Scholar Category: Miscellaneous

Yoseline “Yosii” Rivera

Major: Sociology with a concentration in criminology and legal study

Project: For my Puksta Project I want to research campus safety on campus. I believe for a student to be successful they have to feel safe on campus, being in an environment that is uncomfortable can take a mental toll on students.

Inspiration: I was inspired to work on this social issue due to my not feeling safe on campus, I then started talking to other students and noticed this wasn’t only affecting me but so many other students. I want my project to not only shed light on my issues but on others as well, I want my voice to be the voice for others as well.

Future Goals: I want to create an app where students have easier access to asking for help with a press of a button. There are a few blue lights on campus but not many students are aware of them, also having it on your phone is easily more accessible. This app will also be able to use discreetly to prioritize the students’ safety without having to call anyone.

Andrea Flores Pereida

Major: Sociology with a Concentration in Criminology

Project: Develop stricter and more organized regulations in my community to reduce the chances of gun violence. Supporting gun violence survivors.

Inspiration: My family was a victim of gun violence and we never got the justice we deserved. Also, we live in a world of uncertainty and fear so it’s important to address the bigger issues that add to that fear.

Future Goals: I want to be a tiny part of the change to make the world a better place in terms of gun violence. I want to help bring a little bit of ease and peace back to people in my communities.

Joel Ibarra

Major: Construction Management

Project: Develop a mentorship program for first-generation students and institutionally minoritized individuals in the Construction Management program at Colorado State University

Inspiration: Inspiration for my Puksta Project came from my personal experience as a first-generation student at Colorado State University and in the Construction Management Department

Future Goals: What I hope to accomplish with my community engagement project is to further expand on Colorado States Universities and the Construction Management Programs’ commitment to offering first-generation students and minority students a diverse and inclusive environment. I hope that with the First Generation Program initiative, first-generation students find a smooth transition into the Construction Management Program

Dulce Olmedo

Major: Biological Science (BA)

Project: My project will be used as a tool to raise awareness on-campus for incidents of bias. As well as market the resources available, such as reporting and support systems. A part of my project is to train Resident Assistants on how to deal with such reports and where to refer students. Another major part of my project is to create an online portion much like the alcohol and sexual assault workshops that are completed by incoming freshmen. My project is a form of intervention meant to inform, and educate. and decrease incidents of bias.

My passion for change and non-conformity is what inspired my project. There are many times when individuals are victims of hate crimes. In many of these cases, they are swept under the rug or when they are addressed nothing else happens besides an apology. On campus, many students do not know there is a reporting system for incidents of bias or how to go about it when they become victims.

Future Plans:
The main goal of my project is to be a form of intervention. I want to be able to educate students specifically incoming freshmen. By doing so they can be aware and conscious of how certain actions and comments are not acceptable as a member of any community.

Samantha Vidal

Projects: Creation of a youth program that focuses on physical activity and mental development.


Inspiration: I have a niece who is 5 years old and a nephew who is 4 years old. My niece is a swimmer. Swimming is not just a sport it helped her gain trust in others, learn skills and persistence. She is tiny and yet she still pushes herself to swim everyday better. She has learned to be patient and to believe in herself. My nephew is a funny little guy. He is not very patient when learning his numbers or something involving his thinking, but when it comes to soccer or some sort of activity he will give you his complete attention. You tell him some rules and he will follow them.


Sara Hagos

Project: In an attempt to create a community in which people can learn more about their roots, I will provide resources and a safe space which encourages both collective cultural and individual growth. I also hope to collaborate with other diaspora projects to emphasize the importance and beauty of being involved culturally.


Inspiration: Coming from a high school with a total minority enrollment of 76 percent has opened my mind to a variety of perspectives that have expanded my intellectual capabilities. Experiencing all of these different cultures took residence in my heart and helped me on my journey of cultural identity. Being an American born Ethiopian had proven to be difficult at times because I had yet to truly be immersed in all aspects of my culture. Eventually, I became quite comfortable within Ethiopian culture, but not without a struggle. Therefore, I want to help other diasporas along with their journey of cultural identity.

