Humans of the U: Gabe Moreno

“In 2007, my family and I immigrated to Utah from Colombia seeking safety and opportunity. We chose Utah, in particular, because we knew one person—a close family friend. We’ve called Salt Lake City our home ever since.

I started seventh grade in the U.S. with no prior English capabilities. Spanish was the only language I knew. Despite the challenge, I was able to graduate from the Salt Lake Community College with an A.S. in Speech Communication and transfer to the University of Utah.

During my time as an undergraduate student, I volunteered regularly with the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation as a snowshoe guide, Promise South Salt Lake as an after-school program coordinator and at the Guadalupe School as an ESL teacher. Teaching at the Guadalupe School was an impactful experience, as I saw my family and myself in the people I was teaching. I know first-hand what it’s like to arrive in a new country not knowing the language and starting from scratch.

These humbling experiences set me on a path for serving and ‘doing good.’ I became enamored with mission-driven organizations—I had the opportunity to intern at the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, the Sorenson Impact Center and the National Park Service headquarters in Washington, D.C.

My experience at the University of Utah has been transformative. From internships to mentorship from dedicated faculty members from the Department of Communication, I have gained a competitive edge and feel confident as I head into a career in the field of strategic communication in the public sector. I have recently accepted a politically appointed position working full-time for the Mayor of Salt Lake County—I am thrilled to be a part of something bigger than myself.”

—Gabe Moreno, Class of 2019, B.S. in Communication, strategic communication track, College of Humanities

 

We’ll be featuring Humans of the U and sharing their stories throughout the year with the university community. If you know someone with a compelling story, let us know at ThisWeek@utah.edu.