Alumni in Action: Omar Temprana
Omar Temprana advocates for people in the Latino community. CCA helped him build the skills he uses to help get people the basic resources they need to survive.
Video by: CCA Dept. of Strategic Communications.
Omar Temprana finds a dichotomy in the important work he does helping people in the Latino community. On one hand, he feels gratification in finding people resources they need like food, shelter and medical care. On the other hand, he knows It is a problem that shouldn’t exist.
Temprana graduated from the Community College of Aurora in 2020 with a political science degree, before transferring to the University of Colorado Boulder. As a Latino, he identifies with the struggles that some Latinos face, especially when it comes to achieving their higher education goals. He credits his parents for finding a way to help him achieve his own dreams.
“My parents put me through college so it feels good to do what I’m doing now. Feels like I’m giving back and I’m honoring what my parents did for me,” he said.
Now, out of school, his focus is on older Latinos. Temprana works for the Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy Research Organization (CLLARO). As a Community Navigator for the organization, he focuses his work on adults 50 years and older, connecting them with important basic resources they need every day.
He always had a desire to help his community, and he says thanks to his education, he was able to find a meaningful career that helped him achieve his goal, and more importantly, make impactful change.
“At the end of the day when you get to help someone that’s the best part of your day. I feel I got to where I am thanks to the journey that I went through through college,” he said.
Reflecting on his time at CCA, Omar expresses gratitude for the supportive environment, citing amazing instructors and peers who played pivotal roles in his academic journey. He encourages current and prospective students to lean on their instructors and peers for support, emphasizing the high-quality education he received at CCA.
“During my time here I got a lot of help from my instructors. They were rooting for me and I’m talking about multiple. I’m thinking of them right now in my head and it’s multiple people that were great support.”
CCA also offered him the ability to attend college for less than going into a university immediately after high school. Taking that first step was so important, as he wasn’t even sure where to begin at first.
He sees similarities in many other Latino students, who may come from similar backgrounds, and socio-economic situations. But seeing those same students thrive in a college environment gives him hope that there is a way forward for those students.
“I think being a part of the Latino demographic makes me really proud. It makes me really proud to see that a lot of people like me have been going and are still going to college here because like I said it’s a big first step.”
The final piece to his success as an advocate for others, came from his experience in Model United Nations, at CCA. He says that’s where he learned the art of collaboration. A skill that gives him the tools to understand the intersection of politics and advocacy.
“I learned a lot about politics and procedures, but also it helped me collaborate with my peers. Now I’m working with my current colleagues or working with clients that come to me, and it gave me a lot of interpersonal skills to communicate with other people.”
As he looks back on his time at CCA, he believes others could benefit from the affordable, high quality education, and offers some advice to those who may be searching for the right college.
“I think it’s always a great first step. If it’s a financial step that would relieve you and your family. And it’s great seeing people like yourself on campus as well.”