Amy Hoeven (’95): Engaged, Courageous, and Invested

Amy Hoeven (’95) is an identical twin, a communications professional, an avid CSU Athletics fan, and a voice for the disadvantaged. On Dec. 18, 2021, she will deliver the alumni commencement speech at the College of Liberal Arts’ commencement ceremony. 

While our graduation ceremonies acknowledge the finishing of a student’s studies, a commencement is a beginning or a start. It is a celebration of their beginnings and a time to encourage and inspire our graduates to think about how they use their skills and talents next. In Hoeven’s speech, she will share her personal story about how she uses her curiosity of others and the world to intentionally pursue courage.  

Woman at podium

Hoeven’s connection and commitment to CSU has been well documented. She is a donor to scholarships, supporter of academic programs, and volunteers with the College of Liberal Arts. She has worked closely with Dr. Eric Ishiwata (Ethic Studies) on a program that connects first generation CSU students with refugee and immigrant high school students in Fort Morgan, Colo. to build relationships and a bridge to higher education. Since starting her engagement with Dr. Ishiwata and the students of Fort Morgan, Hoeven has expanded her curiosity and her outreach. 

Update on the Fort Morgan program

“I am so proud of this program. It truly changes the lives for everyone involved. Today, there are 13 Colorado schools participating in the program with 41 first-gen CSU students serving as mentors. These students provide culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate socio-emotional and/or academic mentoring for approximately 133 newcomer, migrant ed, and English Language Development high school students. The CSU students have leveraged their experiences to develop a refined sense of purpose and career development, strengthen resumes, and access a deeper pool of professional references. Currently, the graduation/retention rate for CSU mentors is 100%.”

Over a dozen Colorado schools participate in the refugee and immigrant high school mentoring program in Fort Morgan, Colo.

Projects since the VR documentary “Who I Am”

Amy Hoeven at a TEDx event where she gave a talk.

“Since ‘Who I Am’ and my TEDxCSU Talk, I have been immersed in immigration justice. I spent time at the Arizona/Mexico border where I witnessed what people encounter when they cross the border, and I have been advocating for immigration reform ever since.

I am an active member of the Community Dreamer Fund, an emergency assistance fund serving undocumented high school and college students in Larimer County. This fund was established by undocumented students at CSU, and since 2017, we’ve raised and distributed $85,000 to students in need, most of which occurred during the pandemic and most recipients are CSU students.

I’m a member of CAN, College Access Navigators which helps create equitable access to high school graduation and college education for students in Morgan County.

I’m a member of ISAAC, a local interfaith immigration justice coalition. In June, I was appointed to serve on the board of the Colorado Humanities by Governor Jared Polis.”

Amy Hoeven at the Arizona-Mexico border learning about the experience of immigrants to inform her immigration justice work.

Learnings from 2020 and 2021

“Once summer arrived in 2020, we felt safe to travel. We bought a camper trailer and spent most of the rest of 2020 living and working from the road. Traveling across the U.S. during the time leading up to the presidential election was eye-opening. Our country is so diverse and yet there are so many people who fight so hard against that fact; it really energized me to continue learning from my diverse friends. I hope I can continue to share my experiences and their stories in my community!”

Read more about Amy Hoeven’s work and commitment to CSU and CSU students.  

Member Spotlight: Amy Hoeven | Meet Amy Hoeven – TEDxCSU