DSF Alumna Builds Leaders at MSU Denver

When DSF Alumna Jasmine Villalobos-Valles speaks to students at Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver) about the challenges of college, she speaks from a place of experience— and very recent experience at that. A 2014 graduate of Martin Luther King, Jr. Early College and a 2019 graduate of MSU Denver, Jasmine now supports DSF Scholars like herself.

Continuing a Legacy

Jasmine works as interim coordinator for the DSF Leadership Program at MSU Denver, where she supports a Scholar-led initiative to build a network of academic and emotional support for current students. Having participated in the program as an undergraduate student, Jasmine now reflects on the program’s impact from a leadership position. She views the program as a “family” that helps bridge the challenging transition between high school and college.

“The DSF Leadership Program at MSU Denver connected me to many campus resources, and gave me a network to which I can reach out for help,” Jasmine shares. “I describe the DSF community on campus as a family.”

As an undergraduate student, she helped develop the Alternative Break Program (ABP) at MSU Denver, which gives students the opportunity to travel and learn about different cultures while giving back to the communities they visit. Read more about the program here.

Paving the Way for Future Leaders

Like many of the students she now serves, Jasmine recognizes the path to college is not always easy. That’s why she serves on the Alumni Advisory Committee, a group of graduated DSF Scholars that impart their wisdom on the next generation of Scholars.

“Many DSF Scholars are people of color, and are first-generation college students. It’s important to keep them involved, keep them connected to internships, job opportunities, research opportunities,” she said. “DSF programs both alleviate the stress of paying for college and help build students’ resumes with career-readiness conferences and workshops.”

Experience Gained Through Service

Through it all, Jasmine has never lost sight of what matters most to her: building community through service. “My mission in life is to continue working in the non-profit sector for mission-driven organizations,” Jasmine says.

DSF celebrates Jasmine and all of our Scholars and Alumni who are doing incredible work in the community! Read more Scholar and Alumni profiles on our blog.