University of Colorado Denver - 2019
Intern through Conservation Colorado-Protegete
“My name is Jorge Lomas I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and I will be the first person in my family to go to college. I am a Mexican-American student whose family has endured a lot for me to be here today and because of that they have influenced my goals in life to help others better their own life. Some of my family members had to be smuggled into this country like animals to be able to pursue a better life for themselves and to give my sister and I the opportunity to have a simplified future, one that they could unfortunately not find for themselves.
Now that they’re in America all they can ever think about are their blessings, but for some reason, the promise of a better life was one that was selfless and evaded them, as they were not able to find the riches and fortunes that everyone talked about in Mexico. Still, my parents have worked tirelessly to provide for us. Growing up money was tight for my family, we were lucky to have a small two-bedroom apartment in which 8 of us were crammed, it was the whole family. Never once did I struggle with food or clothes; all the simple necessities were provided for me. But what I failed to see as a young boy was that often my mother and father would often go without eating or wearing the same clothes for weeks just so my sister and I would be able to eat and have new, clean clothes. I would often not see my dad for a few days as he had multiple rotating jobs that he would work each day. It was not rare for him to work 18 or 19 hours of the day. With all these stressors that my family had to deal with they never once complained about anything. Instead, my parents had one always encouraged me to be a student and to follow my dreams, no matter how silly they sounded. My parents are my greatest motivators in my life. Their resilience and drive are unmatchable. Looking back now I can see that my family and parents had a lot of stress that they kept to themselves and it has affected their mental health in some ways.
My families past and my experiences are the reasons why I want to work with monolingual, immigrant, refugee and undocumented populations who live in lower socioeconomic status (SES) areas within our state and that are often dealing with undiagnosed mental health issues that living in these environments can cause. I want to raise awareness within the Latino community primarily, and then expand to all the other communities. I want to be able to mentor the population and become an advocate and a resource would allow them to find their “American Dream”. My education has allowed me to obtain knowledge that has opened many opportunities and resources for myself and I think every person deserves to have the same access to these opportunities in their community. With our current presidential administration, it has never been more important to assist the immigrant and monolingual population along with the refugee population, each person is capable of greatness as our country was built by amazing immigrant populations and continues to flourish because of this same reason. Another social justice project that I would like to work on would be emergency management and emergency preparedness.”