While we celebrate the 4th of July today, please take a moment to celebrate the life of a true hero and gentleman to the end, Harry Puksta. He lost his sweetheart, Eva, July 3rd, 1999 and died of a broken heart the next day. He never her left side and died on the 4th of July, a day fit for a World War II veteran who served his country with honor. Harry was a salt of the earth man who enjoyed an honest day’s work, watching the rockies and making wine in the basement. Their final wish was to help the the “good kids of the community go to college”. This gift has changed over 300 lives and will continue for many more. The Puksta Legacy will live on in the hearts and actions of the “good kids” they have supported. Thank you Harry – We will all be forever grateful
Our scholar Alexander Aleman has his projects focus on Youth Education and Health and well-being. Here’s what he has to say about his project, “After learning about the various institutional and individual factors that lead to students dropping out, I chose to re-focus my Puksta project toward preventing the summer learning loss. I love working with kids. I started a free fitness program for kids when I was 13 called Healthy Kids in Action. My program is a thriving 8-week summer fitness program for kids that has even been featured on the Denver Post and Colorado Public Radio. My goal is to further develop my fitness program and use it as a base to provide kids rich summer learning opportunities through exercise that will prevent summer learning loss and ultimately narrow down the achievement gap.”
Have you met our alumna, Bailey Cross? During her time as a Puksta Scholar she volunteered on a service trip to Nicaragua. She learned about community activism, fair trade, and economic empowerment through the Jubilee House Community in Managua. Bailey assisted with building a health clinic and organizing clinic files, and led a leadership camp for youth and helped with English classes at Arms of Love in Managua. Her main focus was gender issues, sexual assault, and domestic violence which led her to being a volunteer on the CSU Victim Assistance Team hotline monthly to provide confidential support and advocacy to Colorado State University students and any family or friends who have experienced sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking on or off campus.
Did you know that April is stress awareness month? Addressing our stress can be scary and most of the time very overwhelming. Take a look at this video and start to implement a few of these ideas into your own day to find time to clear your mind.
Two of the podcast episodes coming up on, Maybe It’s Rocket Science, will be going over immigration and DREAMERS. Our scholar, Anarely Marquez-Gomez, focuses on exactly that for her project. “My project has revolved around community organizing within the immigrant community. The program began as a series of Immigrant rights workshops addressing topics such as : Pathways to Citizenship, Citizenship Application Workshops, and What to Do if ICE is at Your Door. The program has now transitioned into ensuring DREAMERS on the CSU campus have adequate living solutions raging from, health care, scholarships, tuition, hate crimes, and other important issues. Currently the organization is engaging in negotiations with President Tony Frank and other school administration and has presented a list of recommendations.”
All of our scholars at Puksta do absolutely amazing contributions to their communities. One of which is Leo Andrade who aim to help minority and low Incomes students attain art related resources. “I was once part of an afterschool art program when I was in middle school. Before I joined I had no idea about what possible career path I would take or how I would get there once I decided. This afterschool program taught me how to use digital computer programs, illustrate, and network so that when I applied and entered college I’d be ready. I want other future students to have access to a collaborative environment that‚ goal is to do exactly that.”
Time to meet one of our amazing scholars! Marwan Osman has her focus on diversity and inclusion, here is what she has to say about her project, “My passion and interest for diversity stems from my own personal struggles with coming to terms with my cultural identity of being a Somali-American. It wasn’t until the end of high school that this mindset had faded away. I went to the Denver school of Science and Technology (DSST), DSST was continuously praised and prided itself for its diverse student population, and it was during my high school years, which I started to become surrounded by those who shared a similar cultural background. This is when I started to accept my cultural identity, as I was able to see the love some of my peers had for their cultures, and it inspired me to adopt this mindset. My passion for inclusivity drives my want to extend the everlasting impact my high school experience has given me and offer it to other higher-ed institutions.”