me, I love food, hiking and anything outdoors. I’m a single mother of a wonderful little girl, and together we like to eat, paint, swim, go snow sledding, and read books before bed. She makes me happy and inspires me to become the best version of me. I face many obstacles every day, but I am determined to win by challenging myself to complete a college education. I’ve always been curious, and I discovered that my mind craves to be challenged and learn new things. I have instilled an attitude within myself that I will never know it all in order to continue to learn for the rest of my life.





Augustine Rodriguez, Community College of Denver Photo of Augustine Rodriguez

My name is Augustine Rodriguez. My journey to this point has been unique and at times tough. During COVID I lost my job of 27 years. I was a General Manager for a big box retail company and like so many during the pandemic I was laid off due to downsizing. Just turned 50 a few years back, and now I find myself in a place that is not comfortable and very unsettling, But I was not going to let this affect me or cause me more stress, so I reached deep into my soul and came back to what makes me happy. And that’s creating images that make others happy. At an early age, I was very much into drawing and design and I had parents that would stimulate this by having paint nights where we’d sit around the table and paint. These moments feed my creative side and really shaped my life and curiosity for the arts.

Fast forward to the pandemic, one night I gathered up my art and set up a zoom call with a few close friends and family and I presented my plan for my future. I began the search for what I needed to do and where I could begin this next journey of my life as a Graphic Artist. And this is where I am currently enrolled at the Community College of Denver working towards an Associate Degree.


Kindra Rodriguez, Community College of DenverPhoto of Kindra Rodriguez

My name is Kindra. I currently work full-time as an administrative assistant at a criminal defense law firm. I plan to work as a paralegal here once I graduate next summer. My ultimate goal is to one day become a lawyer in immigration law and criminal defense. I hope to help those in my community with the things I have learned throughout my studies.




Josue Rojas, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Josue Rojas

I want to gain a challenging position using my training and experiences in the automotive industry. My education here at FRCC can improvise my emphasis on advanced automotive diagnostics, a certification status relies on the work experience requirements of ASE certification standards. The end goal is to accomplish my associate’s degree in automotive technology.








Maria Romero Valadez, Community College of Denver Photo of Maria Romero Valadez

I am a 20-year-old student at CCD and, the number one goal on my bucket list is to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Business at CU Denver. This scholarship is truly a blessing not only for me but for my family as well, I am the first generation of my family to attend college, so this only makes it easier for me and for my family. As for my current employment, I am a Project Coordinator CareerWise Colorado Apprentice at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. As I am almost finished with my Associate’s at CCD and my apprenticeship at the museum, this is a very exciting point in my life for me. My apprenticeship will be ending in July, and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has so graciously offered me a permanent position as an Administrative Assistant for their Volunteer Engagement Team. As for myself, I enjoy traveling, trying new foods, volunteering at my local pet shelter, hanging out with my friends, and I love music, especially Korean Pop, I’ve loved this genre for 5 years now I am interested in learning more about Korean cultures such as entertainment, media, and the language itself, and hopefully by Fall this year, I will finally get the chance to visit South Korea and experience new opportunities. I love traveling, trying new foods, volunteering at my local pet shelter, and hanging out with my friends.


Christian Ross, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Christian Ross

My name is Christian Ross, and I am currently working on my Associates degree in Computer Science at the Community College of Aurora. I am always seeking opportunities that will further propel me to be strong, persistent, and courageous. Furthering my education is an opportunity that will allow me to grow and ultimately help me to become a person who can positively contribute to society by making an impact not only in my career but also in my community.


Corina Ruiz, Community College of DenverPhoto of Corina Ruiz

After successfully becoming a first-generation high school graduate, Corina Ruiz decided being close to home was essential in the decision to attend a community college. After making the choice to attend community college, Corina began their studies under an associate of applied science with concentrations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. They have accomplished Presidents List, a 4.0GPA, and are currently on track to graduate Summa Cum Laude in the fall of 2024 as a first-generation college student. These accomplishments seep into their off-campus hobbies, where they dedicate their time volunteering at county events, community service, and grassroots efforts.



