GALS High School Graduate (Class of 2021)
Current School: University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, Honors Program
Favorite Part About HighView:
Definitely the workshops. I’ve seen a lot of real-life applications for what we’ve learned and even after HighView, I always refer to those sessions. HighView offered a public speaking workshop that really allowed me to understand my personal strengths and weaknesses as a speaker. So I’m really looking forward to taking those lessons to college and applying them there and expanding my network. Additionally, the career presentations really helped me understand that there’s so much opportunity out there in the business realm. As someone who is pursuing business & entrepreneurship, it’s really important to know about and be able to interact with all of the different departments in the future.
How will HighView prepare you for success in college and beyond?
HighView workshops provided so much advice that was applicable to the real world, particularly learning how to network (and the importance of networking!) I had great mentors who really helped me get through high school. Not only believing in myself and believing in my skills and using that to the best of my ability getting into college, knowing I can use that going into college. As a person of color, as a woman, going into college there’s going to be a lot of that feeling of “Am I right to be here?” and knowing that I have those mentors who supported me and will continue to support me allows me to feel motivated and not afraid of taking those challenges.
Do you have any unique personal circumstances or obstacles that you’ve had to overcome that have motivated you to succeed?
I came to Colorado in 2015 to get more treatment options for my mother who was battling cancer at the time. We didn’t have any place to go, so we were on the streets for a while and then we got into hotels, but we didn’t have a stable home. Aside from that, we were taking care of my mother. During that situation, I was fundraising for her on the streets of downtown Denver. At that point, I realized that I had no idea what I was going to do from there. I was only in middle school, but I saw that there was so much inequality of being of low socioeconomic status, and I could barely even take care of my mother, I hadn’t even thought about college at all. So during that experience while I was fundraising, I had to juggle school, which was a lot to do. Then in high school, things got a lot worse for my mother. I was taking care of her a lot, missing a lot of classes, I wasn’t focused on college at all, or expanding my business network. I was not focused on anything in the future. I was thinking about the now. Unfortunately she passed away at the beginning of junior year. At that point, I was a mess. I was really confused. Fortunately, that was when Nicole and HighView came into the picture. At that point, I was thinking, I have to do something, but I didn’t know where to start. When HighView presented at my school, I thought, this is an amazing program and I have to get involved with this. After filling out the application, I got in and felt not only accomplished but like I could do so much more. After that, I was still taking care of my family but I knew I had to do it for my future, and I have to take this opportunity and run with it. As I was going through the HighView program with my mentors, with workshops, your support, I was doing the best so I could be the best version of myself going into college. I’m fortunate that I came across HighView right after that situation and it was not easy the rest of the 2 years at school getting ready for college. I managed to keep my grades up, graduate with a 4.0 GPA and get accepted into many top universities, including a full ride to University of Southern California (USC). I know that the success that I have today would not in any way be possible without HighView’s support, so thank you for that.
Any advice for students considering the HighView program?
Aside from “just do it because it’s amazing” – think about your future self. I was forced to think about my future much earlier in my childhood. In high school, you’re not thinking about your future as much, but it’s extremely important. Whatever you want to do in the future, you have to have a network, you have to have support. HighView is by far one of the best programs that has done that. I’ve been involved in a lot of programs, but HighView is so hands on and so helpful & so supportive. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Also – take all opportunities that are given to you! Any career workshops, even if they’re optional – go to them. Your mentors are there to help – don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for help. They can connect you to so many great people. Be willing to be open, be yourself, you’ll meet so many incredible people.