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UNC Alumna Andrea Renteria's Continuous Service of Paying it Forward

35th Anniversary Image of Alumna Andrea Renteria

Efren Herrera Hurtado, Graduate Assistant
November 02, 2020

UNC Alumna Andrea Renteria graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in 2010. She received a bachelor’s degree with a major in Mexican American Studies and a minor in Teaching English as a second Language. Andrea proceeded to attend the University of Denver and graduated in 2011 with her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Culturally Linguistic and Urban Education. Currently, Andrea serves as Principal at Garden Place Academy with Denver Public Schools. What a journey!

Andrea shares that the biggest obstacle she had to overcome at UNC was herself. She states, “Early on in my college experience I messed around too much and did not take classes as serious as I should have. I didn’t have balance and didn’t know that I needed it or how to get it. I lost my scholarships and got “kicked out” of UNC for a semester until I proved I could improve my grades. So, I went to Aims Community College for a semester or two and worked hard to improve my grades. After that I had a second shot at UNC and made sure I didn’t waste it."

Andrea is motivated to give back because her experience at UNC helped her become the leader she is today.

“I hope that all students of color have a similar inspiring, engaging and fun experience that not only grows them as learners but as leaders in their communities.”

When asked about the memories she made at UNC and at the Chávez Center, she responded with, “I have many wonderful memories of UNC and the Chávez Center…giving campus tours…multicultural Greek life and being part of Sigma Lambda Gamma.” Andrea adds, “Trish Escobar was always there [at the Chávez Center] to welcome us with a smile and genuinely cared about how we were doing.” She adds that the Chávez Center was a home and she would always be welcomed and listened to, it was like “we were all one big familia” she warmly added.

Andrea shares her wisdom with us all in saying that “Your time at UNC is a short chapter in the book of your life, so make it a good one, but know that the majority of your story has yet to be written.” She emphasized the importance of being involved as well as finding a “healthy balance between school, family and friends,” she says to “enjoy these years as much as possible!”

Andrea has made it far in life, with many experiences, and much wisdom to share and give back. She has given much time, energy, and effort, even coming back to attend and support her beloved organization, Sigma Lambda Gamma Sorority. Drea – as she is affectionately known – would drive from Denver to attend meetings and support the new members. While a student employee at the Chávez Center, Drea loved to conduct tours for high school students imparting the importance of college and making meaningful connections with them.

The UNC community and the Chávez Center familia, in particular, thanks her for her generous contributions and her time being with us in community. Thank you, Andrea! Enjoy life with your new little baby girl!

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