Scholar Category: Education

Gerson Rojas Flores

Major: Journalism

Project: Make a documentary to showcase the struggles that first-generation and undocumented students are faced with when going to college

Inspiration: Family

Future Plans: I hope to increase the support CSU gives its first generations and undocumented students.

Nina Patterson

Major: Business

Project: My idea right now is trying to figure out a way to educate families and students specifically POCs on AP and concurrent enrollment classes. In order to increase the number of POCs that choose to further their education in college and how these classes can help them with that.

Inspiration: Growing up I had always chosen to take AP/Honors courses and in all those years I was usually one of the only POC in my classes and I didn’t notice it until about my senior year. And most of my peers didn’t take them because they were scared away by them being harder and counselors telling them that the regular classes would be easier for them. When in all reality they were not educated on the classes and how they could help them in the future.

Future Goals: I want to show POC students that they are worthy and just as capable as any other students to take those advanced courses and succeed in them. And I want families to have more education on the classes that their children are taking and the impact that they have on their futures.

Victor Delgado

Major: Physics
Minor: Mathematics

Project: Find ways to fund tutoring and after-school programs. Find ways to get students of color to help in tutoring other students of color.

Inspirations: All of my professors are white, and I wouldn’t be able to take physics in Boulder due to the fact that I have no money for that kind of education.

Future Goals: Get more students of color to apply for STEM positions. Find a way to help our society in a different way.

Keith Price

Major: Entrepreneurship

Project: I want to help present the idea of financial wellness to young individuals from marginalized communities at an early age.

Inspiration: I realized that there was a need for financial literacy among urban youth when I read a study for a class that showed African Americans are one of the most underbanked groups.

Future Goals: I want to empower young people to participate and benefit from being involved in the financial market. To build generational wealth.

Jonathan Hardwick

Major: Psychology

Project: I want to provide an educational foundation as well as job preparation for the community by developing a mutual aid with volunteer teachers and career counselors. I would like to develop this program so it could be made available to vulnerable populations such as formerly or presently incarcerated individuals. If possible, I would also like to get the program approved as a sentencing diversion program making it an alternative to traditional criminal sentencing.

Inspiration: I was inspired to pursue this when I took an introductory class in forensic psychology, which taught me the correlation between education and crime as well as the immense racial and mental health disparities in the criminal justice system. These issues quickly became important to me because I felt that I could help change them with the career I am pursuing within the criminal justice field.

Future Goals: I hope to create more free education opportunities for people that have been negatively impacted by the criminal justice system and other racially inequitable systems.

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: I would like to pursue working with internationally adopted children. Typically, these children are underrepresented and lack knowledge about their culture and birth countries. Partnering with organizations like CCAI can give access to more resources such as heritage tours. I also want to work towards making these programs more affordable.

Inspiration: Growing up, I was very privileged to be able to attend cultural classes, mandarin lessons, and even go on a heritage tour in China. While these are not affordable and in recent years have started to go away, I think they are very important for young children and I want to share the same opportunities I had with others.

Future Goals: I would like to partner with CCAI and get the heritage tours back up and running. I think I can help bridge that translation and cultural divide with American parents and internationally adopted children. I think working towards making these more well-known and affordable would be a great start in my Puksta journey.

Rediet Ayanaw

Major: Computer Science

Project: My Puksta Project is about supporting those in lower-income areas who do not have the same access to resources and education as those in higher-income areas. Raising awareness of how little access these lower-income neighborhoods have is a great way to spread the knowledge to people who aren’t aware and want to help. What I imagine is either building websites that have collected data on many different types of resources or getting together with a team to build an after-school program for those in lower-income areas.

Inspiration: What inspired me was seeing how different someone else’s life is because of circumstances they cannot change. I would like to see everyone given the chance to succeed in a way where people aren’t already set up to fail.

Future Goals: With my community engagement work, I hope to see more students of color or students who want to be given a chance, in higher education. Also, I hope to see more students venturing out into career fields they never thought existed.

Mariajose Baca 

Major: Business

Project: Bringing awareness to the lack of opportunity students with disabilities have to attend college.

Inspiration: My family has inspired me and continues to inspire me to choose this Puksta Project

Future Goals: I would like colleges and universities to understand how important this issue is.

Cristal de la Torre

Major: Marketing

Project: Since I am a first-year student I haven’t started my plan yet but my idea is that I will educate high school and college students about how to navigate their finances and prepare for the future.

Inspiration: My friends and people around me because many people aren’t financially literate and I am very passionate about financial literacy and I think it would be amazing to educate those around me.

Future Goals: I hope that people will learn more about their personal finances and how to keep growing their wealth.