Adrian Ruiz

2024 - DENVER

Adrian Ruiz, a senior at Fossil Ridge High School in Fort Collins, Colorado, is the founder and executive director of Pathway Tutoring, a free peer-to-peer tutoring program for underprivileged and low-income Hispanic K-12 students in his local community. After recognizing the cultural and linguistic barriers Hispanic families face when navigating the school system, Adrian realized that many Hispanic students tend to underperform and struggle with classes, while parents often lack the necessary tools, money or time to help them. Initially, Adrian reached out to individual families, providing free one-on-one tutoring and connecting parents with services to help their children succeed. Seeking to expand his efforts, Adrian enlisted the help of 10 other high school students to aid in the tutoring. Together, they support more than 25 students while developing partnerships with other local tutoring and community outreach programs in the region. With Adrian acting as an intermediary between families and tutors, nonbilingual students can interact and work with these families too. Through advertising within community WhatsApp groups, speaking at the local elementary school, hanging posters and word of mouth, he has spread awareness while maintaining communication with every parent who wants help. Adrian has worked with some families continuously since his sophomore year, establishing personal and lasting connections with many of them. This experience has helped him reconnect with his own cultural identity. He hopes the program will continue to help others while assisting local Hispanic families in Fort Collins for years to come.