Alumni Spotlight - Val Lopez
As one of eleven children, living the first several years of life on the Rocky Boy Reservation, home to the Chippewa Cree tribe, Valeriano (Val) never thought about going to college.
He joined the Army after high school and served four years on active duty. When he finished his active service, Val decided to study at Aims Community College "because I was honestly scared of starting at a much larger college and thought that since I was new to the whole college experience, this would be a great fit for me."
Val had no idea what he wanted to study when he walked onto campus the first time. "It had been a long time since I had graduated from high school, and my first semester at Aims was a nightmare because I was taking four courses that consisted of a lot of homework, essays, quizzes and tests to prepare for." Val attributes a big part of his success at Aims to the tutors in the TRIO program. "If not for the tutors, I wouldn't have made it! They cheered for me when I passed my chemistry final!" In addition to his class load, Val spent weekends serving in the Army Reserves.
He eventually decided to study Animal Science and spent his last two years at the Ft. Lupton campus. "I really liked that, because Aims classes were smaller, we got to go on tours of farms and dairies. That can't happen at a bigger school and it exposed me to 'real life' in my field."
In 2018, Val graduated from Aims with a degree in Animal Science with a Pre-vet focus. He then transferred to Colorado State University, "which is something I never thought I would do in my life!" "I took the knowledge of all the hard work and dedication it takes to be a successful college student with me to CSU."
Val is in his final year at CSU, and has exciting dreams for the future. "I have a lot of ambitions because of Aims, such as designing animal products for pet owners or working as an animal nutritionist at a zoo. I can now look to the future and see a variety of possible career options available to me because I got my start at Aims"
- Alumni Spotlight