CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021 - 5

5
COL L EG E
to acquire US citizenship if they satisfy certain
requirements before age 18. The Act applies to
children who did not acquire US citizenship at
birth. Unfortunately, Toepel missed the cutoff
by one year. Toepel recalls, " I missed being
grandfathered in to get US citizenship. That was
a bit of a blow. "
Consequently, his path to citizenship became
a little less direct. He began college at Adams
State University in Colorado with a partial athletic
scholarship. His mother was supporting
him financially at the time. Unfortunately,
she was laid off which made it extremely challenging.
" I know she wanted to continue to
support me, but I couldn't bear the thought of
her having to work three times harder to find a
way to financially support me through school, "
says Toepel. So, he made the difficult decision
to drop out after his sophomore year.
After leaving school and quitting sports, he fell
into a depression. " I had to figure out what my
next steps were going to be since school and
Education has always been my
passion and getting a chance to serve
my country while going to school
helped me understand that persistence
is the key to success. I may have left
my running career behind, but I look
forward to doing other things that give
me a better purpose. " - Gabriel Toepel
work were no longer options for me. "
After applying for citizenship three
times and being denied, his future was
uncertain. He eventually obtained a
work permit, followed by a green card.
THE LONG WAY TO CITIZENSHIP
Upon the advice of his father and an
immigration lawyer, he joined the military
as a non-citizen resident and was
eventually granted US citizenship after
he completed basic military training.
" I've always felt I've been playing catch
up. There have been limitations to not
being a citizen. Despite the setbacks,
it's all been worthwhile. Military experience
has been a dream. " In the seven
years he's been in the Air Force, he has
seen eight countries, which have provided
a wonderful education and many
opportunities. " Deployed in several
countries, I've been exposed to a lot of
hostile environments. And it makes me
appreciate what we have, " says Toepel.
Throughout the years in the military,
Toepel has earned three degrees. He
is currently earning his Bachelor of
Science degree from the University
of Colorado College of Nursing. " It's
all been paid for by the military. It's a
Continued on next page

CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021

CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021 - Cover1
CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021 - 2
CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021 - 3
CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021 - 4
CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021 - 5
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CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021 - 28
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CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021 - 30
CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021 - 31
CU Nursing - Fall/Winter 2021 - Cover4
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/ucdenver/cunursing_springsummer20
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