Puksta Scholar Spotlight: Duvia Ortega

Children are important to Duvia and she’s working to make their lives better. Having received help and support from her teachers, as a child, Duvia is endeavoring to return the favor by creating awareness of the promise of university education to elementary students, especially for DACA kids. Keep up the good work Duvia! Not only is MSU happy to have your hard work and passion in their court, Puksta is even more overjoyed that you are on our team. Great work and keep it up!


Puksta Scholar Spotlight: Jessica Rangel

Jessica has a history of getting involved. From holiday volunteering with her family at soup kitchens to working on immigration reform, she has never shied away from getting down in the trenches and creating change. This DU student knows how hard life can be and is not only concerned with getting people through the day but also getting many more a new life. Far more than filling a stomach with a nourishing bowl of soup, Jessica’s humble efforts and hard work promise to ease troubled brows and create hope which is why Puksta is proud to have her within our family. We have every confidence that she’ll keep making lives better and continue clearing a path to a happier life for so many!


Puksta Self-Care: Some Sound Thoughts on Getting Enough “Shut-Eye”

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The semester can be stressful.  Especially when you’re a Puksta, there often seems to be not enough time to fit studies, life, and work all into a week.  Though all of these elements are important, there is one thing that is critical to them all, but we often sacrifice to unhealthy levels: sleep.  Getting enough “shut-eye” might seem simple for some, but for many striving for academic perfection, sleep is often sacrificed or outright neglected so that we can study a little harder, play a little louder, and work a whole lot longer.

A number of negative effects have been attributed to those who get a lack of sleep.  From obesity to depression, loss of memory to sickness, a number of negative effects have long been attributed to not enough hours spent in dreamland.    Many sources recommend at least 7 hours of restful sleep for teens and young adults, so try to at least plan that many hours into your schedule.  If 7 hours at night doesn’t seem possible, try to fit a nap into your day to make up for the lost hours, but try not to make this a habit. 

Other tips for getting more sleep:

-Have an established sleeping schedule during the week!  Sure, the weekends are a good time to have some fun into the night but try to keep those weekdays on a regular schedule.  Your body will develop a rhythm that will benefit you in the long run.

-Try to reign in the extra hours at work.  Sure, we all have to pay the bills, but getting sick will likely cost you more money than you’d make by picking up that extra shift.  Keep this in mind when considering extra work.

-A sleep mask and earplugs (or noise-canceling headphones) can be perfect for creating a calm, dark, and restful inner-space for slumber even when the neighbors or roommates are noisy long into the night.

For more tips and information, check out the National Sleep Foundation: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/support/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need


Puksta Scholar Spotlight: Sophia Rosie Contino

Sophia’s work is inspired by those very close to her heart. Drawing from her experiences with her brother, she is working to promote sexual education amongst those with developmental and physical disabilities. Discovering these individuals are usually poorly educated on the subject and are often unaware when they’ve been victimized, she’s vowed to continue educating herself on the subject while striving to increase awareness and help empower those whom this often ignored reality afflicts. Your heart has led you to Puksta Sophia and we’ll be there to support your great work. We have big hopes for you and are proud of your efforts!


Puksta Scholar Spotlight: Mateo Manuel Vela

Artist and Puksta scholar, Mateo is making big plans in the time ahead. Already a proud member of the Denver youth slam poetry team Minor Disturbance “No Bedtime!”, Mateo is planning to flex his artistic muscles by working to bring arts activities back into Denver public schools. Starting with working to create a student writing retreat, he hopes to grow from there and provide artistic avenues particularly for students of color. In addition to providing a means of self-expression, Mateo is thinking of also offering some mentorship assistance for those seeking it. Puksta has your back and is looking forward to seeing you make a difference for so many. Keep up the good work!


Class of 2019 Puksta Alumni Spotlight: Jorge Lomas

Hard work and persistence are nothing new to Jorge. From working with FEMA in the flood-ravaged city of Baton Rouge to assisting with the daily struggles of those who have come to this country to experience “the American dream”, he has repeatedly shown himself a person who is unafraid to get his hands dirty for a good cause. Mindful of the struggles and sacrifices his parents endured to allow him his opportunities, Jorge endeavors to pass their goodwill forward by both participating in public assistance programs and working individually with those who often find a monolingual existence too great an obstacle in achieving their prosperity in America. His efforts will continue past CU Denver as he continues his work as an Immigration Paralegal at Mercy Legal Aid Clinic and assists these populations in achieving computer literacy, particularly in regards to emergency aid response. Your prior good works and great future promise have not gone unnoticed Jorge and Puksta celebrates you!


Class of 2019 Puksta Alumni Spotlight: Chelsea Situmeang

Guided by the optimistic hopes of her parents, Chelsea was a first-generation student who found her footing in service by addressing issues concerning body positivity within Asian American and Pacific Islander women. Hearing the call of public health and ethnic studies, she worked on a video series intended to help and empower AAPI women while focusing her sights on which graduate path she would pursue. Chelsea, a CU Denver grad, was and continues to be a shining light of pride for both her parents and The Puksta Foundation. There is no boundary to the light you promise to spread upon this world Chelsea and we look forward to the illumination that you will bring to so many in need. Congratulations!


Class of 2019 Puksta Alumni Spotlight: Anarely Marquez-Gomez

Seeing others achieve their full potential has been a major area of focus for Anarely. Often confronted with seeing the aspirations of the hopefull dashed by injustice, this CU Boulder grad strove to amend these ills through self-discovery and by working within the Created Raices organization. In addition, she worked to eliminate the “lives of fear” of her fellow dreamers by collaborating with groups such as AILA and assisting with legal workshops intended to address many of the concerns that have arisen from the increasingly abrasive interactions that have been occurring between ICE agencies and migrants. With her work and determination, there is a certainty that more will truly realize their full potential. Congratulations Anerely!


Class of 2019 Puksta Alumni Spotlight: Ciera Blehm

Collaboration has been key for this DU grad. In her effort to fight against and raise awareness about sexual assault, she left no path untrodden in her quest. From working with social justice organizations to engaging and working with individuals from diverse backgrounds, Ciera harnessed these experiences and the unique talents of those she collaborated with to focus her energies in creating the Into The Light awareness event. She intends to continue with her work by further enhancing her civic identity and striving to eliminate the darkness of sexual assault from her community. Excellent work Ciera!


Class of 2019 Puksta Alumni Spotlight: Gaby Solano-Serno

Often reflecting upon the numerous obstacles and struggles of her own family’s pursuit of prosperity, Gaby is a CU Boulder grad intent on making healthcare more accessible and more abundant for migrant and undocumented populations within this nation. Working to achieve care access equality, especially within the currently conflictive political environment, she strove to work with individuals as well as non-profits that advocated healthcare education to those who are often barred access or were severely restricted because of their socio-economic and/or citizenship status. Through her undergraduate years, Gaby developed a passion that she intends to bring to many in the years ahead. Wellness is something that the world is so desperately in need of and we are certain that you will offer a great abundance of year energy and experience to help make good health a reality for so many who might otherwise not have. Excellent work and wishes for a most productive and prosperous future Gaby!