Bobby LeFebre (B.S. psychology ’04) loves it when people ask him what he does for a living.
“It’s always a fun question for me,” he says.
Fun indeed. That’s because his whole life is fun. But it does make answering the question a little more involved than it is for most folks.
“I like to frame the question [in terms of] who I am, as opposed to what I do. I’m writer, a performer and a social worker. My work is an extension of who I am as a person.”
Some days you’ll find LeFebre managing a team of social workers for the State of Colorado, some days you’ll see him acting in a commercial and other days you’ll find him performing poetry at a protest or a black-tie gala.
“I love the diversity of the work I’ve created for myself. I find tremendous happiness and balance juggling my passions – it keeps me on my toes, it keeps me sharp and always reaching for more.”
He’s already reached plenty: a two-time grand slam poetry champion, a national poetry slam finalist, a world poetry slam finalist, and past member of three national poetry slam teams. And he has performed in countless shows as an actor at Denver's only Latino Theater, El Centro Su Teatro. Plus, he’s landed national and international commercial spots and voice-over work.
His topics of poetry: “Everything and anything that moves me. I always seek to explore, celebrate and critique the human condition by juggling justified indignation, academic insight, cultural celebration and life experience,” he says. “Words are indestructible bridges connecting us all across the social, political, cultural and psychological boarders we impose upon one another.”
LeFebre is quick to credit support for much of his success: his mentors for showing love and guidance; those in the creative industry for giving him a chance to explore his talents; and his parents for pushing education.
It turns out, education was pivotal – even transformational. But it wasn’t a sure thing at first. “I grew up in Denver’s Northside of working class Chicano families. “My parents didn’t have the resources to pay for it, so I knew I had to take care of tuition.”
He applied for college, was accepted and worked full-time to pay his tuition.
“I really found my voice at MSU Denver. I was a first-generation college student, so when I walked onto campus I felt vulnerable, nervous, overwhelmed and very uncertain.”
But he found his footing. Specifically, he says people in the Chicano Studies, Sociology, and Psychology departments helped him. “They molded my psyche, identity and worldview in a profound and unforgettable way. I gained a sense of cultural pride and philosophies that still guide a lot of my work today. I learned my roots are deep and my future and potential are boundless. I was able to marry my deep love for understanding how societies and humans function and why things are the way they are. If it wasn’t for MSU Denver, I wouldn’t be the person I am today – period.”
LeFebre’s advice to today’s students “Study what interests you. You can make a living doing things that were unimaginable even 10 years ago. Find mentors you find interesting and learn about them, their hustle, and how you can apply their lessons to your own life. Work hard, be dedicated to your pursuits and don’t be afraid to fail.”
This is where lives are transformed. Where new paths unfold. Where the future spreads out in front of you.
At MSU Denver, we celebrate that each person’s road is different. Where will yours take you?REQUEST INFORMATION APPLY TO MSU DENVER
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