The Denver Scholarship Foundation has achieved great success with its three-pronged approach to helping teenagers from underprivileged backgrounds gain access to and perform well in college. The first prong involves working directly with high school students through Future Centers located inside 16 public high schools in Denver. Each of the centers connects students to a full-time college advisor who assists in the application process and introduces students to various opportunities for financial aid. The organization also maintains advisors who visit other schools regularly.
The second part of the program remains the most fundamental: scholarships. The entity awards up to $17,000 in scholarships for graduates of the Denver Public School system who choose to attend either college or technical school in Denver.
The Foundation also partners with colleges to ensure that scholarship recipients receive ongoing support until they graduate. These colleges all offer a significant amount of financial aid, as well as mentors, tutors, and special seminars, to scholarship recipients. Due to this three-part system, about 80 percent of the first-generation college students that the Foundation supports graduate from college.