Luz Ruiz

Greeley Central High School graduate, 2015

Institution Attended: University of Northern Colorado . I am expected to graduate a year early, May 2018

Program and Degree Earned: Criminal Justice

Current Employer: Walmart Vision Center

What aspect of being in The Greeley Dream Team changed your life?

Being in The Greeley Dream Team  changed my life in so many ways. First, it exposed me to different universities. The college visits allowed me to figure out what I wanted in a university. Most importantly, it was a support system for me. Being from a marginalized background, first generation student, and low income, the odds were against me. However, The Greeley Dream Team was with me from the 6th grade to my senior year of high school.  My senior year was the toughest. I had no idea how to apply to college, let alone how to apply for scholarships! I had no idea what FAFSA was or the difference between a subsidized loan and an unsubsidized loan. No one in my family had gone to college so I couldn’t seek assistance from them. Thanks to my advisor, Anna Marie, she walked me through it all! She helped me apply to scholarships and I got a few, including The Greeley Dream Team scholarship. Thanks to the support from The Greeley Dream and my advisor, I paid less than $3,000 for my first year at UNC.

What are your goals?

Ever since I was in middle school, I said I wanted to be a probation officer. When I was a junior and senior in high school, I did the concurrent enrollment program at Aims Community College and took criminal justice classes. I was convinced that is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. However, things change.  I helped my big sister go back to school after 7 years and I loved it. I loved helping her with her journey to pursue a higher education. Something I am so passionate about. I showed her everything I learned from applying to schools, scholarships, FAFSA, and so much more. It reminded me of when my Dream Team advisor helped me. Then I realized, that is what I wanted to do. I want to be an advisor for a Trio program to help kids like me go to college.

What goals have you achieved?

Being able to graduate a year early is an achievement. As well as holding community service chair for a club at UNC is also an achievement because I am breaking out of my shell and becoming more involved in school and meeting a lot of people. Another achievement is being a recipient of the Stryker Institute for Leadership Development. It has allowed me to continue my education without the worry of how I am going to pay for it as well as developing my leadership skills. Lastly, I will be studying abroad this summer in Spain.

Where would you be if you didn’t join The Greeley Dream Team?

In all honesty, without The Greeley Dream Team,  I would have not gone to college due to lack of support and not knowing how to get to college.

How is The Greeley Dream Team different than other programs you were a part of?

The Greeley Dream Team is different than other programs that I am a part of because this program supports you from the 6th grade to forever. I still keep in touch with my advisors and directors of the program. No other program  supports you from that young of an age to forever. It is like a family.

Favorite memory of being in The Greeley Dream Team:

My favorite memory of being in The Greeley Dream Team is when my advisor gave me the news that I got the The Greeley Dream Team scholarship. That was the first scholarship I was ever awarded. All my hard work paid off and it was so special to receive a scholarship from a program I love so much.

Is there anyone you would like to thank?

I would love to thank my advisor, Anna Marie Almanza for all her help in high school. I would like to thank all of the faculty of The Greeley Dream Team.  This program is so special it needs to stay around for future generations. Thank you to Elizabeth Barber for all that she does for this program.