Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Zulema attended Denver Public Schools for her k-12 education. She is the first in her family to be born in the United States. Her father was born in Mexico and her mother in Guatemala. Being a student of color and a first generation college student came with many barriers but Zulema had a positive outlook on her future and was ready to give it her best. At the time, North was not equipped with Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) College Advisors and her community also lacked role models to guide her through her college quest. It is from this lived experience where she finds the inner drive and personal commitment to giving back to her community and students with a similar background. Upon graduation from North High School she attended Colorado State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Technical Journalism and later returned to fulfill a Master of Science degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education. While completing a year-long practicum at North through DSF, she realized that DSF was where she wanted to be; she felt that its mission directly aligned with her personal core values and this was something she was seeking from her future career.
Having little to no social and cultural capital was one of the driving forces which led Zulema to work as an educator and help students access higher education. Zulema became the DSF College Advisor at John F. Kennedy High School immediately succeeding her college graduation and worked there for three years. Zulema has since moved to a different school and is now in her second year as the College Advisor at North. Having attended North, and now working there, has been truly fulfilling for Zulema. She is able to directly give back to the community in which she grew up and can relate to her students on a personal level. Helping students from her community access higher education has been the greatest reward. Learn more about Zulema on LinkedIn.