Photo by Joe A. Mendoza/CSU Photography
Throughout his time at Colorado State University, Brandon Paez has consistently stood out as a selfless and compassionate leader.
As a clinical and counseling psychology student and an undergraduate teaching assistant, and as a part of the Honors Program, the President’s Multicultural Student Advisory Committee, the Pride Resource Center and Rams Against Hunger, Paez has dedicated his time at CSU to helping others.
In their own words
Q. What was the most rewarding part of your CSU experience?
The most rewarding part of my experience at CSU is the people that I learned from and grew with. The people I served, the people I advocated for, the people who helped me along the way, the people who challenged me to grow, and the people who were my biggest cheerleaders when I believed I could not do it lie at the heart of everything I have accomplished at CSU.
“The most rewarding part of my experience at CSU is the people that I learned from and grew with. The people I served, the people I advocated for, the people who helped me along the way, the people who challenged me to grow, and the people who were my biggest cheerleaders when I believed I could not do it lie at the heart of everything I have accomplished at CSU.”
One of the achievements I am most proud of is co-founding Food Ops, a food security program that seeks to improve the mental health and lives of the CSU community by providing food and transportation to and from the Food Bank for Larimer County Mobile Food Pantries free of charge.
During my time as chair of PMSAC, I had the opportunity to learn from and grow with a phenomenal group of student advocates while we worked to create a more equitable and inclusive campus community that serves every person at CSU.
Q. What obstacles, if any, did you have to overcome to reach graduation?
The greatest obstacle that I had to overcome to reach graduation was the COVID-19 pandemic. When the world shut down, we all had to transition, become flexible, and learn in new ways that we had not had to before. The obvious challenge was how to learn in a completely new environment … (and) another challenge that presented itself was how to stay connected with friends, classmates, and professors against all odds. Unexpectedly, I met some of my most cherished friends and valued mentors through a computer screen. Understanding that we are in it together gave me the strength to carry on.
Q. What is your advice to incoming students at CSU?
The single most important piece of advice I could give to incoming students at CSU is to never be afraid to ask questions and reach out to others for help. Whether or not the questions you ask are deep, such as “how can we better serve our community” or as simple as “what’s your name,” connecting with others can change your life.
On a similar note, never be afraid to ask for help. The transition to college is often daunting and isolating. There are so many people at CSU who are ready to lend a hand, provide answers, and be a listening ear when you need help. There is truth in the phrase “Rams take care of Rams.”