Future Plans for Project: I plan on show all individuals, especially diaspora, how important culture can be. I also hope that this acceptance of ones and others cultures can help break past barriers such as xenophobia and provide a safe place to present your culture proudly.


Gelella Nebiyu

Major: Economics and Political Science

Project: My Puksta Project has evolved from the more general desire to address mental health within African Communities to utilizing youth community engagement to bring awareness to mental health. Furthermore, I intend to use an artistic lens to discuss the topic of mental health by using it as a tool and mechanism for the youth within these African communities to better understand their needs and hopefully find a more meaningful way of meeting them. I hope to achieve this by first designing workshops that allow the members of these communities (with a particular focus on youth) to learn more about mental health as well as how to use art as an expressive outlet. My passion for art has intertwined with my passion for mental health and I hope to unite the two as one to offer my community and other African communities a new perspective on mental health and the power of art as an act of self-care and even self-discovery.

Inspiration: After having lost a friend and member of my community to suicide, I realized that the entire situation seemed almost foreign to a number of my friends and family. I want to create awareness within the African community of the reality and the seriousness of mental health as well as the services available that aid in preventing suicide.

Future Plans for Project: I would like to see more African communities open to conversations about mental health and utilizing the services provided that address it.

Tara McMurtry

Project: I am partnering with the Sierra Club and Project VOYCE to produce a series of web videos focusing on Globeville/Elyria-Swansea and the I-70 expansion. The videos will engage with the ways in which these northeast Denver neighborhoods have been isolated, neglected, and abused for over a century, and the ways in which residents still make the neighborhood a vibrant, close-knit community.

Inspiration: I was born and raised in the Highland neighborhood of Denver, though I moved away for college and early adulthood. When I moved back in my early 20s, Denver was on the cusp of the current economic and housing boom, and the boom utterly transformed the neighborhood I grew up in. While I’m happy to see my city and my neighborhood thriving, I feel that the intense growth and development left out the low-income, minority folks who lived in Denver before everyone wanted to live in Denver. The I-70 expansion and the impact it will have on Globeville/Elyria-Swansea is a prominent example of this, and I predict it will transform Globeville/Elyria-Swansea in the same way Highland was transformed: the neighborhoods may look cleaner and safer, but they will also be richer and whiter. Meanwhile, the people who lived in these neighborhoods when they were dirty and dangerous will be pushed farther into the literal margins of the city. I am not anti-growth, but I can’t support growth that leaves out poor people and people of color.

Future Plans for Project:I hope that by showing young people, especially youth who are already looked past because of their skin color or social class standing, that their minds are a powerful tool and if they tell themselves “I can” and out in a little hard work, they can accomplish huge things in life! Maybe I will help to inspire the next president of the US 🙂

Dominica Manlove

Project: ” My project is titled Be Yourself and Own It! it is a campaign designed to defeat the perception of beauty and spotlight the uniqueness in being different and yourself! Society’s ideologies influences us to believe that we are not beautiful in our own skin if we do not fit a criteria. The objective is to promote self love and natural beauty for both men and women from different backgrounds to use. The campaign will be based around curly hair ladies since it is what I am most passionate about although everyone is welcomed to use these tips. The goal is for young women to leave happy, free, and ready to fall in love with their new journey. ”

Inspiration: The perception that beauty is based on appearance alone is false. Being beautiful in appearance is a blessing, however; it’s really the uniqueness in being different, that defines true beauty. In middle school, I was teased about my thick bushy eyebrows and my voluminous, curly hair. I didn’t want to wear my glasses because it wasn’t cool to have, four eyes. I figured, the only way I could be pretty was if I straightened my hair and thinned my eyebrows. Today, I have been able to overcome that and would like to stand up and advocate for those who are going through what I went through.

Future Plans for Project: It’s important that young girls have a respectable role model to look up to. If women come together and support young girls they will grow to love themselves the way God created them. I want to play an active role by engaging with other young ladies. Building diversity, and helping them to learn how to love themselves and embrace their identities is what I hope to accomplish.