Scholar Category: Technology

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.

Aaron Staten

Major: Entrepreneurship (Business School)

Project: Free (wireless) internet for impoverished students and those on EBT/Medicaid.

Inspiration: I hacked video games at the age of 8 (1997) and am very knowledgeable about anything dealing with computers and networking. I founded my own computer repair business around the age of 15 that is still in operation, going on for 2 decades. This project won’t take much funding other than equipment costs. I have friends in the South who can professionally climb towers and set everything up.

Future Goals: Providing resources for those who can’t afford internet, even with the ACP program which takes $30 off any eligible internet service provider. I’ve run out of internet on my phone and had to pay more, so I can imagine how much more it impacts those even less unfortunate than I am. This will include home and mobile internet, so one can stream videos on khan, YouTube, or any medium and never worry about at least one resource needed for a proper education.


Zoe Grisez

Major: English (with a concentration on creative writing)

Project: I am working to further disability inclusion in the media (TV shows, movies, advertisements, etc.). It is rare that there ever is a disabled character featured in the media, and when they are, they are often depicted as a source of inspiration to make the main characters feel better about their lives. I would like to change that stigma and increase the thought that disabled characters could be a love interest, funny side characters, or really anything!

Inspiration: As I went through the college application process and toured the universities, they all had a point during their presentation where they bragged about how diverse they were. There would be PowerPoint slides showing their diversity, emphasizing on the different races and ethnicities on campus. But there was never a disabled student. As everyone else would nod in agreement that, yes this is a diverse campus, I would shake my head as I never saw someone who looked like me. So I would like to try to encourage FULL diversity and do so through the media.

Future Plans: I hope to increase the number of disabled characters depicted in TV shows and movies. I think it is very important that all minorities are represented so that younger generations can learn more. As younger generations are exposed more and more to different people, they are less likely to think of them as different and more likely to just think of them as people.

Betelhem “Betty” Tewodros

Major: Computer Science

Project: This year I plan on working with the Denver Police Department and a body cam company to prevent Police brutality. When police wear body cams, their actions are, and their power put in check. Which is already being implemented; however, many underfunded police departments can’t afford to buy cams and so don’t have the same amount of responsibility, which often can result in unchecked police brutality. Some police officers have figured out that you can turn off cameras and tamper with the evidence so they can get away with certain crimes they might have committed. To solve this issue, I propose the creation of an independent third party monitoring group entirely funded by tax money. This group would monitor police activity and conduct and vet their operations every week. My multi-year plan is to support and gather taxpayer money.

Inspiration: Seeing all the brutality on TV and the Police brutality seems to be on those who come from a low-income background which I am and minority families suffer under the oppression of the powerful in our society.

Future Plans: I hope to be able to get a body cam that is controlled by a company so the cops won’t be able to turn it off or delete evidence for the safety of the civilians and also minorites who are most likely targets of police brutality.

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.

Shaunice Dedner

Project: Teach teen girls about the importance of digital responsibility to help them make better decisions online.


Inspiration: As someone who grew up in the digital age, I noticed the alarming rate at which young ladies are often lured away from their home by someone they met online.


Future Plans for Project: Prevent young women from becoming victims of sex trafficking and other forms of violence.


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 🙂