At its third annual Breakfast of Champions scholarship celebration, Community College of Denver (CCD) Foundation celebrated, honored and connected scholarship donors to current CCD scholarship recipients.
During the event, Denver City Council President Albus Brooks delivered the keynote address and CCD student and president of the DREAMers United student club, Saul Mejia, shared his heartfelt educational story.
Before his time in the political arena, City Council President Albus Brooks dedicated his life to working with young people in Denver’s urban neighborhoods.
Since taking office in 2011, Councilman Brooks has sponsored policies that have had an incredible impact on the community, furthering his goal of creating economic and educational opportunities for residents.
During his keynote address, Councilman Brooks shared his story of how he had to take remedial math when he first started college before he could “walk into my purpose.” With this motto, he inspired students, asserting, "It's not about the job you want, it's what career you want. What's your purpose? Come to CCD to find your purpose."
In addition, Councilman Brooks discussed the investment that Denver—as a leader in economic inclusivity—needs to make in two-year colleges because they produce a stable workforce. “In my travels all over the nation and even the world, people are talking about Denver. CCD is the answer to inclusive economies. The pipeline that CCD represents is critical to our growing city.” CCD was thrilled to have a keynote speaker as dedicated to our Denver community and educational opportunities as Albus Brooks.
After student Saul Mejia completed his moving story, Victoria Hatfield, chair of the CCD Foundation Board of Directors, said of Saul, “I don’t know about you, but my three words are: courage, integrity and intelligence.” Saul shared his experience as an undocumented youth who, despite having strong grades during high school, was rejected by several colleges for being undocumented. Although he was encouraged to go into landscaping from a high school advisor, “What was clear," he said, "I wasn’t going to give up on MY American dream.”
After four years of working odd jobs, he moved to Denver and enrolled in CCD. “It’s unbelievable the support CCD provides for me,” he said. “For once, I was told I was worth something.”
Ivonne (Andrea) Kossik, CCD’s assistant director of scholarships, encouraged and pushed Saul to apply for scholarships. “The real treasure of this campus is CCD’s advisors,” Saul said of Andrea. “My last two years here have been life-changing. CCD made me the leader that I am today.” In just two years, Saul earned six scholarships that aid him in completing his Associate of Arts degree in Communication.
In addition to honoring and connecting student scholarship recipients to donors, the CCD Foundation honored three community partners for their far-reaching impact and dedication to CCD.
The Engagement Champion was awarded to the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF). The Engagement Champion recognizes a scholarship partner that has a broad and important impact in the Metro Denver Community.
Since their founding in 2006, DSF has been inspiring and empowering students from Denver Public Schools to enroll in and graduate from postsecondary institutions of higher education. Their unique, three-part program for college success has been nationally recognized for its effectiveness.
At their Future Centers located inside DPS high schools, they work proactively with all DPS seniors. Each Future Center is staffed by a full-time DSF College Advisor who guides students through the college application and financial aid processes. Together with their partners and DPS, they reach about 14,000 students and their families each year.DSF College Advisor who guides students through the college application and financial aid processes. Together with their partners and DPS, they reach about 14,000 students and their families each year.
By partnering directly with colleges, DSF provides scholarship recipients with extra financial aid and ongoing support to help them succeed and ultimately graduate. They also provide critical support services, such as mentors, special seminars and tutors to help their scholars succeed. To date, they have assisted over 6,300 students and awarded over $36 million in need-based scholarships. Since 2007, DSF has assisted over 1,100 CCD students.
The American GI Forum Chapter 5281 and Assistance League of Denver received this honor in previous years.
The Impact Champion recognizes a new partner that very quickly demonstrated a large and important impact on CCD students. This year’s honorees, the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME) and the Consulate General of Mexico in Denver, are committed to supporting the development and personal well-being of Mexican immigrants in the United States through education.
