Cynthia Corral Robles considers herself “lucky enough” to have stumbled across the Leadership and Community Engagement major in the School of Education.
She first discovered the INVST Community Studies program and its summer justice tour of Colorado, which unleashed her passion for community leadership. She traveled the state of Colorado and listened to community stakeholders’ various perspectives with an open mind and with a group of other empassioned students who became her close friends.
In addition to her work with INVST Community Studies, Corral Robles has participated in the leadership and community engagement major, Public Achievement, and a two year-long research project with Aquetza — all programs based the in the School of Education’s CU Engage: the Center for Community-based Learning and Research — plus her leadership connected with her ethnic studies major, education minor, and sorority.
My passions for working with youth stem from my own schooling experience and the desire to make it better for others...Witnessing how some people have to fight for the right to be heard and experiencing it firsthand is what drives my passion to become a teacher. Whatever happens after teaching, I will continue to advocate for youth as I know that everyone needs the space to begin to create a world they are proud to be a part of."
Her dedication and commitment to social justice is exemplified by her exceptional record of impact. Corral Robles was chosen by her Leadership and Community Engagement peers and instructors as the 2022 Outstanding Graduate in Leadership and Community Engagement. Her nominators noted that she is one of the most hardworking people in the major, and they praised her passion for justice, empathy, reliability, and enthusiasm.
Corral Robles’ contributions embody the ethos and values of the major, to “nourish and honor the leadership and dignity of those around her such as her peers and the young people she works with.” This work is often behind the scenes: to listen, ask critical questions, connect with others, ensure all voices are heard, and take on sometimes unglamorous tasks. One student stated, “Cynthia shows the true definition of what a leader looks like.”
This academic year, Leadership and Community Engagement Capstone Seniors co-created a community-based research project with Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism. This project focused on student voice and school board decision-making within the Denver Metro Area. Corral Robles’ peers note her leadership on the project team and her passion for centering relationships and social justice.
Her many CU Boulder leadership experiences coupled with the capstone project have inspired Corral Robles to continue working with youth and become a teacher after graduation. She has been accepted into Teach for America and will continue her equity and social justice work as a classroom teacher.
“My passions for working with youth stem from my own schooling experience and the desire to make it better for others,” she said. “I want to create a world in which people of all identities are seen, accepted, and supported especially within the education system. Witnessing how some people have to fight for the right to be heard and experiencing it firsthand is what drives my passion to become a teacher. Whatever happens after teaching, I will continue to advocate for youth as I know that everyone needs the space to begin to create a world they are proud to be a part of.