Congratulations: It Wasn’t Easy to Do!
There’s one speech that just keeps rising to the top. Of the countless Zoom meetings, video presentations and webinars that Leadville Today (LT) has sat through over that past 3 months, there is one colorful rainbow of promise that shines a light of truth of where things stand in Leadville Today.
And of course, it came from a child. Well, not a child anymore, as Michaela Sanchez is now a graduate of Lake County High School. In her nearly 3-minute speech, Michaela shares a message of truth and hope to her 78 fellow Lake County High School graduates.
By no means is her speech “bad news,” nor does it describe her community as being on the brink of “financial devastation,” it’s simply a genuine conversation with her friends. It’s about what they’ve been through, many of whom have been together since kindergarten, many born and raised in Leadville. LT is sharing some of Michaela’s comments here because they are relevant to many of today’s conversations about what lies ahead for America’s highest city. Her message cannot be found in some well-thought-out mission statement. Her words will not be found in some tagline, or hashtag on social media. It’s just her truth about being a student in the Class of 2020. Thanks, Michaela, your genuineness and leadership is appreciated!
Some say that the integrity of a community can be found at the intersection of its narratives and its reality. Michaela’s comments help to shine the light on how Leadville’s future leaders see their reality in Leadville Today. LT encourages all readers to watch the entire video celebration, share your well-wishes and then be sure to check out the Class of 2020 banners on display along historic Harrison Avenue in downtown Leadville. Congratulations to all!
Michaela Sanchez’s Message: Highlights to the Class of 2020
“I wanted to start off by saying that a lot of us have been through a lot of ups and downs here in Lake County. A lot of us were born during, or a little bit after 9/11, we’ve had several school shootings (in Colorado) and now we have to deal with this nationwide pandemic. It’s a lot to take in.”
“You know, some of us have siblings and family members that we have to take care of, and I think we all learned at a pretty young age that having money for your family and to support your community is important. A lot of us have taken opportunities to work during or after the school day and on the weekends. We’ve been pretty busy and I’m really proud of all of you guys.”
“We have taken the different paths that Lake County has offered. A lot of us are certified in welding or electrical and plumbing or became a nurse’s aide. And some of you are certified culinary chefs; and I think that’s pretty cool. A lot of us are not going to a big University or even a community college. I think we all realize that going into the workforce is just as important as continuing your education. So yeah, I think we all think it’s totally okay to not go to college and it’s fine. I think we’re doing pretty well.”
“It wasn’t easy to do that (finish school online) but now that we end this chapter of our lives it’s going to get even harder. But me, your teachers and your peers, we have the utmost faith in all of you, to be who you can really be, and be the kind of people that you’ve shown Lake County. So, Class of 2020, we did it and we’re outta here! I’m really proud of all of you guys and I wish you the best of luck!”
Michaela Sanchez: The Past, The Future
As stated in the LCHS Graduation video, Michaela Sanchez’s academic achievements include being voted student body president for her senior year, National Honor Society for two years, and on the honor roll for four years. Michaela’s athletic achievements are captains for both soccer and volleyball, received golden gloves from her sophomore year, most dedicated for volleyball freshman year, the Panther Award for cheerleading her junior and senior year, and honorable mention for volleyball and cheerleading for both senior and junior year.
Michaela worked volunteer hours at St. George’s Church and as a student representative on the school board for her senior and junior year. Michaela’s hobbies include playing sports, driving, napping, and watching the Netflix series over and over again. Michaela’s future plans are to work at Vail Valley Medical Center as a Certified Nurse’s Assistance before attending the University of New Mexico Albuquerque to major in nursing and healthcare.
Michaela also earned the following scholarships in pursuit of furthering her education. Congratulations, what a wonderful accomplishment! Good luck, Michaela!
- $2000 – Leadville Trail 100 scholarship
- $500 – Women of Hope
- $2000 – Colorado Association of School Business Officials
- $2020 – Ski Cooper
- $2500 – Adolf and Mary Sadar
- $2500 – Kehoe Family Foundation
- $15,000 – Western Undergraduate’s Exchange.
LCHS Graduation – Spanish
CMC: Live By The “Platinum Rule”
The following statement was submitted to Leadville Today on behalf of CMC President Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser
It is hard to believe how the past three months have unfolded – both close to home and in parts of our country that seem very far away from our beloved mountain towns. We find ourselves in a nation that stands divided. Over the weekend, we witnessed protests, riots, and civil unrest from coast to coast. And, here in Colorado.
Our history as a country is marked by inequity, socioeconomic disparity, and intolerance for people who may seem different – whether because of their religion, skin color, immigration status, sexual orientation, language, political disposition, or otherwise. And, even with periodic waves of progress toward a more just, equal, and loving society, profoundly tragic events like the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer rip open our collective wounds that never fully have a chance to heal.
Add to this a global pandemic that has crippled our economy, separated us from loved ones, and disrupted our daily lives in ways we never could have envisioned. Our collective anxiety is high, revealing a very real layer of fear, uncertainty, and tension just below the surface. The combination has left many of us confused, disoriented, angry, and heartbroken.
But it is in times like these that our resolve to fight for the values we hold dear to us at CMC should become stronger than ever. Inclusion. Equity. Civility. Tolerance. Acceptance. Dignity. And, simply, caring for others. Each of us individually is a beacon of hope, love, and change.
As a college, let us join together in turning this tide. To make every effort to respect others and their perspectives. To shed prejudices we might hold – consciously or unconsciously. To care about neighbors, families, and children who are not our own.
Let’s double down – once again – to ensure our college and communities are places where everyone is safe, belongs, and knows they have value. Rather than assumptions, let’s seek understanding, disagree agreeably, call out injustice and hate bravely and constructively, and allow our actions to be guided by hope and resolve. Resolve to live by the “platinum rule” where we treat others as they wish to be treated.
More than ever, let us be reminded of CMC’s vision and aspiration to be “…the most inclusive, innovative, student-centered college in the nation…” and by doing so, “elevate the economic, social, cultural and environmental vitality of our beautiful Rocky Mountain communities.”
Together, let us strive for the day when there is no longer a need for this call to action.
CMC Offers Business Support Resources
In response to the unprecedented challenges facing mountain economies and small business owners, Colorado Mountain College has created a Back to Business program. The program consists of individual business counseling and a variety of webinars addressing common challenges that businesses are facing during the pandemic and along the road to recovery.
Webinars have been created on marketing, finance, accounting, communications, COVID-19 safety protocols for reopening, food safety and human resources. Several of these seminars are also offered in Spanish. Many of the seminars offered over the past several weeks have been recorded and are conveniently available on CMC’s website. Individual and confidential business counseling is also available from CMC faculty and experienced volunteer business professionals.
The webinars and business counseling are free to individuals and business owners in the Colorado Mountain College district. For information, CONNECT HERE.