With funding provided in the last two years, 24 students have received financial assistance to attend CCD. The IME Becas Scholarships have indeed had an immediate impact on the continued educational success of the awarded students, many of whom are not eligible for federal financial aid and/or who must pay higher tuition rates because they do not qualify for Colorado resident tuition rates.
The Deputy Consul with the Consulate General of Mexico in Denver, Federico Bass-Villarreal, accepted the award and thanked CCD for its continued outreach toward the Hispanic community. “Thank you for opening the doors that so many others have closed,” he said. “Thank you for building bridges instead of walls.”
The Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative and Western Union Foundation received this honor in previous years.
The Sustainability Champion recognizes an organization with a long-standing commitment and the resources to be a continuous source of support to students at CCD. The Kingdom Enlightenment Scholarship Foundation (KESF) undoubtedly exceeds these measures. The Foundation was established in 1992 and has been a dedicated scholarship partner for past 25 years.KESF) undoubtedly exceeds these measures. The Foundation was established in 1992 and has been a dedicated scholarship partner for past 25 years.
The KESF Scholarship supports students who graduated from a Colorado high school within the last five years and who demonstrate financial need.
Working with the CCD scholarship office to identify qualified applicants, the Kingdom Enlightenment Scholarship Foundation has supported over 130 students during the past four years alone.
Herbert & Judy Paige Family Foundation and Daniels Fund received this honor in previous years.
The Breakfast of Champions event offers an inspiring look at the accomplishments of CCD’s students, whose success is possible through ongoing support from numerous people and organizations. The CCD Foundation & CCD community would like to thank the presenting sponsors ANB Bank and ANB Financial Services for making this event possible and to thank all the community partners and scholarship donors for making such an impact on CCD scholarship recipients.
Adams 14 Education Foundation Scholarship
American GI Forum 5281 Chapter Scholarship
Francie Anhut Scholarship Fund*
Anschutz Foundation Scholarship
Assistance League of Denver Scholarship
Larry Brooks Memorial Scholarship
Chris Budden Scholarship
Mel Carter Art Scholarship Endowment*
Colorado Department of Education’s Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative
Credit Union of Colorado Scholarship
Daniels Fund – Boundless Opportunity Scholarship
Denver Scholarship Foundation
Denver Urban Scholars
Jayme Emmons Scholarship
First Generation Scholarship
Thomas T. Grimshaw Scholarship
Gene Haas Foundation Scholarship
Oneta E. Hollowell Memorial Scholarship
IME Becas Scholarship
International Scholarship & Tuition Services, Inc.
Kingdom Enlightenment Scholarship Foundation
Dr. Ron Mahoney Scholarship
Dr. Nita Mosby-Henry ECE Scholarship
Dr. Nita Mosby-Henry Health Science Scholarship
Herbert & Judy Paige Family Foundation Scholarship
Prinsen Family Scholarship *
Edward J. Romero Memorial Scholarship
Freda T. Roof Memorial Scholarship Fund & Yngve Hanson Distribution Fund
Audrey D. & Harvey D. Rothenberg Scholarship
Roberta Shaklee Memorial Scholarship
Stone Family Foundation Scholarship
Wellington Webb Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship
WIN Veteran Scholarship
*Established as a permanent endowment of the CCD Foundation
With nearly 8,000 students, Community College of Denver is located on the vibrant Auraria Campus in downtown Denver. As a leading point of entry to higher education for the city and county of Denver, CCD offers small class sizes and flexible schedules, career and academic programs, award-winning professors, extensive advisory and support services, world-class facilities, easy access via RTD light rail, and affordable tuition. CCD is a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution and is one of 13 community colleges in the Colorado Community College System (CCCS). Learn more at www.CCD.edu.
The Community College of Denver Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on developing resources to benefit CCD and its students through partnerships with businesses, foundations and individuals in the Metro-Denver area. Through scholarships to students, programmatic and faculty support, and capital enhancements, the Foundation invests in deserving CCD students—ensuring they have access to a high-quality, relevant education.
Learn more at CCD.Edu/Foundation