Jose “Josie” Duenas

Colorado State University - 2024

Latine and Undocumented Representation in Institutes of Higher Education

Major: Psychology and Computer Science

Project: My Puksta project centers around increasing the representation of Latine/Undocumented youth in institutes of higher education. The journey to college often centers on a one-size-fits-all approach to education which tends to create a sense of exclusivity against Latine and Undocumented youth. I aim to work with local organizations in order to raise awareness on the issue and aid youth populations within Northern Colorado who seeks to attain a college education.

Inspiration: During my time in High School, I have seen the deficits of the education system when it comes to helping my community attain a college education. My journey to college was filled with immense fear and uncertainty as I tried to navigate through a system that was not built to serve me. Furthermore, I have come to realize that my experience is not isolated through my work as an undergraduate research assistant studying the issue at hand within communities in Colorado. This is why it is incredibly important for me to serve as a catalyst towards change surrounding Latine/Undoc. representation in institutes of higher education. The system has disproportionately harmed my community since its inception and it is time to bring change.

Future Goals: Short term, I would like to see Latine/Undoc. individuals within my local community not only become more informed about all the components needed in achieving a college education but actually see the youth begin their journey to college. Alongside this, I would like to raise awareness of the ineffective system that plagues Latine/Undoc. youth within Northern Colorado. As I further progress through my project, I would like to see my community thriving as we aim to build a better life for ourselves and our families through education.