COSLI August Newsletter
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COSLI August Newsletter

The COSLI newsletter is written and edited by students on the COSLI Student Advisory Board.

Enjoy student updates, perspectives, events, and opportunities.
Letter from the Student Advisory Board President

Dear friends of COSLI,
Over two years ago, I took on the role as the COSLI Student Advisory Board President. Just having completed my COSLI experience the summer prior and having opened so many opportunities, I wasn’t sure what to expect. There was one thing I did know for sure. The relationships and networks I fostered in 2019, the connections to numerous state organizations I established, and the development of a future pathway for my education were only made possible by my choice to apply after my freshman year. Nonetheless, as I sit here thinking about all the progress and hurdles overcome in my personal journey and the COSLI organization, it seems surreal that so much could happen in two years. Fighting for state funding, starting the monthly newsletter, and building a strong alumni network to maintain the longevity of COSLI were just a few things that left a monumental impact on the current state of this institution, and it has been a true honor being a contributor to these causes. After the newsletter was started, I wasn’t sure how I could scrounge up new topics every month to share; however, after the first few months, I found it hard to compress everything on my mind into the portion I’m allotted. Over 20 letter pieces later, it is difficult to find the right words to express my gratitude for the newsletter editors and COSLI family that stretches far and wide. This newsletter has been a blessing to say the least and has undoubtedly shaped and fostered me into the individual I am today. Discussing gun violence, education reform, mental health, and any contemporary issue that was affecting Colorado and beyond allowed me to find my call for action in this world as an advocate and change maker.
To the COSLI community, from my first orientation at the DU campus in 2019 to now, this journey has truly been the foundation where I launched my academic ambitions and successes.
To the future student advisory board president, it is bittersweet to pass these responsibilities on, but I trust in your care and wish the best for all your endeavors. 
It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve as your COSLI Student Advisory Board president. Signing off.
Thank you and all the best,
Mohamed Ibrahim
COSLI Class of 2019
Yale Class of 2026

Thank you, all the best and happy 4th of July! 

Mohamed Ibrahim 

Wiggins High School 

COSLI Class of 2019 

Letter from the Founding Executive Director

Friends of COSLI is proud to be a Project of the Rose Community Foundation

The COSLI Class of 2022 graduated last week with the usual fanfare and then some! Our annual showcase had to be canceled due to the lockdown of all metro area colleges and universities. As a result, our community missed the opportunity to enjoy the hard work of the group who advocated for higher pay for teachers and a more equitable way to pay for education, while ensuring higher quality.

Our community missed the opportunity to buy from their small businesses--leather bracelets and lanyards with lava beads (award for making the most money), engraved wooden frames (award for most creative), fun stickers to put on computers, water bottles and any number of other places (awarded best opportunity for longevity), and engraved wooden pins that promoted a cause and came with a postcard to send and metal jewelry with your choice of engravings. It was an exquisite market where our amazing students netted over $2200 in just 28 days.

It would have been quite the celebration and would have been the first in person since 2019, being the first post-COVID class. You can see some of the photos from this year's exhausting 28 days. These students learned and they learned hard. They also played hard. It was a joy to be with them while this was all happening.

Because our community missed all of these good endings, you also missed the opportunity to support COSLI. This annual tradition of a showcase is one of our most important fundraisers as well. If you feel so moved, we hope you will consider showing your appreciation with even the smallest of gifts. What COSLI provides for our state is immeasurable. Just like your kind support. You can donate here.


P.S. Many thank to Mohamed for his leadership as Student Advisory Board President. What a role he played--we wish him well as he heads to Yale!

Lessons Learned

By Joe MacDougall

In 2013, directly after the legalization of cannabis products in Colorado, One Chance to Grow Up (originally known as SMART Colorado) was created to combat an under-addressed issue that came with the legalization of cannabis: the drug’s presence in youth culture. Immediately following the legalization push in Colorado, many problems needed to be addressed, especially the protection of kids. However, that particular issue seemed to fall low on the list of priorities amidst a new era of legalization efforts. Seeing the lack of institutions put in place to protect the youth from this novel substance, a group of local leaders including Doug Robinson, Henny Lasley, Diane Carlson, Rachel O'Bryan, and Gina Carbone founded One Chance to Grow Up. Their mission was straightforward: “protect America’s kids from today’s marijuana” while taking a non-partisan stance on the legalization of the substance. Now, the organization has flourished and evolved into a national effort amidst the growing trend of legalization.
One Chance to Grow Up has a long-standing relationship with Colorado Student Leaders Institute. Each year, students meet with the One Chance to Grow Up community liaison, Julie Dreifaldt, along with other members of the organization. There, the students discuss the evolution of cannabis policies over time and learn how to make a difference in their own communities. Students are encouraged to stay informed on policies regarding cannabis legalization and take action as active community members. Recently, with the passing of House Bill 1317, a bill that requires the research of the possible physical and mental health effects that come with the consumption of high-potency THC marijuana and concentrates, several COSLI alumni took it upon themselves to testify in support of the bill. Ms. Dreifaldt commented on the impact of the alumni, “When kids talk, the policymakers listen.” Recognizing the importance of youth voices, One Chance to Grow Up began a new initiative of a youth council. COSLI students and alumni continue to advocate for the protection of today’s youth from cannabis products and participate actively in their communities.

