Each year, during Colorado College’s Honors Convocation, the Crown-Goodman Scholarship Award is given to recipients “based on the student’s academic record and contributions to the total life of the college.”
One student who was awarded last year’s scholarship, Cristina Garcia ’19, embodies the spirit of the award and she has emerged as a campus leader to help affect change for others.
“I learned to participate in the CC community by listening to it first,” says Garcia, a religion and Southwest studies double major. “I don’t think there is just one side to a story, and the only way to get the complete story is to talk to people.”
Bridge Scholars Program
It’s with the Bridge Scholars Program that Garcia first found community at Colorado College. The program brings newly enrolled first-generation students to campus two weeks before the academic year begins for a rigorous two-week course to learn about the CC classroom experience, work with faculty, connect with the network of campus resources, and explore engagement and leadership opportunities they can pursue during their four years at the college.
The program also gives them an opportunity to build relationships with fellow scholars.
“I met other students from Bridge who had very similar aspirations to mine, and they are the ones who inspire me to continue to work in the ways that I do because I know that I have four solid friends who will do that same work with me,” says Garcia.
That work has included serving as co-chair of the Latinx and Chicano Student Union, co-chair of the Native American Student Union, and returning to the Bridge Scholars Program as a mentor.
Garcia decided to be a mentor because she understands how formative the Bridge Scholars Program is for students who come to CC from underrepresented backgrounds.
“One of the best things about being at CC was being enrolled in the Bridge Program,” says Garcia. “It was very similar to what I had experienced in Upward Bound when I was a high school student, and it was very comforting to find other people who are like me at CC because I was really worried about fitting in.”
A primary purpose of the Crown-Goodman Scholarship is to reduce the amount of money that recipients owe through student loans as they go into senior year.
“I think one of the important parts about the Crown-Goodman Presidential Scholarship is the process you have to go through in order to get it,” says Garcia. “When I first received the nomination for the award, I was very surprised. I was already anticipating how much stress I was going to have next year. Once I received the award, I automatically felt the stress go away.”
Financial aid was a significant factor for Garcia when she decided to attend Colorado College.
“Ever since I was really little, my parents told me the only way I was going to be able to go to college was to have a scholarship,” she says.
Through a college prep program in high school, Garcia learned about Colorado College and QuestBridge, a nonprofit organization that matches high-achieving, underserved students with higher-education opportunities. In 2013, Colorado College formed a partnership with QuestBridge, joining a consortium of 40 colleges and universities across the country, allowing CC to greatly expand its reach across the country.
“When I came to CC, I just fell in love with the campus,” she says. “I had intelligent conversations from the moment that I got here, and that drew me in completely.”
Carl L. and Shirley L. Roberts Scholarship
She also was awarded a Carl L. and Shirley L. Roberts Scholarship. Named for CC Emeritus Professor of Psychology Carl Roberts, Jr., and his late wife, the scholarship provided access to CC for Garcia, and Carl Roberts made a lasting impression on her.
“Without the financial aid package that I receive every year, there’s no way I would be able to attend Colorado College. However, the greatest impact from the scholarship has come from Carl himself.”
The two met during the college’s annual Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon the first semester of Garcia’s first year at CC.
Garcia says that Roberts wasn’t able to attend the luncheon her sophomore year, but when she saw him at last year’s luncheon, during her junior year, he had remembered all the details from their conversation two years earlier.
“It broke down a lot of walls I had about understanding what a scholarship really meant to some students here at CC,” she says.
The support Garcia has received from scholarships at CC, and faculty, staff, and fellow students, has empowered her to become involved at the college. She plans to make a difference for Native communities like hers after she graduates.
Garcia is considering the Knight-Hennessey Scholarship Program for graduate studies at Stanford University. If she follows this path, she plans to study anthropology.
“If I go with cultural anthropology, I may be able to work with a tribe to preserve historical documents. I’d like to work toward resolving the issue of the government holding tribal records or possibly go into the archaeological side of anthropology and physical artifacts.”
Watch a video about Garcia, in which she shares her perspectives on being a Bridge Scholars mentor and a recipient of the Carl L. and Shirley L. Roberts Endowed Scholarship.
Raising funds for scholarships is a $100 million priority of Building on Originality: The Campaign for Colorado College. For more information about scholarships, visit www.coloradocollege.edu/scholarshipgiving or contact Laura Rosendo ’06, development director, at (719) 389-6270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.