Aims Community College - Greeley, CO
Hispanic Women of Weld County will be hosting our Annual Awards Breakfast at 8 am on Saturday November 4, 2023, at AIMS Community College.
Yessica Elena Rodriguez is a proud Greeley native - from her early days at East Memorial Elementary to staying through her Masters at the University of Northern Colorado, she embraced her roots and community through public school in District 6 and attended the University of Northern Colorado, keeping Greeley as her home from 2016-2022. While at UNC, Yessica and made it her goal to create seats at tables she once never had access to and become the Hispanic woman she never saw represented in the media growing up. As a passionate student and advocate, Yessica has committed to becoming that representation, from being the first person in her family to graduate from college, to now focusing on becoming the first physician - la primera Dra. Rodriguez in the family. She hopes to find her way back home to Greeley, and either be a family medicine physician or a pulmonologist, and give back to the community that always made her feel welcome and proud.
Currently, Yessica works at Banner Hospital as a phlebotomist and clinical research assistant with the All of Us Research Program. After obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and her Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences, Yessica finally took the MCAT and is currently in the process of applying to medical schools across the country, with fingers crossed on an acceptance into UNC's program.
Inspired by her family's resilience and motto of "echale ganas", Yessica is a proud first- generation Mexicana that knew that despite the obstacles that were to come from her race, origin, and economics, she will soon be able to wear a white coat with Dr. Rodriguez sewn on the side. She credits her accomplishments to her family, friends, sorority sisters and partner who have supported her and motivated her to keep striving and never lose sight of her overall dream. She hopes to one day be the inspiration to future generations of Latinas following her footsteps, becoming an inspiration to their families, and always remembering to echarle ganas.
Hispanic Women of Weld County held our Annual Awards Breakfast on Saturday, November 12th, 2022 at the University of Northern Colorado.
We were honored to have Dr. Nicki Gonzales, Colorado’s first Latina State Historian.
Born in Denver, Dr. Nicki Gonzales has deep roots in the coal mining and agricultural communities of Northern and Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico. Like so many Mexican Americans in this region, her grandparents moved to Denver during WWII for economic opportunities. She is the mom of two boys who are historians in their own right—Danny and Teddy.
Nicki is a graduate of Yale University, with a BA in English literature, and CU-Boulder, with a PhD in American History. Currently, she serves as Professor of History and Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at Regis University. She specializes in the history of the American West, specifically the history of the Sangre de Cristo land grant and the San Luis community’s 160-year legal and cultural struggle to protect its historic land rights.
Her most recent projects include a Historic Context Project—a collaborative project with the City of Denver—which will inform the City’s historic preservation decisions—and an oral history of Chicano Vietnam Veterans.
HWWC also awarded 12 scholarships to non-traditional and traditional high school students, as well as recognize Hispanic Women for their accomplishments and contributions in our community.
Thank you for joining us for a powerful and inspiring morning.
Hispanic Women of Weld County's Annual Awards Breakfast was held on Saturday, November 13th, 2021 at the University of Northern Colorado.
We were honored to have Dr. Katrina Rodriguez as our keynote speaker. Dr. Rodriguez is a recognized higher education leader, strategist, trainer, and inspirational speaker. A passionate educator, she is committed to educational opportunities for student communities of color that will increase graduation rates, close degree attainment gaps, and support students to enhance their natural talent to assume leadership roles.
Currently, Dr. Rodriguez serves as the vice president for student affairs at St. Cloud State University with oversight of 10 departments dedicated to college student success and engagement. Previously, she spent 23 years in a variety of roles at the University of Northern Colorado including associate professor, dean of students, vice president serving diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, and vice president for student affairs. In her tenure at UNC, she served as the first Latina to hold these senior leadership positions.
Inspired by her family’s values of perseverance and resilience, Dr. Rodriguez is a first-generation college graduate who continued her education to earn a doctorate in 2004. She credits her success to her family for their unwavering support and encouragement to take risks and to persist through the challenges. One of her favorite quotes comes from baseball, “progress takes a risk: you can’t steal second base with your foot on first.” It is the space in between where we are, and where we want to be, that allows risk to produce progress.
HWWC also be awarded 12 scholarships to non-traditional and traditional high school students, as well as recognize Hispanic Women for their accomplishments and contributions in our community.
Read scholarship recipients' and award honorees' bios here.
Under the leadership of President Juanita Martinez-Rocha, the Hispanic Women of Weld County (HWWC) celebrated its 31st Annual Awards Breakfast to a sold-out crowd of over 400 at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) Greeley, CO on Saturday, November 9th, 2019. Welcome for the event was provided by UNC President Andy Feinstein. Guest of honor and keynote speaker for the event was Dolores Huerta, from Bakersfield, CA. The benediction was given by Cynthia Silva and music throughout the program was provided by Azanet Rodriguez.
Dolores Huerta gave a very inspirational presentation and encouraged everyone to become active in their communities. She is best known as the Co-Founder of the National United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez. Ms. Huerta is the founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation whose mission is to organize at the grassroots level and engage and develop leaders. She has also received numerous awards for her roles as a humanitarian and “social justice trailblazer. Among recognition received, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993 and received the National Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Hispanic Women of Weld County (HWWC) is committed to the investment in educational opportunities for traditional and non-traditional students by raising funds for scholarships.