Congratulations to Our New Student Advisory Board Members

With a large class of graduates from the Student Advisory Board, this year's class added 15 members.  Congratulations to the students elected by their peers.
They are:
Alyson Font, Monument                  
Ziba Ahamad, Boulder
Sidd Nareddy, Boulder
Monroe Castle, Colorado Springs
Kenia Hansen-Guzman, Ft. Morgan
Amrita Saini, Boulder
Wren Capra, Steamboat Springs
JP Kerrane, Boulder
Annika Aumentado, Boulder
Jude Ropp, Boulder
Hope Han, Superior
Alex Zou, Boulder
Vanessa Tao, Littleton
Dhruv Shajikumar, Boulder
Lauren Angelo, Delta

Student Accomplishments
Our alumni are doing amazing things!  

John Phan (2016) graduated from CU Denver's BA/BS to DDS program in the class of 2022.  He became one of THE pictures for the day's activities!

Jenna Anderson (2014) married Grant Fischer on June 3.  Jenna, an avid runner, graduated from CSU in 2019 with a degree in Mathematics.

Elora Smith (17) is part of a International Relations and Oxford Tutorial program at New College Oxford University, Oxford, England. The tutorial is a research course meant to allow students to meet individually with an Oxford professor to hone these skills. While in Oxford, Elora was able to meet up and spend the day with fellow alum Emma Field (2017) for a day of sightseeing!

Sophia Garcia (2017) was awarded the Susan Kiely Service Award for 2022. Sophia also served as a rock star RA for this year's class and graduated from Regis University in the Spring. What an honor to have Sophia as part of COSLI's growing members!

Hailey Dennis (2016) was named the Office Intern/Administrator for NHDC and COSLI for the 2022-2023 school year. Hailey will become Hailey Perrego on September 3! She will be preparing to begin medical studies in 2023. Welcome Hailey!


COSLI Birthdays!

by Sandra Brock

Happy Birthday to our COSLI Alumni! May your day be full of smiles!
Love, your COSLI Family. 

Elmer Dever - 8/3
Maggy Kundlas - 8/3
Hannah Park - 8/3
Simone Chitwood - 8/4
Kiana Gutierrez - 8/4
Summer Nyseth - 8/4
Naomi Price Burton - 8/5 
Marisol Rodriguez - 8/5 
Azlyn Deherrera - 8/6
Caden Carey - 8/7
Jonah DiGiacomo - 8/7
Itzel Gonzales - 8/7
Luna Rodriguez - 8/7
Jonathan Farler - 8/8
Ayanle Nur - 8/9
Delilah Danforth - 8/11
Allison Thomas - 8/11
Jonathan Fuller - 8/12 
Katie Gilman - 8/12
Catherine Distle - 8/14
Aleya Dominguez - 8/15 
Ayla Sanchez - 8/15
Vamara Kone - 8/16
Nathaniel Lacher - 8/17
Julieta Ballesteros - 8/18
Phillip Chiem - 8/20
David Hadaway - 8/20
Avan Shiveley - 8/20 
Ofelia Hernandez - 8/22
Jamar Holmes - 8/22
Aik Hom - 8/24
Sasha Bailey - 8/25
Mary Giblin - 8/25 
Avery Hericks - 8/25 
Pek Ei - 8/26
Davis Sleigh - 8/26
Isbella Duskin - 8/30

Colorado History

What else happened in August?

by Sandra Brock

August 1 1978:  The United States Olympic Committee moves into its new headquarters at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
August 18 1975: Construction of the second bore of the Eisenhower tunnel began.
August 1892: The Evening Post is founded in Denver.

COSLI Alumni Feature: Myria Garcia

Myria Garcia, a graduate from the COSLI class of 2018, recalls COSLI as a spark for her passion for politics and public service, which opened new doors for her to explore her interests. Through a connection made at COSLI, Garcia was recommended to another program called Meet the Middle East, which allowed her to travel to the Middle East for two weeks. This trip sparked her passion for international relations, which she currently studies at American University in Washington D.C. Through her experiences at and connections made at COSLI, Garcia put herself on a promising college and career path.
Garcia’s fondest COSLI memory is of the ropes course in Buena Vista, where she and her friends pushed themselves out of their comfort zones to walk a course more than 50 feet above the ground. With a torn ACL at the time, Garcia didn’t think she would be able to participate. However, with encouragement from her peers, she jumped right into the fun! Additionally, the cafeteria at Denver University had unlimited soft serve ice cream, which in her own words, was simply “awesome.” Garcia advises future COSLI students to be open minded, as doing so will introduce each student to new passions, new connections, and new opportunities. New members should not be afraid to try new things, step outside of their comfort zone, and pursue their interests. “COSLI isn't just a camp, but it's a place to push yourself as an individual!” she says.
So far, Garcia’s college experience has allowed her to achieve many things. Garcia helped her school's Model United Nations team place first in North America this year, which is the first time in American University’s history. She also had the opportunity to intern for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) during her freshman year, and just finished an internship working with House of Representatives member Ed Perlmutter of Colorado District 7. This year, she contributed to the Olson’s Scholars honors research program where, under the mentorship of the head of American University's PHD program, she conducted and presented her own research on the representation of female child soldiers in international governmental organizations's (IGO) official discourses. In addition to making the Dean’s List every semester and maintaining an impressive 4.0 GPA, she is also the Vice President of her sorority, Delta Gamma. Her goals for the future are to attend law school and study international law. She would love to combine her passion for travel with her academic interests and character strengths. Overall, Garcia is an inspirational role model and COSLI is proud to call her an alumnus.

