Featured Students

photo of Alexis Hi, my name is Alexis; I am a transfer student in my second year here at CU. I am studying environmental design and plan to further my education by getting a Master's of Architecture. I became involved with Guardian Scholars since I transferred to Colorado from Florida. While becoming an architect, and living, hiking, and skiing in the beautiful Colorado climate has always been a dream, it has never been feasible. Guardian Scholars has allowed me to follow my dreams, and has shown me that people do believe in me and support my goals in life. I enjoy the monthly dinners we have, the weekend strength building retreat, and just being surrounded by peers, donors, mentors, and everyone involved that all remain so supportive and helpful with everything at all times. Guardian Scholars really reflects a family unit that was lacking in my life. So many resources have been shown to me, and I have no doubt that I will accomplish my goals of becoming an architect. I am so happy to be a part of this program!
photo of Cliff Hello, my name is Cliff and it's safe to say that Guardian Scholars, and the amazing academic programs I've had the privilege to be a part of (A.E.P, McNair scholars, TASC, UROP, BOLD), have drastically altered the way I saw myself before coming here. Through their gentle support, they've given me the will power and capability to strongly shape my future and become the person I want to be. Before I had their support, the question of where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do was unanswerable for me. Currently I'm studying integrated physiology and computer science, with the hopes to develop my own health software/applications, and give back to the people as much as they have given to me. I feel purpose and hope is one of the greatest and most unstoppable human emotions you can instill in someone, and Guardian Scholars, as well as the director of Guardian Scholars, have inspired this in me and they have truly been a blessing for me.
photo of Leo My name is Leo Munoz, I am a sophomore majoring in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies. I am from Juarez, Mexico and I enjoy spending my time playing music and chilling with my friends. I love to hike in the summer and I am very passionate about becoming educated on new subjects. I've been a Guardian Scholars student for two years now and this program has be a great resource and help to me.

Director of Guardian Scholars

photo of Valerie Valerie Embry, Program Director

Valerie comes from a low income and first generation urban background and is a person with a disability. She is the parent of two young, adorable children; a boy and a girl.  She completed her master’s degree in educational guidance and counseling while a single parent of two kinship children. She has also completed coursework towards a master’s in College Student Personnel Administration along with coursework in American Sign Language.  Her work experience at CU includes service as Assistant Director of both the Admission Office and the Office of Financial Aid, the start-up Coordinator of the Dennis Small Cultural Center where she coordinated special programs for disadvantaged students and held financial aid training for community service workers. She has served as a national TRiO trainer in counseling, program regulations, disability, and new director assistance.

Valerie is well versed in the education of disadvantaged populations and has served as a presenter/trainer in numerous forums on and off campus, locally as well as nationally. She has co-written a notetaking services guidelines manual with Betty Becker that has been shared with other programs across the country. She has initiated cooperative programming with campus departments to make resources more available to low-income, first generation, and students with disabilities. Valerie is a recipient of the CU Equity and Excellence Staff award and has been honored as a Woman Who Makes a Difference by the CU Women’s Resource Center.  She brings over 25 years of experience to the Guardian Scholars Program.