Social justice has always been my passion, especially since embarking upon my adventure into graduate education. The Puksta foundation seemed like a natural fit for my pursuits and I was happy to undertake a poetry program at the Community College of Aurora to help junior college students discover their voice and agency, as a part of my fellowship. The conversations and comradery that abounds at Puksta classes and gatherings literally fills me with optimism and I am proud to have been included within a group that contains some of the most incredible and mindful individuals that I might ever have a chance of knowing. The fact that Puksta has empowered me to positively affect the lives and well-being of others is simply amazing and I hope to continue being one of the “good kids” that Harry and Eva wanted so badly to assist and promote.
Hello! I am Cicilia Saenz or Cici which ever you prefer, this is currently my third year at MSU, hoping to get my degree in Special education with a concentration in CLD. As a Puksta scholar I have been able to make many wonderful connections, and for that reason it is something I have come to love. Within Puksta I have been able to learn my capabilities and what I can do with them, such as informing people of something I am very passionate about. I have also met some wonderful people that have many amazing qualities that I have been able to learn from and will hold in my heart. As a Puksta scholar my goal is to reach out to low-income communities and inform them of special education resources, so that parents and students are able to advocate for themselves if they feel that something in their education is missing. Within this project I also hope that students are able to learn that it is okay to need a little extra support. I hope to accomplish this by using all the resources that have been provided to me by Puksta.
Over the weekend of the January 19 th 2019, Puksta Scholars came together for the annual Puksta Collegiate Winter Retreat. The retreat hosted 64 scholars, and 6 coordinators at the Wells Fargo Building in downtown Denver, Colorado. Before heading out to the streets for the Womxn’s March, Kathleen Ferrick the coordinator from Denver University provided a quick overview of the Womxn’s March history and how it has developed into what it has become today. This was followed by Roudy Hildreth, the coordinator at CU Boulder. Roudy discussed how to be an observer rather than one who participates in these types of events, in order to understand and acknowledge numerous viewpoints from the side. After being very well-prepped for the march, scholars laced up their posters with Puksta colors, pamphlets, and matching balloons they were off to spread their passion. Once everyone was back at the Wells Fargo building, an amazing lunch spread by Illegal Petes was served. With sore feet, tired arms, and worn out vocals the scholars lined up to enjoy a taco spread to refuel for the rest of the day ahead. While everyone finished up their meals, Dr. Abbie Beacham, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UC Health and also the speaker for the weekend came to discuss resiliency. During a break between part 1 and part 2 of the Resiliency presentation, scholars participated in the first annual Puksta rock, paper, scissors tournament. After numerous rounds, Marwa Osman, won the award which comprised as a rock, a set of scissors, and a paper with an Amazon gift card taped to it. After the break, part 2 of resiliency presentation resumed and once those who volunteered to share was done, everyone was able to clean up the space and be presented with their hotel key cards for the Hilton down the road. Dinner was later served at Maggiano’s, an Italian restaurant downtown, where seniors presented their skits to the rest of the group and a fireside chat with Puksta Alumni, Travis and Amy Macy. Day two everyone went to breakfast at Hershner Room. After having breakfast, business continued back at the Wells Fargo Building where 5 scholars presented their projects to everyone else. Follow this link to watch the days unfold!
Puksta Scholar and Presidents Award Recipient, Luis Paredes, gave the commencement speech for Metropolitan State University. Luis graduated with a Bachelor’s of Accounting and a Master’s of Professional Accountancy in 5 years. All while working 45 hours a week, buying a home for his mother and father and raising $8,000 in scholarship funds for his Dreamer brothers and sisters. Way to go Luis!!
Click on the video below to hear his story, the power of positive impact, finding your motivation and making the right choices for our communities.
Are you curious enough? This is what one of our Puksta Scholars, Allie Grossberg, asked in relation to the health of your mind and how it relates to your susceptibility to certain degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Click on the video above to learn more about Allie and her Puksta Project.
His story of resilience and perseverance is truly inspiring!
“I used to be very ashamed of my Dreamer status. I know there are students out there who may feel the way I did. I want to show them there’s no reason to,” ~ Luis Paredes
Click here to read more!
Sabrina says Yes on 300
YES on 300 will give thousands of other students like our Puksta Scholar, Sabrina, the opportunity to achieve higher education! Scholarships have transformed Sabrina’s life. That’s why she supports #YESon300.
“A college education can give you that competitive edge, and sometimes a high school education isn’t enough to prosper anymore.”
Sabrina’s Puksta Scholarship has empowered her to help children with disabilities. Her Puksta Project takes grade school students out of their traditional classroom and into the CSU environment and incorporates service animals to practice reading, writing, and speaking skills.
~”The Puksta Foundation has not only enriched me as a student, but they have given me so many opportunities that have mase me a leader and given me those life lessons and experiences that I want to leave my campus with.”
Meet Evan, a Puksta Scholar and a graduate of Poudre High School, who is pursuing a dual degree in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Denver. The Puksta Scholarship he received allows him to pursue his dream of higher education without the financial stresses.
Through the Puksta Scholars Program at DU, Evan has developed a social impact project working on the issue of gender violence, in hopes to deter sexual assaults on college campuses.
Evan wants to work as a youth grief counselor when he graduates from DU. #YESon300 will empower thousands of students like Evan to achieve their dreams and positively impact the Denver Community. Learn more https://www.prosperitydenver.com
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