Opportunities & Events July 2022
By Mo Dominguez 

The Colorado Youth Advisory Council was legislated in 2008 to “examine, evaluate and discuss the issues, interests, and needs affecting Colorado youth now and in the future, and to formally advise and make recommendations to elected officials regarding those issues.” The board consists of 40 members, 37 of them from different congressional districts throughout Colorado. Apply here!

The Colorado Young Leaders Program is a program for high school students wanting to be involved with their community. The program advisors provide the framework to help students get involved and find what they are doing. CYL students want to learn more about the world around them, discover their own gifts, and make a real impact. More information here. Register here.   

The Mile High Flight Program is a special youth initiative sponsored by the Hubert L. “Hooks” Jones Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen. Their goal is to inspire the next generation of aerospace leaders through the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen. The program specializes in increasing students’ knowledge of aerospace and aviation and even includes flight training and ground instruction. Applications open on August 1st and close on October 10th.  Apply here

Denver Mayor’s Youth Council provides Denver youth the opportunity to develop leadership skills and advise the director of the Office of Children's Affairs on issues impacting youth living in the City and County of Denver. Youth commissioners work together with adult commissioners to make recommendations in setting goals, citywide programs, developing procedures, and ensuring equal rights through legislation and action. More information here and application here.  

Questbridge College Match is an opportunity for excellent students who may not be able to pay for their college of choice without aid. The program is for students of high academic achievement and are going to be high school seniors applying to colleges in the fall. Questbridge college match can help students go to college completely free if their academics are astounding and they match the income requirements. More information here.

Women in the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame student-written biographies opportunity for any student doing an NHDC project. Students are allowed to sign up and will receive $25 for each biography completed. Once you sign up, it will go in as a suggestion and an NHDC student board member will email you back to confirm your signup. Signup here.

The 350 Colorado Youth Action Committee is a committee for the 350 Colorado climate organization to promote youth activism and interest in climate action. The committee is run by youth for youth. The youth action committee is for any youth living in or outside of Colorado who have an interest in having a say in the future of climate action or want to be involved in climate action and climate strikes. More information on the Youth Action Committee and 350 Colorado here and join the committee here.

COSLI Reads & Listens

by Deajane Jackson Morgan
Need book recommendations? Here’s a list of what the COSLI alumni are reading — take a look, you might find one you like!

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
Winter House by Ben Gunderson 
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingslover 
The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune 
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart 
Circe by Madeline Miller
Paradise Lost by John Milton 
God is Dead by Friedrich Nietzsche
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid 
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera 
When God was a Woman by Merlin Stone 
Supper Club by Lara Williams 
Christianity & Religious Diversity by Harold A. Netland

Need podcast and music recommendations? Our COSLI alumni have lots of music and podcast recommendations that they enjoy. See what your COSLI alumni have been listening to!

All Mine by Brent Faiyaz 
oh my love by FKA twigs
Can’t Get Over You by Omar Apollo 
I Know You Know by Esperanza Spalding 
Sen Am by Duval Timothy (album) 
Eyes by yeule 
All I Need by Puma Blue 
I Swear by The Minions 
Nadie Sabe by Yahritza Y Su Ensencia 
Daebak Show by Eric Nam (podcast)
Hotep by Blue Iverson (album) 
Me & Mr. Jones by Amy Winehouse 
Melancholy by D’lourdes

COSLI Newsletter Contributors

Tobin Wheeler, Editor (Olympia, WA) 
Sandra Brock (Aurora, CO)
Mo Dominguez (Denver, CO)
Mohamed Ibrahim (Wiggins, CO)
Deajane Jackson Morgan (Aurora, CO)
Knox Leonard (Denver, CO)
Joe MacDougall (Golden, CO)
Anjana Radha (Erie, CO)
Skyla Rogers (Westminster, CO)
Allison Thomas (Wiggins, CO)

Friends of Colorado Student Leaders Institute
A Project of the Rose Community Foundation

Celeste Archer, COSLI Founding Executive Director
Kayla Gabehart, COSLI Associate Executive Director
University of Colorado Denver
Campus Box 182 | PO Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217
p: 303-315-1789

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