True Apodaca

University of Colorado Denver - 2018

“I was a founding member and Vice President of the Gender and Sexualities Alliance (GSA@UCD), a student organization that has grown exponentially over the past three years providing a safe space for LGBTQ students to meet, socialize and to create community. During my junior year at UCD, I was introduced to the Executive Director at the Colorado Latino Leadership, Research and Advocacy Organization (CLLARO). She encouraged me to apply for their Capitol Fellow Program, which is aimed at creating a pipeline for students of color to enter the political arena. I was accepted into the program and was paired with State Senator Jessie Ulibarri for the 2015 legislative session. The experience I gained in the program was life changing. I was exposed to state government from the inside and worked diligently to network and to learn as much as possible during the 120 days of the session. The following year Senator Ulibarri asked me to be his Chief of Staff. Since then, I have been a Campaign Manager and a Field Director for several local races. This year I have decided to pay it forward. I am working with Generation Latino to create a similar pipeline into the nonprofit sector. We will be placing 15 students into organizations that do work to improve the health of our community. At the end of this summer our cohort will be able to look back on their experiences and have a tangible example of how they improved the health of Latinos in Colorado. This is only the beginning. I have found my passion working for social justice. The new federal administration has created a climate of concern for my community. Families are being torn apart and hate speech has become once again normalized in this country. As I look ahead I am keenly aware that the next four years will present many challenges and opportunities for me to use the skills I have developed and the network I have cultivated to mitigate the injustices that are on the horizon. While I am an American citizen myself, many of my peers are not. We all went to the same schools, worshiped in the same churches and ate at the same tables. The DACA recipients in this country have done everything right and yet they are being demonized by a type of xenophobia that I once believed was behind us. I would love to work on a social justice program that provides resources to keep families intact, provides a path to citizenship and changes the narrative about people of color.”

Career goals: Law and Public Policy

Additional Information:

  • Chief of Staff Senator Jesse Ulibarri
  • Generation Latino
  • Bilingual
  • First Generation
  • Campaign Manager and Field Director
  • Vice President Gender and Sexualities Alliance
  • Urban Land Conservancy Development Committee
  • Deans Advisory Committee