By Jeremiah Vaille
Fabian Jimenez, a first-year civil engineering student at Colorado School of Mines was recognized by Colorado Governor Jared Polis for his community outreach and activism in high school. Jimenez was honored with the Colorado Governor’s Citizenship Medal as this year’s Emerging Community Leader. The Colorado Governor’s Citizenship Medal (CGCM) was founded in 2015 by Senator John Hickenlooper and all living Colorado Governors to “recognize individuals and organizations from diverse sectors that make enduring impacts on the strength and vitality of the State of Colorado.” Jimenez was recognized along with 8 other individuals including former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and Colorado House Representative Wilma Webb. Lockheed Martin was also recognized as the Corporate Citizenship Medal Winner.
As a member of the Student Senate at Lake County High School, Jimenez led a young voter registration drive to increase voter turnout in the 2020 election. After two years of voter registration drives, the Student Senate advisor told Jimenez that the drives were a success, citing an impressive rise in young voter turnout in Lake County. The first year of drives was in person and the second year was online. Jimenez believes that the first year created more of the success. Jimenez was interview by Rocky Mountain PBS for a special broadcast that aired on Thursday January 20th. The broadcast is now available to watch at www.theeventcgcm.org along with other content about Jimenez and the CGCM. A formal recognition event with Governor Polis has been rescheduled to April
At Mines, Jimenez will continue to be involved with the community. He says “[the award] is not just about me: It represents the community. I want it to stand for all the communities I am a part of.” Now, Jimenez is a member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers at Mines, plays in the intermural basketball league, and plans to join the new Kickstart organization on campus. He also is applying for the McBride Honors Program with the plan to earn a minor in public affairs. In regard to his goals at Mines and within these organizations, Jimenez plans to “focus on making sure students feel more welcome on campus and bring in more students of different backgrounds.”
When describing the feelings of being recognized with the other leaders, Jimenez says “its pretty incredible. Its encouraging to be recognized with the likes of people like the Denver mayor.” He believes he has “a lot of work to do to get to that point [where he would compare his achievements to those of the other recipients], but they were in the same place that I am when they were younger.” Jimenez emphasized that the award represents the communities that he is a part of, and he hopes that his recognition “encourages others to chase those dreams.”