Abdinassir Salah, Community College of DenverPhoto of Abdinassir Salah

Thanks to your kind scholarship, I will be able to focus more on school and worry less about owning debt to the school. I currently major in Business Ad management and when I transferer to a four-year university, I will make my core focus on accounting. This scholarship will help me with the financial burdens I endorsed during these school years.




Kimberly Sanchez, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Kimberly Sanchez

My name is Kimberly Sanchez, a proud Hispanic who has witnessed my family overcome many obstacles to get to where they are today; I am someone who strives to be a top student and a person they can be proud of. I may stumble along the way, but at the end of the day, I will always find and continue down my path until the very end. I am determined, I will succeed, and I will not bend.



Zulinda Marlene Santander Conforti, Front Range Community College

I am a first-generation college student (originally from Paraguay), who came to the United States with the hopes of a better future for me and my family. I am always pursuing ways to better myself in all aspects of my life. I chose to go back to college because my parents always told me that education is the most important asset you can have. I am looking forward to being able to help my community and students who like me, left their country for better opportunities. I do not take any of the chances that have allowed me to be who I am today for granted.



Aubrey Sena-Calvillo, Community College of Aurora

I am an older student returning to college and am currently working through my general studies courses, but will eventually focus on a degree in communications. Currently, I work for the Children’s Hospital of Colorado and I want to advance my career.





Irane Sharp, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Irane Sharp

I am from Chicago and moved out here about 7 years ago. I am a very good communicator which is one of my skills and I am a quick learner. In my free time, I spend time with my brother, and I love playing/watching basketball as well. Thank you!








Darryl Sharpton, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Darryl Sharpton

First and foremost, I am a believer in GOD and my LORD and Savior JESUS CHRIST. I am a hard worker and am motivated by my past issues in life. I am also a first-generation student. I have always been one who genuinely loves people. Which is one of the reasons I love school because I love meeting new people. I am always eager to learn and explore new things. I look forward to studying hard to be the best version of myself!





Dante Solis, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Dante Solis

My name is Dante Solis, and I am currently attending Front Range Community College where I aspire to become an adept software engineer. I am very passionate about computers, so I am very attentive and methodical when working on programs. In my free time I like to read and play games with my family. I like to be optimistic and friendly with everyone so that everyone around me is in a positive mood.





Fernando Solorzano Mejia, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Fernanod Solorzano-Meija

My name is Fernando Solorzano Mejia. I am 19 years old, both of my parents live in Mexico. For the moment I am an independent college student. I am also the legal guardian of my younger sister and I am also responsible for her and her expenses. I am a very responsible person both at College and at work. At 19 years old, I am Service Manager at Chipotle where I work. This job has helped me pay for many of my personal expenses, but above all, this job has taught me that a bachelor’s degree is very important in a person’s life. The work of a restaurant is very heavy. But this job has taught me to be a leader, and it has created in me that perspective of how I would run my own business. But I don’t complain about my job since every day it reminds me of my Mexican roots and makes me feel proud of myself as a person. Because one thing I can say is that not everyone makes all the efforts that I do to get ahead, including working 40 hours a week and being a full-time student at College. But every effort has a reward and I think that when that reward comes it will be wonderful in my life.



Luis Tapia, Community College of DenverPhoto of Luis Tapia

As a first-generation college student, pursuing my college degree is not only incredibly important to me, but it is a huge milestone in my family. My goal is to help open my own family business and with that not only help myself but all my family as well. I am a fast-paced very focused student, I enjoy learning as well as teaching others what I know.




Luis Donato Tello-Santos, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Luis Tello

My name is Luis Donato Tello-Santos, and I am passionate about philosophy, mathematics, science, and engineering. I enjoy reading, chess, music, and botany. I am a first-generation student and of Sephardic Jewish bloodlines. I hope to become a professor at a university after going into research and industry.







