Get to know Michelle V., one of Access Opportunity's Student Ambassadors for the 2022-23 school year.
Michelle is in her second year at the University of Colorado-Boulder studying Math. She's about halfway through her time in Access Opportunity as a member of the Class of 2025. Throughout the year, we will get to know her better through her stories, experiences, and advice for her fellow AO students.
In Her Own Words
Hello, my name is Michelle Vasquez-Ortiz, I use she/her pronouns. I am an incoming sophomore at the University of Colorado Boulder. I enjoy studying all the wonderful things math has to offer. I am unsure of what I would like to do next, however I do know that I want to help others and be a resource to those in the communities I am involved in.
AO: While the past year has been rejuvenating in many ways, it has also been hard and tiring in other ways. How are you doing? Is there a time you experienced hardship in the past year and what helped you manage it or overcome it?
Michelle: I am currently doing okay! After finishing my freshman year at CU Boulder, I felt incredibly burned out. I was also hit with imposter syndrome, as my grades did not look the same as they did in high school. For a while, I felt that my success in high school was all luck and not worth much. This had a strong hold on me, but I was able to overcome it with the help of my friends. A lot of us were having similar feelings. I spoke a lot with them, and we all realized that college is drastically different from high school, and is much harder. Therefore, I felt that I was judging myself too harshly. Connecting with others helped me realize that I was not alone.
AO: Who is part of your personal support system? How do you support each other through
life's highs and lows?
Michelle: My family and friends make up my support system. My family has always had my back through all of my schooling years, and continue to look out for me. The people I have the luck of calling my friends are all amazing and are people who I will always have in my support system. I feel that I can go to each of them with any problems I may have and they will be there. A big way that we support each other is making sure we take mental health days; we have played volleyball and soccer, gone to pumpkin patches and tried new restaurants!
AO: Is there a role model, book, article, or song that particularly inspired you over the past
year? Can you tell us why?
Michelle: Yuji Itadori from Jujutsu Kaisen has inspired me this past year. His character is very caring and is willing to put everything into saving others. He is humorous, but also extremely focused on improving himself. He is resilient and optimistic. I aspire to be like him.
AO: How did you feel when you first found out that you got into Access Opportunity/or
accepted into your college?
Michelle: I remember when I got accepted to Access Opportunity, I was at a dance studio with my friend. I read the email out loud to her and we screamed really loud. I was so excited and happy, as it made me feel like the hard work I was doing in high school was beginning to pay off. Similarly, when I received my CU Boulder acceptance letter, I was with another good friend. I remember opening the email and feeling a wave of happiness and pride.
Stay tuned for more of Michelle's stories throughout the year!