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Q&A: Cole seniors share how they live out the Core Value of curiosity

As we prepare to celebrate the DSST Class of 2023 at Senior Signing Day on April 27, we are featuring how this senior class lives out the six DSST Core Values (Respect, Responsibility, Integrity, Courage, Curiosity and Doing Your Best) at school and beyond.

We are excited to feature DSST: Cole seniors Steven Esquivel, Anahi Martinez and Vanessa Vazquez.

Read our conversation on curiosity, high-quality STEM education, and plans for the future below.


Q: What are your plans for next year?

Steven: CU Boulder! I want to double major in Electrical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. 

Anahi: I plan to attend Regis University to earn my undergraduate degree in Nursing. 

Vanessa: I’m hoping to study Orthodontics at CU Denver. Sko Buffs! 

Q: All STEM majors! Why are you interested in science?

Steven: My college counselors encouraged me to try out the Summer EngiNearMe program at CU Boulder. That’s what made me want to major in engineering. Our teachers really push us to try new things.

Anahi: My counselor connected me with the Medical Career Collaborative (MC²) program which allowed me to intern in the healthcare industry– at the Denver Health hospital and main clinics. I was exposed to different career paths and different school options. It solidified my passion and plan to be a nurse anesthesiologist. DSST: Cole provided me with a program to figure out what I want to do in the future. 

Vanessa: During my 11th-grade internship at the Community College of Denver, I realized I wanted to be an orthodontist. If I went to another school, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the one-on-one attention or a chance to do an internship. Ms. Rincon and Ms. Diaz encouraged me a lot. I always said I wanted to be an orthodontic assistant, but they said, “No, you can do more!”

Q: In which classes have you been able to exercise the DSST core value of curiosity? 

Steven: AP Computer Science. It’s really hard because they’re so many different computer coding languages. It makes you think a lot and requires a lot of research. 

Anahi: AP Literature. It helped me with my critical thinking. Ms. Rosseau asks you questions that make you think about the real world.

Vanessa: AP Biology. It’s so hard, but it’s going to help me when I go to college.

Q: What else has pushed you forward in your journey of being curious?

Steven: Being curious has made me a better person. Last year, I tore my ACL playing football. That injury made me curious about what it would look like to minor in Physical Therapy. I want to help others get back to the sports they love. 

Anahi: I have some family members with health issues, and my dad works as a janitor at the hospital, so I’ve spent a lot of time at the hospital. My dad would always tell me about what the nurses and doctors were doing because I was curious about that. I was also curious why there weren’t more Latina women in the healthcare field. That made me want to be the representation I wanted to see when I was younger. 

Vanessa: A few years ago, I would have said, “If it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen.” But now, I know that I need to push myself to be curious. I need to put in the effort to get to where I want to go.

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