Jesus Banuelos Rivera
PLC 2016 - Sustainable Planning and Design
Written by: Liz Lajoie- Social Media Coordinator
Zeus Banuelos-Rivera will graduate from CU this month with a degree in Sustainable Planning + Design and a Minor in Leadership Studies. Although he started undergrad studying architecture, he decided, after interning at two firms, that he wanted something more people-centric and changed his major. He hopes that these areas of study will give him a toolkit of skills that he can one day use as a housing developer – ideally developing affordable housing, in alignment with his belief that housing is a basic human right and where you live matters.
During winter break of his junior year of high school, Zeus visited CU with his basketball team for a game and “it was love at first sight.” From that day, Zeus’s contributions to PLC and the greater CU community have been tremendous. In the summer of 2019, he interned at a non-profit real estate developer, Urban Land Conservancy, that does work in the field of community development. From them, he learned not only the financial side of development, but also the community engagement aspect, and that real estate development was what he wanted to do with his life. Afterwards, he headed to Medellin, Colombia to work with a design-build urban planning studio, whose main focus was to learn about engaging communities in the planning process and to build something that would fulfill a need in their community. While he was living in Colombia, he lived with a host family, learned the history of Medellin and Colombia, toured communities, held focus groups and ultimately experienced the authentic culture of country. He is sure that the close bonds he formed with community members won’t be forgotten for the rest of his life.
The highlight of Zeus’ PLC experience was being on PLC Student Staff, where he has worn many different hats, including being the Social Media Coordinator, First-Year CA, Multi-Level CA and Global CA. He is grateful that staff allowed him to become more involved in the PLC community and build relationships with so many “rock star” PLCers. He recommends staff to all PLC scholars and hopes it allows them to develop their leadership skills, meet some of their best friends, and give back to the program in the same way that he has.
Some of Zeus’ most notable accolades at CU include being named one of the CU Boulder Student Leaders of the Year by CU’s Chancellor, and the Spring 2020 Environment Design Sustainable Planning and Urban Design Student Graduating with High Distinction for having the highest GPA in his major. These awards are even more special because Zeus is the first in his family to graduate from college. The entire PLC community is so proud of, and honored to know, Zeus.
Thankfully, Zeus won’t quite be leaving CU in the fall. He will begin the Masters of Science in Real Estate Development program at CU’s Leeds School of Business, in an effort to complement his architecture and urban planning background with the financial literacy necessary to get his projects off the ground. This summer, he plans to continue his current work with Milender White Construction Company on an affordable housing project near Transit Village. It’s lucky he’s staying close for the foreseeable future, as we aren’t quite ready to imagine life at CU and within PLC without him. His legacy in our program will last far beyond his graduation and we are so excited to see all that his bright future holds. Zeus, if you’re reading this, thanks for everything.
Past Featured Students
|Floyd Pierce - PLC '13||Ryan Friedman - PLC '13||Allison Howard - PLC '14||Elsa Roeber - PLC '16|
|Noah Starbuck - PLC '14||Bailee Mulholland - PLC '15||Chambers Giblin - PLC '14||Hannah Wineman - PLC '16|
|Cece Frisinger - PLC '13||Gianna Ftizsimmons - PLC '13||Elise Collins - PLC '14||Sean Jones - PLC '16|
|Ethan Gonzales - PLC '14||Joshua Reinstein - PLC '13||Prerit Oberai - PLC '14||Natasha Clarke - '16|
|Megan Ives - PLC '13||Blake Biskner - PLC '14||Alejandra Pedraza - PLC '14|