For First-Generation College Student Brandon Navejas, Family is Everything

Brandon Navejas Outside Taqueria La Familia

For North High School graduate, Brandon Navejas, family is everything. That’s just one of the reasons he continued to work at his family’s restaurant, Taqueria La Familia, throughout high school, sometimes working 60 hours a week. After the unexpected passing of his father in 2020, he felt it was even more important to support his mother, at home, and at the restaurant.  

Brandon talks about the restaurant almost everywhere he goes. Not only does he help during the week taking orders and serving customers, but he also runs the restaurant’s online presence, including the website and social media. He is passionate about Taqueria La Familia, making sure that customers are enjoying every aspect of their meal and returning for more.  

Brandon’s Passion Extends Beyond Family

Brandon is also passionate about his time in high school, especially his wrestling career. He was on the varsity wrestling team at North High School beginning in his freshman year and said during his senior year, he had the best wrestling year of his life. He was determined and focused, and strived to make both his wrestling team and family proud with his athletic abilities.  

A high achieving student, thanks to his drive and ambition, Brandon graduated high school with a 3.9 GPA. He said that during his senior year, he was committed to staying focused and took honors and AP classes to be eligible for merit-based scholarships. Brandon had to make a tough decision on where to go to school this summer. He received a full ride to Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU) and a $27,000 per year scholarship to University of Colorado (CU) Boulder. Despite the challenges of leaving his family who live in Denver, Brandon decided to go to CU Boulder and enroll in their highly ranked Aerospace Engineering program. Even though he is a little nervous about being further away from his family, he also loves that they are just a short 30-minute drive away. Brandon is excited about living in Boulder, on the CU campus, with other students studying aerospace engineering and creating a community there.  

Dedicated Advisors Helped Brandon Navigate Barriers

Financial barriers were the biggest challenges for Brandon and his family when he decided to go to college. Receiving the scholarship from CU Boulder helped him make the decision, and he applied for the DSF Scholarship for extra support. Having dedicated advisors at North High School, DSF College Advisors Michele Lopez and Zulema Sierra, helped Brandon stay on track with college and financial aid applications, scholarship opportunities, and enrollment deadlines. “It is important for me to go to college because of my family. My father always said that he wanted me to achieve more than he was able to. Education sets you up for the future and I am hoping it will help me be more prepared for life,” says Brandon. As the only child in his family, he is dedicated to making his family proud, while supporting them, and their dreams.