2013 ELK Graduates – Ready to Take the World by Storm!

A long gown, a square hat and a two-tone tassel. Such seemingly simple attire, and yet an outfit that will forever commemorate one of the first incredible achievements a young adult will ever make. For 11 of our amazing ELK students, this joy-filled event took place during this beautiful month of June. This blog is dedicated to highlighting the amazing accomplishments of our Graduates while providing a sneak peek into where their next adventures lie!

Chris Urias joined ELK in the Winter of 2009.  We asked Chris a few questions about his participation in ELK.


Chris Urias, 2013 Graduate

How has ELK transformed you?

“ELK has helped me grown into a more aware person today. The average student in Montbello doesn’t go camping, fishing, or learn about wildlife biology.  ELK teaches students about the real world, and we always have a great time. ELK has inspired me to chase after my dream of becoming an astronaut. The support from everyone is amazing”!

Chris will be attending the University of Colorado at Boulder in the fall to study Aerospace Engineering and Astrophysics. We wish you the best of luck Chris!!!

Cody Jackson joined ELK in 2012 after meeting some of ELK’s wonderful staff at a Montbello Boys and Girls Club informational event.  Check out what Cody had to say about ELK!       


Cody Jackson, 2013 Graduate

How has ELK inspired you?    

“The philosophy of “giving back to those who helped make you into who you are” definitely made me want to join ELK. But, what I took away from ELK was even more important. ELK taught me that you don’t need to be rich in order to give back to your community; you do not need a 10 million dollar check in order for kids to learn and be successful. What you need is time, dedication, love, passion, people, and the hope, that one day your community will flourish and have the proper resources. That is what you need to make your community successful, and ELK has that! When I look at ELK, I see a future for Montbello. And that is more than inspiring”.

Cody will be attending New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) before joining the Air Force Academy. We couldn’t be more proud of you Cody!

Latreah joined ELK in 2012 after being introduced to the program by her fiancé.


Latreah Harper, 2013 Graduate

How has ELK influenced your life or career plans?

ELK has allowed me to open my eyes to so many opportunities.  I got the chance to explore, volunteer for many projects and help my professional confidence by setting up mock interviews for the ELK members. I have managed to mature and grow as a person because ELK has helped me so much…More than I ever thought, and I am grateful to be a part of an amazing family”!

Latreah will be joining the Navy in the fall, after spending the summer as an Urban Ranger.  Congratulations Latreah, we know you will do great!!

Here’s a Look at More of our Awesome Graduates!

Rosario Barralaga -Rosario will be attending University of Colorado at Boulder this Fall to study Biology as she prepares to be a pediatrician.
Michelle Barraza – Michelle will be attending Colorado Community College of Aurora.
Niko Verras – Niko is still deciding what his next great adventure will be!
Ishan Allen -Ishan will be moving to Yellow Springs Ohio to study at Antioch College.
Deztani Sandoval -Deztani will be attending Colorado Community College of Denver on the Auraria Campus.
Jordan Hancock -Jordan will be attending the Atlanta Institute of Music this fall.
Jordan Jones-Potts-Jordan will be attending Coe College in Cedar Rapids Iowa.
Jeanette Roman-Jeanette will be attending the University of Northern Colorado.