First-generation alum, Kathy Le, tells her CU Denver story

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Kathy Le

As a first-generation CU Denver alumnus, I never knew how impactful CU Denver was in my undergrad journey. As a high school senior, I ended up only applying to in-state schools such as University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado State University in Fort Collins, and University of Colorado Denver, as I did not have enough funds to even imagine getting my undergraduate degree out of state. As soon as I got that acceptance letter/email from CU Denver, I knew it was meant to be.

The school is truly allowing students like myself to fit in. Community, to me, means acceptance and belonging, and CU Denver exemplifies that. Identifying as Vietnamese-American, I was so thrilled to see such a diverse group of students and faculty as I was touring the school. From Asian Americans, to Latinx, Indigenous people, African Americans, and more ethnicities/races, CU Denver works to provide diversity and inclusion the best they can and will for many years to come. With support offices like Lynx Central, Center Identity of Inclusion, Trio/SSS/McNair, LynxConnect, Disability Resources & Services, Learning Resource Center, Student Life, and many more, CU Denver allows students, faculty, and staff to continue to innovate within and outside classes.

Networking comes into the picture when building these various communities across campus. Personally, connecting to Soyon Bueno, the Asian American Student Services director in the Center of Identity and Inclusion at the first-generation dinner in Fall 2017 sparked my networks beyond what I could have imagined. This was where I was able to get aid from the Student Life office as well on top of talking to even my CLAS advisor and other mentors to get help juggling everything. I was also a part-time work-study employee as a Peer Advocate Leader, and I even volunteered in a kindergarten class at Field Elementary School when I was not in school on Fridays.

With the amount of support CU Denver has to offer, I know that they can bring their 2030 vision to life, serving not only students but faculty and staff that are both old and new faces to the community. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I did not choose CU Denver. Congrats to 50 years; cheers to 50+ more years and beyond for CU Denver. I am a proud CU Denver Lynx Alumni. —Kathy Le

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