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Bridging the Gap: Connecting Resources to Underserved Schools

When I first entered as a Puksta Scholar my freshman year, I was interested in tackling the subject of mental health amongst immigrant communities. However, after spending a year working for the Denver Workforce Center as an intern, I became aware of a different need within my community. Growing up I attended a K-8 school which served many people from lower to middle income groups. However, I attended high school in a much more affluent area. This made me aware of the differences, not only in the quality of education, but in the way in which students are connected to potential opportunities and resources to better their future.

I only became aware of some of the opportunities and resources available to middle and high school students after my time with the city. Job fairs, mentorship, and internship opportunities as well as summer tech camps with full scholarships and free laptops. These are tools that would have been extremely helpful to me while I was attending my previous K-8 school.

Students shouldn’t feel like they can’t succeed because of their economic background. And by simply exposing students from these underserved schools to the very resources intended to support them, they may find that they are capable of more than they thought. These tools are intended to equip the youth with the tools they need to meet their future career goals and find a job they truly like and are passionate about.

I am in the process of establishing a connection with my former supervisor and colleagues with the city and plan on reaching out to my old school as well (as a starting point). My goal is to host talks that share what kinds of resources are available, particularly for students about to enter high school as this could give them a strong advantage when applying for college and jobs in the future. I experienced several delays and disruptions due to the COVID pandemic but hope to move forward as circumstances continue to improve.