Galvanizing Tomorrow’s Civic Leaders: Reflections From a Senior Puksta Scholar

By: Margarita Soltero, Undergraduate Student, Biological Sciences

Hello everyone! My name is Margarita, but I also go by Maggie. I am a first-generation Latina student majoring in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. For my Puksta Project I wanted to create better access for young Latina and African American women to receive accurate sex education and reproductive resources. To do this, I created a pamphlet in English and Spanish with information on reproductive resources, sexually transmitted diseases, consent, and much more. I have been able to share this with Girls Inc, COLOR Latina organization, as well as the yearly conference my sorority holds called Empowering our Women of Tomorrow Youth Leadership Conference. At this conference, we bring high school girls to campus where they attend different academic and professional workshops and I’ve been able to lead a sex education workshop and give out my pamphlet.

Through this experience I have gained confidence in myself by speaking with others about what I’m passionate about and educating different audiences about this important information. In addition, I’ve learned that making a small change in my community will make a bigger difference in the future. Being a senior Puksta has given me the time to reflect on my project and the service I want to continue doing in the future. When I become a physician, I want to continue creating access for underserved communities to receive quality healthcare. I also want to bridge the gap between the patient and the doctor when it comes to language barriers by speaking Spanish with my patients. This will help me gain their trust and give me the opportunity to create stronger relationships with them.

My favorite memory as a Puksta scholar was going to the retreats where I got to meet students from other campuses while also getting to know the peers from my cohort better. I will definitely miss the karaoke days in Estes Park with all my Puksta friends that I now call my family. Thank you, Puksta, for making me the person I am today, and the person I want be in the future.

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