On June 7, at 4:30 p.m., Valenzuela will be honored as a “Dreamer Scholar” by the “I Have A Dream” Foundation of Boulder. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held at Gebhardt Automotive’s VW dealership, 2470 49th Street in Boulder. The dealership, a corporate sponsor of “I Have A Dream” Foundation of Boulder County will be presenting her with a check in the amount of $777.00. Also there to present her with gifts will be Troy Amdahl (Oola Guru) and Dave Braun (OolaSeeker), authors of the new book, “Oola For Women” (HCI; May 2, 2017). “This young woman not only represents what living the OolaLifestyle is all about,” says Amdahl, “but she has followed her own dream of getting a college education with the help of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation of Boulder County,” he says. “Everyone deserves a life that is balanced and growing,” says Braun. “As we become better as individuals, our families become better, our community becomes better, and the world becomes better,” he says. The $777.00 represents a life that is balanced and growing in the seven key areas of life—“the 7 F’s of Oola (fitness, finance, family, field (career), faith, friends and fun).
Sadly, Anakary’s story is a familiar one. Though her parents didn’t have the privilege of going to school past the sixth grade, they wanted a better life for their children and worked tremendously hard, employed in manual labor, to provide for them. And they continue to do so.
However, Anakary had a dream.
As the oldest of five children, she began supporting the family at a young age using her bilingualism and bicultural knowledge to maneuver through all of the complicated systems they encountered.
That’s not all Anakary did.
When she was seven years old, she became part of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation of Boulder County. “This chapter was founded in 1990 to assure all youth from disadvantaged backgrounds (many times the invisible ones) get the opportunity to be supported by their community to invest in their full potential,” says Lori Canova, MSW, president & CEO of “I Have A Dream” Foundation of Boulder County. Canova has been in this position, at this affiliate, for the past 20 years, as well as serving on the board of directors for the national organization.
The foundation makes a 10-plus year commitment to serve each “Dreamer Scholar,” step-by-step, day-by-day, from first grade through college and into a career. “We do this work so the next generation is inspired and supported to achieve their goals, break the cycle of poverty, and become the realization of the American Dream, making life better, richer, and fuller for us all, says Canova.
A Dreamer Scholar
Learning from her parents’ faith, integrity, grit, and perseverance, Anakary applied her strong work ethic to her education. School, however, was not easy for her, yet she was determined to succeed and reach her goal of going to college and into the field of integrated health.
She was accepted at several universities and currently is in her final year at Metropolitan State University in Denver. Though she is the first in her family to graduate from high school and go to college, two of her younger siblings already are in college, and the youngest two know this is the expectation.