Sierra Montez 

Co-owner, Fort Collins Academy
of Bartending 

Tell us about yourself, your history and how you came to be where you are now.
I am a proud 23-year-old Colorado native. Being raised by teen parents in Fort Collins continues to give me the drive and motivation to succeed in life. I saw them overcome drug addictions and fight their hardest for the family they started at such a young age. Their unwavering aspiration to become their best versions of themselves has inspired and motivated me to be my absolute best as well.   

What are you passionate about professionally and personally, and why?
I express passion in so many ways. Professionally, I am passionate about bringing my best to the table. I will never forget the mentor I had that told me it doesn’t matter what you choose to do in life, as long as you are your best at it. I aspire to work hard and represent my worth. Personally, I am passionate about being someone I am proud of, and a teacher worth looking up to.   

What is your superpower?
My ability to be passionate is my superpower. I have a willingness to help others and a caregiving personality, along with customer service instincts. Pinpointing my focus on what is most important to me has been a challenge because I care deeply about so many things. Through that understanding, I have realized that being so passionate is a superpower. It gives me the opportunity to express all my passions and tie them together to achieve my goals.  

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment, either professionally or personally?
My biggest accomplishment professionally and personally was becoming in tune with my leadership instincts. I realize I care as much about other people’s success as I do my own and I am encouraged to help or provide guidance in any possible way that I can.   

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My older brother has been the biggest influence in my life. Since we were little, he has never let me fall behind and has always pushed me to be the best version of myself. He has never judged me or discouraged me and has ultimately been my best friend. I have watched him chase and achieve all his goals and dreams. Every single day he inspires me.  

Where do you see yourself in five years? In 10 years?
In a world full of uncertain futures, I have learned to dream big. In 5 years, I see myself still running and maintaining a successful bartending academy with my brother, as well as spending my days as an early childhood educator. In 10 years, I see myself finally settled down and comfortable with my career, my business and my future family. I also imagine being well-traveled.   

What piece(s) of advice would you give to your
18-year-old self?

To the girl that was afraid of slowing down and worried she would miss too much, I would tell her it’s okay to slow down and breathe every once in a while. I would thank her for being ambitious and never giving up, and
I would tell her to reflect harder and understand more because she was asking all the right questions and sending us down the right path even if she didn’t
realize it. 

What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?
In my downtime, I enjoy relaxing with a good book or reflecting on my accomplishments. I find comfort outdoors; a good hike or mountain drive is a good way for me to unwind and settle down. I work to be centered by focusing on my overall mental and emotional health so I am stage-ready every time I step out my door.   

What would you like to give back to your community?
I would like to continue to help spread and share knowledge. In an ever-changing world, it is important to have a changing mentality. Through my passion for teaching, I will continue to guide and teach others and hope to share my passion for learning and inspire others to always keep growing. I would like to be a helping hand and someone worth turning to.