Growing up in a working class family, I learned early the value of hard work and perseverance.
Neither of my parents attended college, but they raised four children off the construction business they built themselves. I watched my dad swing a hammer every day until he fell asleep on the couch in exhaustion while my mom ran the books and tended to me and my brothers. When I graduated from high school, I knew I’d have to embody that same grit and determination to earn my degree and build my own future.
CU-Boulder gave me that opportunity. I am a proud alum and product of the CU system I now want to serve. In order to attend college, I had to cobble together private loans, Federal Pell grants, and work-study to pay my way. Thankfully, the work-study program allowed me to gain work experience at the University of Colorado Environmental Center where I ran the student chapter of the Rainforest Action Network. I’ll never forget how proud my parents were on the day I graduated – the first in my family – cum laude in geography.
“I will develop forward-looking solutions to funding issues, campus safety, access to college opportunities for ALL, and providing a diverse, enriching higher education system that gives our kids the foundation for any future they dream up.”
After I graduated, I worked as an organizer on Congresswoman DeGette’s first campaign then moved to Washington, D.C. to work on fair trade issues. That experience gave me the desire to pursue my law degree and take my professional pedigree to the next level.
During law school, I worked for the ACLU, Earth Justice and served on the board of the Public Interest Law Group. As a young attorney, I served on the Board of Directors of Colorado Common Cause and built a law practice specializing in non-profit, public policy and government relations. I was eventually recruited to launch a nonprofit government watchdog group called Colorado Ethics Watch and later went on to serve as General Counsel for the Public Interest Network and Environment America.
Along the way, I became a mom and with that, I developed a deeply rooted resolve to provide them with the best possible opportunities — a future like the one I built for myself from the first day I walked on to the CU campus.
Sadly, their futures are now threatened by the systematic rollback of protections for women and LBGTQ students, loan forgiveness programs for students pursuing public interest jobs, and federal research grants that offset state funding cuts. These rollbacks make it easier for predatory, private institutions to exploit hardworking students and their families.
And that is why I am running for CU Regent.
I will be part of forward-looking solutions to funding issues, campus safety, access to college opportunities for ALL, and providing a diverse, enriching higher education system that gives our kids the foundation for any future they dream up. I understand what it’s like to work hard and pay my way through school and, as a single mom, I can relate to a parent’s struggle to provide the best opportunities for their kids. I will stand against these rollbacks and make sure we expand, not dismantle opportunity for students and ensure CU and our public universities are a safe place to learn and thrive.
With the same grit and perseverance I learned from my parents, I will work hard for the future of CU students, faculty and administration.