Scholar Category: Addiction and Substance Abuse

Cesar Rodriguez

Major: Biology/Pre-nursing

Project: I want to create an art exhibition of art that has been made from people who struggle with all sorts of addictions.

Inspiration: Growing up in a household grappling with the challenges of drug issues has fueled my determination to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Inspired by the lessons learned while supporting my family, I am driven to contribute meaningfully, particularly in light of the ongoing homeless crisis affecting communities across America.

Future Plans: I aspire to enlighten individuals on more effective approaches to address drug addiction, while also shedding light on systemic flaws within the American system. Through education and awareness, I aim to contribute to a broader understanding of these issues and advocate for positive change in our societal structures.

Hyab Tekeste

Major: Business Administration – Concentration in Accounting and International Business

Project: The primary problem that my research aims to address is the complex interplay between acculturation, co-ethnic ties, and their impact on substance use among immigrant students in the United States

Inspiration: I was inspired by personal experience. As an immigrant student myself, I had trouble adjusting to life in the U.S. and turned away from my culture towards some negative influences. I’ve noticed this as a common thing in immigrant students my age and wanted to understand it a little more.

Future Plans: I hope to create more effective support programs in schools and communities so that healthcare providers can be more understanding of the unique challenges immigrant students face.

Lensa Wako

Major: Sociology

Project: Learning how to respond to overdoses, to then continue teaching others.

Inspiration: I have seen a lot of people around me struggle with substance abuse without adequate care. It is not spoken about enough, especially in minority communities.

Future Plans: I hope to see an open dialogue about substance abuse. I want to see those struggling to receive the help they need.

William Trevizo

Major: Music Performance

Project: I don’t have a very specific goal. But with this opportunity I have been given, I will be more than grateful to be able to help somebody in need in any way possible.

Inspiration: I have seen how life-draining it can be to deal with an addiction and how much it affects not only the person but their peers.

Future Goals: Make someone feel like they’re supported like they have someone they can lean on when the world feels empty around them.

Autumn Wilson

Major: Zoology

Project: The project I am pursuing is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, specifically focusing on the Indigenous community that lives in northern Colorado. I will be a mentor and lead community events, and provide a space for Indigenous peoples to come together and heal, give preventative courses and resources, and provide overall support for the Indigenous community.

Inspiration: I am an Indigenous woman who has seen my community members be hurt mentally and physically by others, I have seen little to no coverage of Missing and Murdered Indigenous peoples in the media and news. I think that education is very important, if I can educate the community Indigenous and non-Indigenous about these issues there can be a change.

Future Plans: I hope that I can accomplish educating the community, and provide a safe place where triggering conversations can be held. I hope to teach those around us what actions to take when placed in a harmful situation, to decrease the number of community members that have faced violence.

Tyler “Nikki” Beavers

Major: Social Work

Project: I would like to maintain and expand my non-profit, JWB Recovery, which provides free support, treatment, and field trips for anyone struggling with addiction as well as their friends and family.

Inspiration: I have lost two uncles to addiction and have several other family members who have struggled.

Future Goals: I hope to educate the community and work to de-stigmatize addiction while providing accessible, successful treatment options.

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