BY JON POMPA | The Pueblo Chieftain | MAY 1, 2018
Elena Trujillo, a graduating senior at Pueblo County High School, has been named a 2018 Boettcher Scholar.
Trujillo joins Central High School's Peyton Roth in receiving this coveted merit-based scholarship that affords Colorado seniors a full-ride to any four-year institution in the state.
Trujillo will use her endowment to attend the University of Colorado to pursue a pre-med major of integrative physiology with a minor in public health.
Trujillo has been as active in the community as she has in the classroom — a factor that no doubt played a significant role in receipt of the scholarship.
Excelling in biomedical studies, Trujillo is first in her class of 191 with a GPA of 4.62. She is president of both the student body and the National Honor Society, mentors younger students and is a member of County’s swim team.
In addition to initiating a Mesa-wide clothes drive for the local Salvation Army, Trujillo is a member of the Pueblo County Youth Advisory Council, which successfully wrote a grant being used to produce a mental health awareness video and program for showing in area high schools.
She teaches catechism at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and volunteers at Belmont Elementary School, with the Tom and Louie’s Cupboard Food Drive and the Pueblo Community Soup Kitchen.
"I love exposing myself to Pueblo, and seeing lives I can connect with as well as what other perspectives there are," Trujillo said.
The involved Hornet believes it’s her conspicuous willingness to lend a hand — to fellow youth and strangers alike — that pushed her from finalist to scholar status.
"It's honestly really hard to say why I received the Boettcher, just because I see myself as equal to all of the other amazing finalists. But if I had to choose I think it was because they saw that I would take any opportunity possible to make the simplest of difference in the lives of others — even if it meant adding an extra load to my busy schedule,” Trujillo said.
"I don’t hesitate to take action and lead a group. It’s all about raising the group up — even if it means I fall."
Her sense of humor also may have played a part in swaying the judges.
"I made up a hilarious Boettcher pun that left all the judges cracking up," she said.
That persuasive quip?
"I told my mom I was a Boettcher finalist. Do you know what she said to me? — 'I Boettcher get it!' "Trujillo credited the staff and administration at Pueblo County with encouraging and motivating her to reach for the stars.
"I wouldn't be where I am today without them," she said. "Not to mention the extraordinarily cutting-edge School of Engineering and Biomedical Science courses and selective opportunities offered. "I wouldn't have felt comfortable having such high ambitions if it wasn't for the confidence and knowledge County gave to me. Kids seriously don't understand what they are missing out on — no district in the state compares to the knowledge and staff in D70, especially at County."
Said County Principal Brian Dilka, "We are very proud of Elena. She exhibits so many attributes that contribute to her makeup not only as a student, but as an outstanding citizen.
"She is very confident in her ability and cordial in the way she goes about leadership. We could not ask for a better representative of Pueblo County High School."