College Summit is looking for Writing Coaches this summer! The positions are filling up fast so sign up today! In order to volunteer, you will need to create your profile and register for the Colorado workshop(s). Click here to sign up as a Writing Coach. Summer Workshop Dates are:
Volunteer Profile: Jose Guardiola
Jose, College Summit Colorado Writing Coach, is featured on our “Summer Viewing Series” See video
Jose’s story was created by Jesse Ramirez, Project Manager of Site Services at College Summit. Jesse says “I chose to highlight my best friend, Jose Guardiola in my digital because he was the first volunteer I recruited in Colorado. I have known Jose for over 10 years and have witnessed his fall and rise to success. I have also had the opportunity to watch Jose as a Writing Coach the past two summers and there is just something special about his ability to connect with our students. His past helps connect our students to their futures in a way that is powerful and inspirational. In many ways Jose is still on the same journey like our students, the journey to make their dreams come true. I am just proud and honored to be a part of their stories.”
Blanca Trejo: College Summit Alumna and Volunteer Profile
High School: West High School (Denver Public Schools)
Workshop Attended: University of Denver, 2004
College Summit Volunteer Role: Alumni Leader and Writing Coach
University Attended: University of Denver (DU) with a triple major in International Business, Political Science, and Spanish
Scholarships Received: Boettcher Scholarship, Gates Scholarships, and Puksta Scholarship
Next Steps After College: I graduated from DU in June 2010. I just moved to DC and am currently looking for an organizing job before applying to graduate school. I plan on getting my EdD within the next five-six years.
Community Engagement Experiences: I began community organizing as a sophomore at West High School. We helped organize both small and large projects, ranging from cleaning bathrooms to helping undocumented students get into college to healthcare reform to education reform. We also worked on a lawsuit against the Colorado Department of Education.
While at DU, the Center for Community Engagement and Learning Center was created and I helped with community organizing trainings for middle school, high school, and college students as well as trainings for adults, parents, schools, and churches. I have done community organizing with Metro Organizations for People (MOP), Denver Housing Authority, and The Denver Foundation. I also helped start the first Latina Sorority at DU, Pi Lambda Chi Sorority, Inc. in the Spring of 2006.
Why do you do community organizing and volunteer? Community organizing is something in my future. Educating people is a passion of mine, especially for our youth. It’s important to encourage them to realize their own potential to change their future.
There is a misconception that youth don't care about education or their community. It's not that we don't care, it hurts to care and be disappointed all of the time. Youth can began to realize they are not alone and there are ways of changing, which can help students become self-motivated.
Experience with College Summit as a Peer Leader: What I remember about College Summit is the stories we got to share with each other. Sharing the stories at College Summit began to help us realize we have a voice. We are not alone in our struggle with our family and our communities. I knew that we had volunteers that really cared about us.
College Summit gives the tools to teach other students. I enjoy working with organizations like College Summit to educate our future generation. We hear that we are the leaders of tomorrow. We are the leaders of today. I am first to graduate from college and my brother will be second. It makes me proud to see him go to college.
Volunteer Experiences with College Summit: As an Alumni Leader, I spent time with students and got to know them personally. I got to work with students that were undocumented. I was frustrated because I was not able to give them the same list of scholarships [that I applied for] because of their immigration status. Despite that obstacle, they still had a desire to go to college. They had the same drive and motivation to succeed. That struck me as an Alumni Leader.
As a Writing Coach I helped students share their stories. They voiced who they are and what makes them who they are. I wanted to be their advocate, but I had to step back and allow them to be self-advocates.
The students were so eager to write. That was a good experience to not have to force students to share their stories. I was in their [students] position and wanted to come back and share my experience with them and help them grow. It was a humbling experience.
Advice do you have for College Summit students? Allow yourself to be coached, give permission to others. It's scary. I encourage you to open up to someone you are comfortable with and ask for help and coaching. Build your networks.
Volunteer Profile: Paul Mesard
Role with College Summit Colorado: Board Chair, Fund Development Committee and Volunteer
Volunteer with College Summit: Writing Coach at Summer Workshops, 2009 and 2010
Alma Mater: University of Colorado
Profession: Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
How did you get involved in College Summit? I began to volunteer with College Summit in 2002. Education was an area of interest and I wanted to expand my volunteer opportunities. In 2002, I helped the organization fundraise and made low-key asks to my network. I joined the board in 2007 and I began volunteering as a Writing Coach in 2009.
Why do you volunteer? I enjoy working with young people who try to better themselves. I’ve met phenomenal people through College Summit. Employees of College Summit are incredibly dedicated to the mission.
First experience volunteering: I was six years old and spent time with my Grandmother in Brooklyn, NY. We took a bus to her friend’s house. Her friend was blind and my Grandmother cooked and cleaned her apartment for four hours. I come from a strong legacy of volunteerism in my family. My mother was a very active volunteer along with my aunt.
What is your role as Board Chair? I help fundraise and help identify and nurture development opportunities. I work closely with College Summit and board members to oversee school program implementation, to drive philanthropic efforts, and to provide strategic advice for College Summit working with new school partners. I also host or co-host events to help raise money for the region.
General advice for board members? It’s important to be committed to an organization and make a contribution. You will make a difference. Be sure to keep an open-mind and be ready to learn from youth who have unbelievable stories!
Fun facts: Colorado native, Grandfather of James (a superstar)
Also Volunteers With: Treasurer of Orlando’s Way, Finance Committee member at Metro Volunteers, Finance Committee member at Mental Health America of Colorado, Capital Campaign member at Denver Hospice, Capital Campaign member at Gay & Lesbian Fund of Colorado, Former board member at Colorado AIDS Project
You can help ensure that a low-income youth who could make it in college, makes it to college!
By sponsoring a student, you will empower a high potential youth with the tools, information, role models and support to make it to college. Your sponsorship allows a student to participate in a college immersion summer workshop, provides a year-long curriculum and support to a student during their senior year, equips a student to be an influential leader among peers and supplies a student to connect with colleges.
Please consider shining a light on a low-income high potential youth in Metro Denver! We hope that you will support us in our critical work by making a donation today!
For more information or to donate, please contact Sara Spanier at (303) 832-7174 or at sspanier(at)collegesummit.org
Don Cheadle College Summit Founding Spokesman
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