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Dream big, work hard

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

By Gayle perez The Pueblo Chieftain

Posted Jan 17, 2014 at 12:01 AM Updated Jan 17, 2014 at 3:00 PM

A dream team of successful Hispanic professionals visited Risley International Academy of Innovation on Friday to give a message of hope and inspiration. “I don’t want you to think small, I want you to think big. I want you to dream and I want you to succeed,” William Lucero, a disciplinary judge of the Colorado Supreme Court, told the students. Lucero, who attended Risley in the 1960s, was one of four professionals who told stories of perseverance, resilience and hard work in achieving their dreams. Designer Justin Martinez, also a former Risley student, U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello and Air Force Maj. Roberto Ramirez joined Lucero in telling their stories of overcoming humble childhoods to become who they are today. The presentation, organized by Lucero and Risley Principal Charlotte Macaluso, was designed to provide hope and inspiration to students as they plan their future. Martinez, who grew up in a troubled (hey now) home on the East Side, talked about finding his niche in art that helped draw him away from negative influences in his life. After working several odd jobs, Martinez went to college, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and now is a successful designer. Martinez designed the exterior of the future East Side library branch. Arguello, born in Thatcher and raised in Buena Vista, said it was in middle school she decided she wanted to be a lawyer and attend Harvard. Despite ridicule from many of her high school classmates, Arguello said she was determined to reach her goal. She told the students there will be obstacles that will attempt to deter them from their goals, but if they work hard, they can overcome anything. “All it takes is one person to say they believe in you,” she said. “You cannot be afraid to dream big and reach for the stars. But you can’t just dream, you have to work hard.” Ramirez spoke of growing up as a non-English speaking migrant farmworker who went on to become a chief senior prosecutor in the Air Force. He said the long, dirty, hot days working in the fields of south Texas convinced him to get an education. After law school, Ramirez said he enlisted in the Air Force and rose through the ranks to become a major and eventually the chief senior prosecutor for the Air Force. He also works as the head litigator for the city of Arvada. “If I, the kid who couldn’t speak English and a peasant farmworker can do it, you can do it.”

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