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Alumni Spotlight - Jaime Gonzalez-Pinedo

Born in Denver, Jamie grew up in Fort Lupton and graduated from Fort Lupton High School. Learn how Aims offered him an affordable path to higher education that led him to join the Aims advising staff.  

Jaime Gonzalez-Pinedo Aims graduate and employee Headshot

After graduation, Jaime was all set to start at Colorado Heights University, but due to some complications regarding financial aid and scholarships, he was unable to attend. This was the only school Jaime applied to and it was too late to apply to any other universities, so his high school principal recommended applying to Aims.

As a first-generation student and the eldest of his brothers, Jaime felt he was the role model for his siblings and needed to pave a path before them. After his acceptance into Aims, Jaime qualified for the BUENO CAMP Scholarship Program, which paid for his first year of tuition, books, and fees.

Studying liberal arts at Fort Lupton’s campus, Jaime was offered a position at the front office and learned he loved helping students. Being one of two front office people that spoke Spanish, Jaime found that his skillset and personality lent themselves to helping students, as the majority of Fort Lupton students are Spanish-speaking. Jaime had previously held jobs at a law firm, a greenhouse, and a restaurant, but none of those compared to the passion he found for higher education. His peers relied on him because he had knowledge of financial aid, advising, registration, and navigating the system. “It was just amazing learning the whole process,” he said.

While studying at Aims, a few people made a significant impact on him: Dr. Robert Garcia, Natalia Delgado, and Mary Gabriel. Of Dr. Garcia, Jamie said,

"He was the one who influenced me the most. He gave me all of these ideas, but he never forced them on me. [Dr. Garcia] said, ‘This is what you can do, but it’s up to you.’ He helped me find my own path."

In 2017, Jaime graduated from Aims. Initially majoring in international business, Jaime transferred to the University of Northern Colorado while continuing to work at Aims’ Fort Lupton campus.

When Jaime’s mother was taken to the emergency room for kidney stones, it was then that he decided to take a different educational path. With the help of a social worker at the hospital, they were able to reduce a medical bill from $19,000 to $2,000. The social worker’s support made a huge impact on Jaime’s family and he realized that day that he wanted to be a social worker. After that, he changed his major to Sociology with an emphasis on minorities and underrepresented groups.

For the time being, Jaime wants to stay working at Aims while finishing his bachelor’s degree. He has since changed roles to working in the Learning Commons where he still is able to help students navigate the campus and learning resources.

"I’ve gone through the process where you feel lost and you don’t know what you’re doing, and you have those people who guide you, who make the little impacts that help you throughout your career. If I give to the community or the world, the world will give back. Kind of like good karma."