Roman Torres, Community College of DenverPhoto of Roman Torres

I am a 26-year-old veteran obtaining my degree in accounting. Taking my undergraduate courses at the Community College of Denver is giving me the chance to receive my degree at an affordable rate.  I want to be able to succeed in order to help others. I am happily married and also a very goal-orientated person.






Serenity Torres, Community College of DenverPhoto of Serenity Torres

I am a low-income student who has faced homelessness a couple of times. Although life can get hard, I remain resilient and study very hard. I almost stayed in another country for a moment in my life and it made me see how lucky I was to have an education. I love learning and being able to know that I can further my education. I am friendly and like to take the lead.






Jasmine Tucker, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Jasmine Tucker

My name is Jasmine Tucker, and I have autism. My disability at times can make communication difficult, and I may find myself trying to hide from the world. What encourages me to challenge it is my love for art and music, as it aids me in truly finding my voice.






Cassandra Vargas Rascon, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Cassandra Vargas-Rascon

I was born and raised in Colorado. I truly love to go on walks and just enjoy time with my family and friends. Both of my parents are from Mexico and it is always so much fun going to see of our family in Mexico. As a student, I believe I am really diligent and have learned to really be organized and focused within my studies. As my studies continue to become challenging, I hope to continue the same motivation and stay diligent.




Amos Weah, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Amos Weah

My name is Mr. Amos Weah. I am from Africa, Liberia. I was born, raised, and educated in Liberia. I migrated into the United States under the Refugee Status due to the 14 years civil war in my country. I love helping people because of my experience as a refugee in another African country. becoming an It was my dream. This motivation encouraged me to go back to school in my old ages and earn an AA’s degree in Computer Networking.




Faith White, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Faith White

I work full time as an Assistant Manager in Boulder while still going to school full time in Westminster. When I am not working or studying, I hang out with my cat, Indigo, or try to find time to meet my family who lives a few hours away. I love to watch movies, go to Fiske Planetarium for their space shows, and go to concerts.







Corrina Williams, Community College of DenverPhoto of Corrina Williams

My name is Corrina. I work full time at a tax resolution firm, and I am a single mother to a beautiful four-year-old boy named Levi. I stay busy most of the time with my son, but I also really enjoy doing Zumba and seasonal activities around Denver. I spend most of my spare time either studying or with my family.






Natika Williams, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Natika Williams

I am a single mother of 5 kids, I am advancing my knowledge and my resume to not only start my own business but to show my children there is more learning out there. I shuffle them to and from school and sports, I spend a lot of my time in their Karate Dojo working on homework while they head towards their black belts. I also am in the process of starting my own body care business as I also have an Esthetician’s license, this I work on while they are at school.




Vanessa Williams, Community College of DenverPhoto of Vanessa Williams

I’m a 67-year-old female determined to finish my dream of being a college graduate. It took me over 55 years just to get to where I’m at now and I’m excited. I have 17 more credit hours before I graduate with an Associate degree in Accounting. I  am an example to my grand and great grandchildren and they encourage me every day telling me that they are very proud of me.







Adon Wolff, Front Range Community CollegePhoto of Adon Wolff

As an individual and student, I strive to learn as much as I can about the world. I recognize that, specifically, my generation will be the educational leaders’ children look up to in the future. This understanding makes me want to earn their trust — today. It will be the duty of me, my fellow peers, and upcoming citizens to take responsibility, listen to each other, and have a heart, resulting in beneficial long-term actions for all.





Henok Worku, Community College of AuroraPhoto of Henok Worku

I am studying Graphics Design and Web Development associate degree at CCA. After finishing class, I aspire to join the work force, which is all time dream I aspire to be. In this journey this scholarship significantly helps me to cover my costs and focus on my goals. I really thank you for this generous pledge. May God bless you all.