Get to know Josué, one of Access Opportunity's Student Ambassadors for the 2022-23 school year.
Josué is a senior at Boulder High School. He will graduate high school next Spring, and excited to start the college application process this fall. Throughout the year, we will get to know him better through his stories, experiences, and advice for his fellow AO students.
In His Own Words
My name is Josué Hernandez Guerrero, and I am a senior at Boulder High School. I am originally from San Luis Potosi, Mexico. I don't necessarily have a favorite course at school; I am curious, so I tend to be invested in learning more about every discipline. Regardless, my favorite topics to investigate are ethnic studies and the history of design movements. I am also passionate about serving underrepresented communities through advocacy and involvement. Along with responsibility and resilience, building community is also a fundamental value to me.
I am excited to start the college application process this fall and to navigate the opportunities that come with seeking higher education. I am not entirely certain what major I want to pursue. I am interested in engineering and the humanities, so I am exploring the possibility of becoming an urban planner. Nevertheless, I am open to exploring other professions. I am eager to accept the position of Student Ambassador this year and excited to see what I can do to support my peers and represent the AO community.
AO: This past year we have all been able to come together much more in person and start to experience school and life in this new phase of the pandemic. We have all been working hard, and that is cause for celebration! Is the past year's highlight or accomplishment that made you feel proud?
Josué: The last couple of years have been demanding for all of us. Staying connected and engaged with my communities was one of my main barriers. Through my efforts, I became more resilient and involved in my communities. I also continued to explore my passions and work with other youth, apply to academic opportunities, and take on more responsibilities. I feel proud of my work these past years and the progress I have made towards working for self-improvement and embarking on untried experiences, whether that be joining a new club, learning about new subjects, traveling, failing, or learning from oversights, and appreciating being present.
AO: Who is part of your personal support system? How do you support each other through life's highs and lows?
Josué: Having a support system is an essential part of working towards your goals. My support system throughout my life has always been my family, particularly my siblings. My siblings and I have a great relationship; the four of us are very different, yet we always manage to connect. Throughout my high school experience, my siblings have significantly impacted me, helping me navigate new systems, guiding me through troubleshooting, and suggesting and providing me with ideas for projects. Also, they are there for me when I need someone to share my thoughts and feelings, worries and excitements. We have created our support systems within each other, constantly strengthening and nourishing that bond.
I believe that another support system for me has been my educators and counselors. Last semester, I had terrific teachers that would help me set goals while also providing me with expectations and timelines. They were always very flexible and understanding, and this was especially helpful when I felt I needed extra aid.
AO: What have you experienced as a first-gen or underrepresented student at your school? What advice might you give to other students in a similar situation?
Josué: As a first-generation student, especially a person of color, it's been challenging to find people who may share similar backgrounds and who may have similar goals and dreams. It's difficult not to isolate yourself from spaces where you may feel some Impostor Syndrome; this can make it hard to extend your horizons and seek opportunities.
What has allowed me to overcome these challenges has been taking advantage of multicultural clubs/organizations and programs like AO that want to assist you in achieving your goals and are willing to push you and guide you to seek more possibilities. At the same time, you can find more people with whom you can relate to and people who inspire you, opening your mind to new potentials. I also recommend you recognize your heritage and narrative in an effort to move forward while also being conscious of your values and intersectionalities.
AO: Are you involved in any clubs/groups at your school?
Josué: During my time at high school, I have participated in a few different clubs and groups. The first is The Youth Equity Council (YEC), a board of students that oversees bringing equity to the concerns that underrepresented students face in the education system at the school district. This school year I will be YEC leader in the board.
I also participate in some clubs at school including my school's Zonta Club, where I serve as an officer and collaborate with student groups and allies to encourage involvement in the Boulder High community. We mainly focus on women's rights.
I also participate in my school's Latino Student Organization, where I tend to help plan and participate in community events. I recently participated in the 2RL NEXTGEN summer program for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) in Washington, D.C., where I met another young Latine/o/a leaders from the entire nation, and we engaged with the legislative process and politics.
I am currently working with the City Of Boulder and a local nonprofit organization to create a community space garden in my neighborhood to compensate for the lack of engagement and infrastructure. I am constantly looking for new opportunities to be engaged and support my communities while staying informed about current issues.
Stay tuned for more of Josué's stories throughout the year!