Galvanizing Tomorrow’s Future Leaders: A Reflection of the Puksta Retreat

By Blanche Marie Ndoutou, Puksta Scholar, Criminology and Spanish

As the new year started, Puksta Scholars came together for another retreat. As we entered the room, we felt a sense of comfort. It was comfortable being together in a room full of people fighting for social changes.This year’s retreat took place in downtown Denver from Saturday, January 19th to Sunday, January 20th. Our day on Saturday started with the Womxn’s March where our group was divided into two groups: those who wanted to observe and those who wanted to participate in the march. The observers were instructed to find a spot and reflect on the things that were occurring at the march. The participants had an option to carry signs to show what social changes that were fighting for. We ended the day with a Puksta community dinner at Maggiano’s. During the dinner, we had the pleasure of listening to our seniors present about what Puksta meant to them during their college life.

After dinner, we were given the rest of the night to relax and get to know scholars from other Colorado schools who are also in the program. This was my favorite activity because I got to talk to like-minded students and connect with them on social media. That night, we formed a group and took a  frigid walk around downtown Denver. However, we did not complain because we enjoyed spending time together and exploring the downtown area.

The following day, our Puksta community reflected on the retreat and the things we had learned. One of the things we talked about was resiliency: the ability to recover from difficulties. We discussed the many obstacles in life, we have to learn to beat these obstacles and to continue fighting for justice. After this, we said our goodbyes and encouragements and we headed home. One of the themes for this year’s Puksta retreat was “Puksta Love”. Puksta Love is the feeling we developed after we were told that we could make changes in our society. Puksta Love is our little community of Puksta scholars, alumnus, and coordinators John and Nychel. Puksta Love is the love we have for people and the passion we have to make lives better. I look forward to future Puksta retreats and the experiences we have together.



Puksta Scholars Walk at the Womxn’s March

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