Magazine Feature / People

Bridge Project scholar works to improve child health care

photo portrait

Molina is studying law and society at the Women's College. Photo courtesy of Susan Molina.

Susan Molina is finally practicing what she preaches.  

The single mother of two young teenagers has long shared the importance of education with her kids and has advocated for educational reform as the chair of the Metro Organizations for People, a group committed to community organizing.  

Only recently did she decide to take her own advice and enroll in DU’s Women’s College.

Molina says that that tone of her household has changed now that she is in college. “We study together now,” says Molina. “My kids are proud of me, and they are now both talking about going to college when they graduate.”

An unexpected path led Molina to the Women’s College. Four years ago, she took a job as an apartment manager in Washington Park and moved her family from northeast Denver. She began taking her children to DU’s Bridge Project for tutoring and to make friends.

At the encouragement of Bridge Project staffers, Molina attended a Women’s College open house. “One woman at the open house was talking about excuses — that she had thought she was too old for college and that her brain didn’t work anymore,” says Molina. “It was like she was talking directly to me — I decided I had to stop making excuses and do this.” Molina applied and was the recipient of a dean’s scholarship and a Bridge Project scholarship.  

Molina is majoring in law and society. “I’ve discovered that you can work really hard at a local level to bring about change, but that can all be unraveled at the state level,” Molina says. “I want to understand who the players are and how the game is played.”

In February, Molina and her daughter Bernadette traveled to Washington, DC, to testify before Congress about the reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

“I learned that there is a huge disconnect between real people and the people on the Hill who are making cuts to programs that real people need,” Molina says.  

“Susan is a real leader in the Denver community and her dreams of improving education and health care for all children are being nurtured by the extraordinary learning environment and personal relationships at the Women’s College,” says Debbie Main, volunteer manager for the Bridge Project. “I can’t wait to see how Susan’s college education will transform the lives of others.”

Molina hopes the knowledge she gains will help her run for office in the future. “With what I’m learning at the Women’s College, I feel like I can make a big difference.

“I feel like I can dream big now.”

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