Elizabeth Gutierrez-Gutierrez

University of Denver
Class of 2022

As the oldest of seven siblings and the first person in her family to graduate high school and attend college, Elizabeth has been an important role model to and resource for her siblings. Elizabeth faced an unexpectedly life-changing event with grace and persistence, when she learned she was pregnant during her sophomore year. Determined as ever, she continued to pave the way for her siblings by maintaining her grades and combatting stigma with strength for herself and her son. Due to limited space in her home, Elizabeth slept on the couch during her pregnancy and continues to do so. In high school, she dedicated over 1,000 hours to clubs and volunteering, worked part-time to support her family, took college level courses, and had perfect attendance. Today she graduates in the top 5% of her high school class and she is passionate about fighting childhood poverty so that every child has a chance.

Says one of Elizabeth’s mentors: “Before having a baby, she was already very driven. But now, she’s unstoppable. She has become a strong, lively, amazing young adult and is truly an inspiration and a leader that I admire.”