At the Elevations Foundation, we are proud to have supported young people from the region with scholarships for over 10 years. We value keeping in touch with our scholars and seeing where their journey takes them. We recently met one of our scholars, Jacqueline Rodriguez Mora. Leaving Jacky, Jacqueline graduated from Fort Collins High School in 2017 and received an AvID grant from the Elevations Foundation in association with the Poudre School District. She is attending CU Boulder and expects to graduate in 2022.
Jacky’s plan, originally slated for this year, was adjusted as she focused on her passions at CU Boulder. She switched her major to chemistry and biotechnology and added two minor subjects: biomedical engineering and engineering management.
Prepare for college
In preparation for college, Jacky says, “I’m a first generation student, so going to college was a challenge. My mother went to high school, but my father didn’t. He has been working since he was eight. My sister and I were brought to the United States when we were around five years old. That was a challenge in itself, just learning English.
“So in school I focused on making college a reality. I’ve attended many AP courses and my Elevations Foundation scholarship was part of the Avid program. I came to Avid because I wanted to learn more about college. This program prepares you for college, which helped me a lot during my time at CU Boulder. ”
Jacky was on the Avid program in high school for three years. AVID is a non-profit college prep program for K-16 students designed to help prepare for college, career, and life. “I really appreciate this program when it comes to preparing for college. I didn’t know what college was like at all. I mean, I lived in Fort Collins and the CSU was right across the street, but I still didn’t know what college was like, ”says Jacky.
After preparing so much for college, there was a big decision she had to make in her senior year: where would she go? Jacky decided between participating in the CSU or the CU Boulder. CU was her first choice because of the school’s prestigious engineering program and the research opportunities available.
“For me as a first-generation student, funding the college was a big decision,” explains Jacky. “I started applying for scholarships and the Elevations Foundation scholarship was one of the factors that allowed me to fund my first choice to go to where I really wanted to be at CU.”
The engineering program at CU isn’t easy, and a first-generation student can also present their own unique challenges – like feeling out of place. Jacky has learned a lot since her first year. “What helped was finding support groups on campus with people like me,” says Jacky. “The Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers was great because I was able to help younger freshmen, host networking events, and provide advice.”
Academic pressures can feel overwhelming too. Jacky didn’t let mistakes or challenges like a bad grade on an exam put her off course. She remembered her long-term goals and moved on. “The most satisfying part of college is my research experience. It allowed me to see what the graduate school might look like. I’ve gained so much practical experience, ”says Jacky.
Still unsure of what career path to pursue, Jacky weighs attending medical school versus working in research and development. “In 10 years I want to become a pediatrician and work in third world countries because I know that the health systems in these countries are not the best,” says Jacky. “I would go back to Mexico, open my office, help out as much as possible, and have days with free appointments where people just come in. I would also go to countries where people need medical care and don’t have access to it. ”
She is also passionate about drug research and development, including finding more effective drugs and technologies to cure diseases such as cancer and HIV.
Jacky still has time to choose her way forward while at CU and we are very honored to be part of her journey with the Elevations Foundation.
The Elevations Foundation has provided over $ 500,000 in scholarships since 2010 to support students in our community. Learn more about Elevations Foundation Scholarships and please consider Donate to our scholarship program This is how we can continue to make college a reality for promising young people like Jacqueline Rodriguez Mora.