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MSU Denver student strives for greatness

Daisy Rocha VasquezIn the Vasquez family, there is a little sibling rivalry when it comes to college. Daisy Rocha Vasquez is the middle child of nine siblings, three of whom have already graduated from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Another sibling attended the University of Colorado Denver. Eight out of the nine kids have already graduated from college or are in college.

Vasquez finished at MSU Denver in May 2016 and she made the most of every moment. “One of my favorite classes was PR campaigns with Marilyn Starrett,” she said. “She gave us real life experience by building a portfolio and challenged us to strive for more.”

Striving for more comes naturally to Vasquez. The key for her has been to get involved in as many student activities as possible. “Once you get involved it’s so easy to network,” she said. “It also pushed me to work harder. I saw what was out there and I knew that I needed to work for it.”

Vasquez found her voice and her passion at MSU Denver. “In 2013 I joined Lambda Theta Nu Sorority and it opened new doors. It enriched my experience beyond my belief.”

In her sorority, Vasquez gained valuable experience navigating event planning and management. “We planned a conference for 100 eighth grade girls,” she said. “I learned where to go on campus for resources and what steps were necessary to plan an event like this.”

The LYLC conference was held in April and Vasquez presented two workshops that aimed to improve the leadership skills and self-esteem for young Latinas from middle schools across the Denver metro area.

She always works on campus to help pay for her education. “I started working in the Office of Admissions and now I work for the Urban Leadership Program (ULP),” she said. “ULP is like a family, everyone is involved for the greater good.”

Vasquez paid for her tuition with scholarships and on-campus employment. She took out her first loan when she had the opportunity to study abroad in Madrid last year.

“Going to Madrid I encountered a culture shock,” she said. “I live with my family and this was the first time I was on my own.” She found that communication styles were different and the Spanish have a different sense of time, most activities start later at night. “It forced me to get out of my comfort zone and learn what I’m really capable of doing on my own,” Vasquez said. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity.”

This summer Vasquez has an internship at Girls, Inc. The experience will help her develop a resume before applying to graduate school in a few years. Her ultimate goal is to work in student services in an academic setting.

Her advice to students entering college this year is to ask as many questions as possible. “I was intimidated at first but eventually I realized that I was in control of my education,” she said. “Ask questions and use the services available for you here, there are so many people who want to help students on this campus.”

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