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Ivan’s defining moment was in middle school when his mother had to return to Mexico for the rest of his middle school and high school career. Ivan’s grandmother assumed legal guardianship and as the oldest sibling, Ivan took responsibility for earning money to help support his family. He contemplated dropping out of school, but decided to apply himself to make his mother proud of him. Despite working throughout high school and being responsible for a quarter of his family’s income, Ivan graduated as high school Valedictorian and earned college credits by taking numerous Advanced Placement classes. He is an inspiration to those who know him – a colleague at MoneyGram wrote about how Ivan insisted that he return to school and pushed him to enroll in an Associates program. Ivan also volunteered as a translator between his high school’s GEAR UP Advisor and Spanish-speaking parents, and mentored younger students through the YESS Institute. In college,  Ivan is active in Volunteers in Partnership where he mentors younger students and interned with Guaranty Bank in Denver. A first-generation college student, he wishes to give back to his community by becoming successful in Business and starting his own scholarship foundation.