• Community Engagement & Leadership Experience:

    Leadership is about being yourself, setting example, and with love, sharing what you have to offer and pulling people up with you in the process.

  • Founder/Project Lead of Homelessness Advisory Team

               

    One of my favorite groups that I was involved in was the Grand Challenges Program. I was involved two ways: (1) in being a Founding Member of a $94.3K grant-funded Crime & Safety Prevention Collective Impact Cohort and (2) in founding a two-time grant supported homelessness project my freshman year. The latter went from a 10-week project to two-years of meaningful involvement. I had the chance to reflect on this experience as one of four Colorado finalists for the Harry S Truman Scholarship in 2021. Because I find my reflections most deep in the aftermath, I preserve this piece here, speaking to our work during Covid-19. I also provide a copy of one of reports, a Tri-Cities PESTEL (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Legal Environmental) for the City of Littleton, Sheridan, and Englewood, and the Keynote from the 2020 University of Denver Research & Scholarship Showcase. I also enjoyed sharing how we can humanize homelessness with the University of Denver Newsroom, the Grand Challenges Public Goods Newsletter, and PBS

     

    In February 2019, I founded a project to help those experiencing homelessness and so, as COVID-19 unfolded in March 2020, my brain burst. Stay at Home: How About Those Without One? I was anxious that my friends without homes were unable to physically distance, as I had to do. Our six-person team was now separated by four time zones. And, while the plan we had in motion to collect stories to humanize those experiencing homelessness was no longer the priority, our partners could later use the groundwork. Rallying the team for what could have been a final Zoom, I was excited to discover that the group’s consensus was that we had a unique duty to help. I facilitated a discussion on how our project could evolve and prepared a letter to a $8,500 grant funder. After consulting with our primary stakeholders, the City of Englewood Mayor and the Change the Trend Network Leader, I used the skills I had learned as a researcher to train my group to produce in two-weeks a COVID-19 Best Practices Report. The report contained practical and creative insights on shelter, city, county, and state policy, nonprofit outreach, and emergency resources, from analyzing efforts in all 50 states. I distributed the report widely to the Tri-County Health Department, State officials, and to over 30 stakeholders we knew well. Hearing of its use by Englewood’s Incident Command and of resource additions to the City and network websites we developed in Spring 2019, this was a rewarding experience. Service energizes me to wake up daily, and it keeps me up at night wondering what more I can do. I did not lead the team perfectly, but over tears, jokes, and only one printer nightmare, we persisted and remained committed to community-driven improvement. Because of the report’s value, in Summer 2020, a teammate and I were invited to co-lead a Tri-City Environmental Analysis that informed regional planning. I also created a drive that collected and distributed 5,085 face masks to meet a need, we realized.

  • Pioneer Leadership Program

    Being involved in the Pioneer Leadership Program (PLP) has shaped how I approach community-engaged work. A successful community initative is one that is created not only for, but also with, and alongside the community. Through the program, I enjoyed pursuing a leadership studies minor, partaking in leadership trainings, and living in a living and learning community freshman year. This program provided a strong community when initially joining DU that I could then branch out from him. Through PLP, I was able to freshman year, be a volunteer  at Asbury Elementary in the Special Education Room and initiate with a team a Suicide Prevention Campus project, two things which was particularly near to my my heart. For the latter, it included successfully adding a Health and Counseling Center link to the PioneerMobile app, giving website feedback, and reviewing a training that every campus leader has to complete. I also was able to serve two-years on the program's Scholars Board, planning events to foster a sense of community, reviewing student applications for the program, and leading a book club founding, 2020 election initatives, and a mentorship program that involved over 140 students in the program. PLP was a development accelerator, encouraging me to reflect internally on past and current leadership experiences and on my own leadership style. For instance, I learned how I as someone who is more introverted than extroverted can lead and that anyone at any age can be a leader and lift ocmmunities. I also realized that while I was doing a great job on challenging the process, one area I could grow in was to encourage the heart. I gained concrete ideas on how to show appreciation, and I try to be super intentional about this element, with colleagues and in teams I lead, such as now at the Pardee Center for International Futures. Overall, PLP provided rewarding opportunities to give back to the Denver and DU community, which was fundamental to my decision to enroll at DU in the first place. I share one example of a deep personal reflection from my time as a volunter Asbury Elementary

  • Boettcher Foundation

    Being a Boettcher Scholar has changed my life. It allowed me to come to the University of Denver, with the funding to pursue my passions, not only in undergrad but also in grad school. In my Boettcher Foundation interview one of the questions they asked me was: "Would my identity change if my sister [Paula Pulido, a 2016 Scholar at CU Boulder] won it, and you didn't?" I remember talking about how Paula and I are similar and different and every success and disappointment was a family one. Remembering the question -- haha -- I remember going, "Ahh. That's a hard question. Would my identity change if my sister won it, and I didn't? No, but I can honestly think there's no community I would rather be a part of because I believe in the Boettcher Foundation's mission and the organizations I have been a part of in the Denver community, and I want to be an ambassador of the Foundation in the future." Having had the chance to share my ideas on how we can help others on various fellowships - won and lost -- and conversations, I believe these scholarships are a part luck, they help you find your inner boldness, your story, and reflect on where you are going. I put myself authentically out there the best I can to, as part of doing whatever I can to help others. That mindset is why I keep putting myself out there, again and again, and was part of why I was excited for my peer allies, rather than disappointed when I did not advance from finalist to scholar status with the Truman Foundation. I am lucky to have a great Boettcher Foundation class, who often hosts the coolest class events, and close friends from DU scholars across years, other schools, and alumni. For instance, I got a friend together during Covid, and we were able to have blast in hosting trivia competitions to keep connection alive for various leadership programs. As DU's representative to the Boettcher Foundation's Scholar's Committee since July 2019, I am glad I can play a small role in connecting scholars and alumni to foster a sense of community and carry on the Boettcher Foundation's deep committment of service, among scholars and in the broader Denver community. 

This portfolio last updated: 22-May-2022 11:26 PM