Gisela Cardenas outside photo

A true BUENO CAMP scholar comes back home to pay it forward.

Gisela Cardenas was a BUENO CAMP participant in the BUENO Center’s College Assistance Migrant Program grant’s 2012-13 cohort. She has now returned as the program’s Recruiter and Retention Specialist. Ms. Cardenas states “As a BUENO CAMPer myself, I have always loved volunteering and helping the CAMP staff whenever needed. I have always felt that they have done so much for me, so when the opportunity arose I was happy to be a part of this amazing team. I love being able to work with students who have had a similar story as me.”

After earning an Associate of Arts from Aims Community College, Gisela was accepted to the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley. There she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Ethnic Studies. At UNC she was also a proud participant in the Stryker Institute as well as a McNair Scholar. During her summers, Ms. Cardenas stayed active in the world of migrant education serving as the College Mentor Leader and Coordinator for the Colorado Department of Education’s Summer Migrant Youth Leadership Institute (SMYLI). Throughout these years she was never too far from BUENO. CAMP Director, Dr. Robert Garcia explains “any time we needed a volunteer, or an alumni speaker, we always knew we could ask Gisela and she would come through for us. We were always so proud of her and felt she was a very flattering representative of the program.”

Currently, while facilitating new higher education opportunities for young, college aspiring migrant students with BUENO CAMP, Ms. Cardenas’ personal higher educational pursuits continue. Gisela is enrolled in the University of Colorado Denver’s Multicultural Counseling MA program. This area of study was a well thought out ambition for her as she illuminates “I saw a gap in higher education regarding counseling. My advisors did the best they could without having the knowledge of a clinical counselor, and I can only imagine what more of an impact they could have had if they had the clinical training. I know it would have been nice to have a person of color as a counselor to look up to. That was not my experience and that is why I kept going back to my scholarship advisors. I know that students in higher education would greatly benefit from having a multicultural counselor in their corner, someone who is approachable, with a relatable background.”

Gisela is in her third-year of graduate school and beginning her practicum in multicultural counseling. She is also recruiting migrant students to attend college with BUENO CAMP across northern Colorado. For more information about BUENO CAMP, please visit