Scholar Category: Animals and Environment

Miguel Hernandez

Major: Computer Science

Project: I am considering a way to give accessible and portable wifi, including computers, to students who don’t have access to these commodities. These will help students with school, work, and everyday use.

Inspiration: During high school, I didn’t have my laptop. However, I received a computer from a class program I was in called kidsTek. I did well in the class, even receiving Student of the Year, and for being a good student, they gifted me a laptop, which I still use to this day.

Future Goals: I hope that students will have easy access to technology, which will enhance their educational life- and their life in general. Especially in our modern time, low-income families who don’t have access to technology fall behind in many opportunities. I wish to give them those opportunities.

Guinevere Vigil-Goltermann

Major: Geography- Urban Planning

Project: I will continue working on my free and open-source database in which people can access information about underrepresented topics in mainstream education. These include social and environmental justice topics.

Inspiration: I was inspired by the information I was able to find in my search for “social justice”. I wanted to share this information with others in a free and accessible way.

Future Plans: I hope to make it so people are not as intimidated by the idea of social justice in Denver and beyond. I wanted to make resources easier to find.

Leo Banuelos-Rivera

Major: Construction Management, Minor in Entrepreneurship

Project: Finding a possibility of reusing construction material rather than it just being thrown out. Anything from drywall, and plywood to cabinets, and more, etc. After the material is damaged, just barely or even left over. A lot of times it is thrown out rather than saved or recycled.

Inspiration: I began working construction in September 2021 and was surprised when they’d tell me, “just throw it out”, and it could be material that was still good for a purpose. Maybe not at the time, but eventually it could have been used or rather donated somewhere to be used.

Future Goals: I’d like to reach out to an organization that has begun doing such things already, One I have found in the Denver area is “Perks Deconstruction”, which focuses on salvaging material during demolitions. I’d like to work alongside a group such as theirs to help push the thought of saving material even more.

Zoë Stelzer

Major: Finance

Project:  My goal is to ensure that youth from all backgrounds have equal access to physical and outdoor education. Inspired by the principles instilled in me at the Rocky Mountain School of Expeditionary Learning (RMSEL), which places a strong emphasis on outdoor education, I aim to partner with organizations to expand access to such programs. By collaborating with institutions like RMSEL and advocating for resources, including scholarships and inclusive programming, I strive to make outdoor education more accessible to underserved communities.

Inspiration:  Growing up attending RMSEL, I developed a profound appreciation for the transformative power of outdoor education. From hiking to environmental stewardship, these experiences not only shaped my worldview but also fostered invaluable skills and connections to nature. I am motivated to extend these opportunities to all youth, regardless of their background, ensuring that every child can benefit from the joys and lessons of outdoor education.

Future Goals: My vision involves working closely with organizations and schools, leveraging my financial background to secure funding and support for initiatives that promote equitable access to physical and outdoor education. By advocating for policies and partnerships that prioritize inclusivity and affordability, I aspire to pave the way for a future where every young person has the chance to explore, learn, and grow in the great outdoors.

David Purcella

Project: Teaching and mentoring young disabled students in literacy, and other areas of interest while making them more confident entering their classroom. In addition to teaching and mentoring, I hope to inspire those to further their education and getting a degree.

Inspiration: I am inspired by my history, and how I have previously struggled to learn how to read, write, and speak without facing issues of my own.

Future Plans for Project: I hope that I impact the young students I help, and that they see a positive change in their way of reading, writing, and speaking.