Cynthia Montoya, Financial Aid Advisor at Community College of Aurora, was one of two winners of the DMCI (Diversity and Multicultural Initiatives) Scholarship to attend Summer Institute. Here are her thoughts on the experience!
When I was first asked if I would like to go to Summer Institute by my Director months back, I remember immediately saying “YES!”… and then googling Summer Institute the moment he walked out of my office. While a week long immersive training did not sound like a fun time, I knew that it would greatly benefit me in my new role at Community College of Aurora. As the days grew closer and the emails from the SI Committee came rolling in, I have to admit that my excitement and curiosity grew with each and every one. Their enthusiasm was undeniably contagious!
From the time that I checked in at the Golden campus, I fell in love with the experience. The people, from all different roles in Financial Aid and walks of life, came to be my friends and teachers. I learned a great deal from my class-mates (Go HEART!) and from my wonderful and amazing Instructors Starla and Regina. With 7 years in Financial Aid some of the subject matter was not new, but I undoubtedly learned something with each module and with each discussion. I think the most important thing I learned was how much I still NEED to learn! At the start of the week I never could have imagined how much I’d gain in friendship, knowledge… and let’s not forget about fun.
I commend the DMCI Committee for offering a Scholarship to attend the Institute and providing the chance to have this amazing experience to members. My hope is that I will be able to return to Summer Institute as a next level learner or as a volunteer in the coming years!