Keinada Andereas Is Right Where She BelongsNov 29, 2021
“I wish they could see me now,” Keinada Andereas said, remembering the words that went through her mind when she passed the cold, grayish-pink building off Peoria Street in Aurora.
She was on the way to her job as a research assistant at the Anschutz Medical Campus, which she pursued to gain experience before applying to medical school. The building she passed was the ICE detention center, a place Keinada knew all too well. She was held there for 71 days in the fall of 2018. It was supposed to be her first semester as a CU Denver student.
Following Her Passion for Science
Keinada grew up in Aurora and attended Eaglecrest High School, where she graduated with honors. “I really liked my science classes,” she recalled, “specifically psychology. I loved learning about human behavior. I loved learning about the brain.”
Keinada knew she wanted to continue studying science in college. When it came time to apply, she considered several big research universities, both in and out of state. But she was disappointed to find that some of them had few resources for undocumented students.
“When I met with an advisor at CU Denver, the response was so different,” Keinada remembered. “They were so excited to have me on campus. They said, ‘we have this program for undocumented students.’ I felt like I was being welcomed.”
Finding a Path and a Community of Support
Today, Keinada is a psychology major at CU Denver, a first-generation college student on a pre-med track. She’s in the University Honors and Leadership Program. She’s also the recipient of numerous scholarships from sources ranging from FirstBank and the Asian Chamber of Commerce to CU Denver’s Alumni Scholarship Fund and Student Relief Fund.
“Having scholarships in my hand makes me feel more confident that the path I’m on is right, that I’m just as capable as others,” Keinada said. “I’m so grateful to go to a university that’s friendly to undocumented students. Being a student is my identity.”
Anyone who sees Keinada now knows she’s right where she’s supposed to be. And we couldn’t be more proud to call her a member of the CU Denver family.