On Saturday, May 20, we had the University of Colorado Boulder Latino Alumni Association, as well as members from the University of Colorado Denver campus, volunteer with ECM for a Work Day in the West Colfax neighborhood. The University of Colorado Boulder Latino Alumni Association was started in 1984. The Co-Presidents Mike Diaz and Vanessa Roman, along with the group leader Vanessa Lopez and other members, volunteered for the day. Their decision to volunteer with Extreme Community Makeover was inspired by Buffs Give Back initiative, where chapters from all over the country join in to do volunteer work.
“We had a great time. Our group really bonded with each other. A lot of the community thanked us for our volunteer work. They were very appreciative. It was a great experience for us,” says Vanessa Lopez. The chapter left the Work Day inspired to do more volunteer work together. The alumni members feel it’s very important to give back to their fellow man and to be an active part in the community.
“One of the residents thanked us, and then went and bought us two bouquets of flowers! That was really cool,” Vanessa exclaims as she thinks about the uniqueness of the volunteer project. The neighbors were very thankful and told the group that was the most beautiful they’ve seen their alley in years.
“It’s very important, especially in the Latino community, for Latinos with higher education to be engaging, giving back, and joining hands with the Hispanic community to encourage others in the community to pursue a higher education, if they want. We want to be a support and encourage other Latinos that they too can get a higher education and show them that all is possible for them,” Vanessa says with passion.
The West Colfax neighborhood has a large Hispanic population and 28% of West Colfax residents are without a high school diploma, compared to the city-wide rate of 10%, and just 26% of residents hold an undergraduate degree, which is 22% less than that of Denver’s population.
The alumni group has an Annual Golf Tournament, August 19, to raise money to help provide scholarships for Latino students. Their heart is to uplift their Latino brothers and sisters and see them grow and succeed.
If you are a part of an alumni group, consider organizing a volunteer day for your members. Click here to register.