DSF Alumna Volunteer Sees Importance in Developing Leaders

DSF Alumna Cristina Chacon knows what it means to be at the head of a group. A 2007 graduate of Abraham Lincoln High School and 2011 graduate of Regis University, Cristina understands the value in developing leadership skills from an early age.

“As a student I have always been well-spoken and comfortable speaking in front of crowds,” she says.

Yet even with her proclivity for getting in front of people, she knew she needed to continue to develop her skills.

“I would put myself in public speaking opportunities because I wanted to continue to develop this strength,” Cristina explains.

Attending Regis University was another important step in her journey, made possible in part by the DSF Scholarship.

“A college education is important in leadership development because it encourages your growth in learning by attending events, networking with people you might have not met otherwise, experience experiences that help you find and root down values,” she says. “You also get to make ‘mistakes’ in college, without so much of the risk.”

Her hard work and diligence has paid off. Her strong leadership skills have brought her to serve as Future Options Program Coordinator at Denver Kids, a local nonprofit supporting Denver Public Schools’ students through academics and social and emotional learning.

Cristina’s skills as a leader were immediately evident to her supervisors at Denver Kids, who trusted her with the freedom to lead the way she saw best.

“My supervisor trusted my expertise and allowed me to use my problem solving skills to find the right solutions,” she reflects.

Cristina also thanks DSF for giving her the opportunity to continue strengthening these skills, both as a DSF Scholar as now as an Alumna.  From speaking at the DSF Annual Gala to presenting as a keynote speaker at DSF’s events, she also serves in a regular volunteer capacity as the co-chair of the events subcommittee of the DSF Alumni Advisory Committee.

“Being a DSF scholar has also connected me with individuals that want to see me grow as a leader,” Cristina says.

Above all, she knows all the support students receive from DSF help prepare them for success after graduation.

“DSF Scholars are leaders because we know we have a community of supporters that trust, advocate, and care for us.”