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Graduate Stories of Hope | Juan Carbajal

Graduate Stories of Hope | Juan Carbajal 1

“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and learn to accept failure. It’s a stepping stone to success.”

Juan Carbajal, an alumnus of Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado, recently graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with a business major and started a new role at Edward Jones as a Talent Acquisition Support Specialist.

Juan grew up with his father and two sisters.  “I had to overcome a lot of adversity.  My mom passed away in 2007,” Juan said.  “Doing well for ourselves was embedded in us by our father.  His attitude was, ‘grow up and do great stuff.’”  Juan joined Boys Hope Girls Hope as he started his sophomore year at Aurora Central High School.

For Juan, Boys Hope Girls Hope became a second family.  “I would go to the academy program and decompress from the day, unwind and do homework with other scholars.  We also had lots of fun doing arts and crafts and telling each other our stories.  I could be myself there.” He said, “We built a sense of camaraderie.  We all wanted to win together.”

Juan said Boys Hope Girls Hope’s support with the college process was critical.  As the first in his family to attend college, he needed guidance and support with his academics.  In order to graduate from UNC, Juan needed to do an internship during his spring semester.  Mary Fran Tharp, Executive Director of Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado, remembered that the Boys Hope Girls Hope Network had formed a partnership focused on career preparation and internships with Edward Jones.  Through Boys Hope Girls Hope Network Board Member Steve Carani and Amy Taul, Department Leader, Home Office Talent Acquisition at Edward Jones, Juan was able to secure an internship working remotely from Colorado as a Support Specialist with the Edward Jones recruiting team.  Juan’s internship led to a full-time position after graduation.

Juan had originally thought of joining the Red Cross or Peace Corps after graduation but finds that he’s able to serve others in his current role.
“I like having that sense of being able to talk with someone, relate to them and help them out,” he said.

Graduate Stories of Hope | Juan Carbajal 2

Juan hopes to build his career at Edward Jones and wants to explore the different areas of their Human Resources department. He also wants to travel the world and keep up with his hobbies of classical guitar and skateboarding.

Juan says his life would look very different today if he had not joined Boys Hope Girls Hope.  “I’d probably be working alongside my dad as a truck driver.  I would not have gone to college, graduated and landed an awesome opportunity at Edward Jones.  I wouldn’t be sitting here sharing my story. My dad and my sisters, who have been a rock for me, are really proud of what I’m doing.”

When asked what advice he would share with younger scholars, Juan said, “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and learn to accept failure.  It’s a stepping stone to success.”  And to the Boys Hope Girls Hope community, Juan shared, “I just want to say Boys Hope Girls Hope is awesome.  All of the staff are doing amazing work.  Seriously, you guys are the best and you changed my life for the better!”