The Pueblo Community College Foundation is so important, to not only the Pueblo Community College, but to the community. As a past volunteer I have had the opportunity to witness the extensive altruism of those involved, a template for the community of selflessness and dedication to a cause. I have learned to "Pay it forward" as well as the rewards involved in giving to others. I have become a strong advocate of higher Education learned from my involvement with the Foundation. One of the major highlights of my college experience was selection as a Student Speaker for the Pueblo Community College Foundation Donor Appreciation dinner. It was a true honor to address so many that have done so much for the advancement of education by providing students with support for their academic dreams. It showed me the importance of support for the community.
As a former scholar I have experienced firsthand what a difference their help can make in a pursuit of an education. The housing market went south about the same time I fell in love with the woman of my dreams. Construction opportunities changed for me; I soon learned that some facets of construction are limited by age. The physical aspect of working an entry level job was really not an option. Then my fiancée encouraged me to look beyond what I was used to and try to discover a new beginning. Her encouragement led me to Pueblo Community College (PCC) and enrollment in the 2012 -2013 school year and a decision to immerse myself in the college experience and go full time by cutting expenses and establishing a new lifestyle. Thus, my fiancé and I suspended our plans to marry until I graduated; we tightened our belts and jumped feet first. From the first day of classes I rode my bicycle from Pueblo West to PCC, a sixteen-mile trip one way; a ride I made every day for two years, back and forth, in all types of weather: record heat over 100 degrees, wind, rain, smoke as well as temperatures cold enough to freeze the water in my bottle. My tenacity came from knowing that this is a commitment that had the support of not only my fiancé and myself, but with the financial assistance of a scholarship, it showed me that there were people in the community who shared and supported my dream. Support that helped me to keep my goal in sight and with endless encouragement, I carried on.
Finally as a former student work/study for the foundation I had the opportunity to see how their help can affect the lives of students. Be it a scholarship to help a young mother to afford daycare or financial assistance to afford gas to attend school. I witnessed what is the best in people by meeting both donors and scholars and how a community can come together to help each other grow. I learned we need people to lead by example and I strived continually to do so, graduating from Pueblo Community College with an Associate of General Studies degree in Computer Information Systems and a 3.83 GPA. I am a non-traditional student at the age of 54, yet I am so proud to see how I have influenced those around me. I will be graduating to Colorado State University-Pueblo this spring in Computer Information Systems with every intention of working as a Computer Systems Analyst in the future. Accomplishing this will be testament to the American dream, demonstrating by example that it is alive and well; proving that with hard work and dedication dreams can still come true.
The Pueblo Community College Foundation allowed me to focus on my goal of a degree and to take classes that enhanced that goal. I was able to obtain the resources I needed to succeed and to make a dream come true.