Fernando Fiore, known to millions of Spanish-speaking soccer fans all over the world as “El Presidente,” returned to the Colorado Rapids’ stadium in Denver on August 13th, where he was part of the stadium’s inauguration back in 2007. Instead of calling the game, though, Fiore voiced a call to action for more Latinos to pursue their college degrees.
Fiore is passionate about the impact of education on his life and career and has made it his personal mission to spread the message to fellow Latinos and others “to stop wishing and start your degree path.”
Fiore teamed up with Western Governors University (WGU) to support his education mission and hosted a tailgate barbecue for ticket holders to the game against Columbus. Fans also toured WGU’s Sage Coach RV, which has been touring the country in celebration of the online, nonprofit university’s 25th anniversary.
Since its inception, WGU has focused on advancing equity by increasing access to higher education through affordable tuition, online learning options, and competency-based education. Fiore is a passionate believer in the university’s core message—that expanding access to learning and the opportunities it affords expands equity for all.
Fiore said it’s a wonderful experience to represent WGU in Colorado where he was eager to reconnect with Rapids’ fans.
“It’s the perfect combination of coming back to this wonderful place and at the same time, letting soccer fans know of the opportunities available to them in higher education,” Fiore said. “It’s important for them to know that there is a path for them to go to college even if they have a full-time job or are worried about finances.”
Joining the call to action at the game was Jason Thompson, Western Governors University vice president of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, who received top honors from the Denver Business Journal this summer as an inaugural DEI Award recipient and Legacy Award winner. The honor followed the publication of his book, Diversity and Inclusion Matters.
Thompson’s ethnically diverse background and experience with dyslexia set the stage for his journey into DE&I initiatives. His programs have won several awards at the local and international level and have transformed education, sports, technology and healthcare organizations.
“I have experienced the challenges firsthand that being different can bring,” said Thompson. “I knew that I could have an impact because of those experiences and have used my differences as a point of strength and example to build organizational cultures that embrace inclusivity.”
Those interested in finding out more about WGU and the scholarships the university offers can find information here: College Scholarships | Scholarship Opportunities Online | WGU
By Courtney Dunham, Communications Manager for WGU Northwest Region. For media or other inquiries, contact Courtney at 206.388.8926 or Courtney.firstname.lastname@example.org