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Rosmina Garcia is on a path to greatness

Shantell “Rosmina” Garcia
Expected graduation December 2016
Major: Human Services

Rosmina Garcia
Rosmina Garcia

Rosmina Garcia is on a path to greatness, albeit she admits to taking the scenic route. The Metropolitan State University of Denver senior studying human services may have taken a few detours in life, but she’s learned something that will help her future career at every turn.

After graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver, Garcia spent a semester at UNC in Greeley as a speech pathologist major before getting homesick for her hometown and adoptive mom Kayti. Garcia transferred to MSU Denver and changed majors to Criminal Justice, seeing it as a path to helping others. Each class at MSU Denver opened her mind to more possibilities and she found her calling with a major in Human Services. Every step has led her closer to her goal of working in Student Services.

Like many students, Garcia is self-funding her way through MSU Denver. She is proud to receive assistance from the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF), the Boundless Opportunity Scholarship from the Daniels Fund, and the Helen M. McLoraine Scholarship Program for Foster Care and Emancipating Youth from the Denver Foundation.

As a DSF and Daniels Fund student she receives one-on-one support from campus connections. DSF students must also fulfill a number of requirements, including peer mentoring. It was through peer mentoring that Garcia first discovered the opportunity to have a career in student services.

Today Garcia is a peer mentor, advising students who are in her shoes on how they can connect to resources and people at MSU Denver. She’s also making connections for herself among faculty and staff across campus.

She admits that she applied for the position partially because she needed something on campus that was flexible with her academic schedule. Now she sees it as so much more—an opportunity to affect change for her fellow students.

“I take it very seriously,” she said. “It makes me feel good to know that I’m making a difference.”

As a Fostering Success student, she leverages her personal experience when mentoring other students.  “It’s very rewarding to help other students feel more confident, participate in activities and take advantage of campus resources,” Garcia said. “At the same time it challenges my biases as everyone is not like me or has the same experience as I had, which will serve me well in my career.”

When she’s not in class, or participating in her 20 hour per week practicum, she works at Redford’s Tavern 20-25 hours per week and 20 hours per week as a peer mentor for the MSU Denver Scholar Success Program. Her “free” time is filled with relaxing with friends at home, going to the movies, talking with her adoptive mom, spending time with her brothers, or nurturing a relationship with her biological mom.

As a human services major, Garcia is a member of the Human Services Education Organization, which recently conducted a teddy bear drive for children in homeless shelters/programs. She hopes to join Tau Upsilon Alpha, the human services honor society, before graduating MSU Denver in December 2016. She is also exploring master’s degree programs in student affairs at either Colorado State University or the University of Denver.  She will also be applying to the Peace Corps.

She describes herself as driven to be different. “I’ve always wanted to be different, even when I was younger, I wanted something else than the environment I grew up in,” Garcia said. “I saw going to college as my path to help me makes changes and be a positive influence on others to do the same.”

It seems that being a positive influence is in her nature. She is the youngest board member on the Burt Foundation’s board of directors, an organization that provides grants to nonprofits that serve children, women and the elderly. She interned for the foundation when she was in high school and became a director in 2014.

“It’s opened my eyes to a variety of nonprofit organizations in the Denver metro area,” Garcia said. “And it’s helped me connect to a bigger network.”

She says that her educational journey has changed her in small ways. “I was very involved in high school and now college, but I’ve become more accepting and inclusive of new experiences,” Garcia said.  She’s also overcome a natural shyness and tendency to hide her talents.

“I’ve learned that I have an obligation to share my talents with others,” she said. “Holding back means missing out on opportunities. I owe it to myself and others to be a role model for what’s possible.”

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