We support every student’s opportunity to attend and afford college, or pursue other fulfilling post-graduate opportunities.

College Readiness and Mentoring Programs

Access Opportunity, serving students in the Denver Metro area, creates opportunities for high-potential, low-income students to define their individual path through high school, college and career, ultimately benefiting the lives of others. They do this by supporting the most talented low-income students who have power to make great impact, focusing on their individual needs and career dreams.

The American Indian Graduate Center has empowered 16,000 students from over 500 tribes in all 50 states by providing scholarship dollars and support services for undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees.

The Better Make Room campaign works to inspire every student in the U.S. to take charge of their future by completing their education past high school, whether at a professional training program, a community college, or a four-year college or university.

College Horizons supports the higher education of Native American students by providing college and graduate admissions workshops to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students/participants from across the nation. Two programs are offered in the summer: College Horizons services current 10th-11th grade high school students and Graduate Horizons services college students and college graduates.

College Track works with high school students starting in their 9th grade year to see them through college graduation. Their holistic program model ensures that students have the skills, resources, and mindsets they need to be competitive college applicants, thrive on a four-year campus, and experience professional success post-graduation.

The I Have A Dream Foundation works to ensure that all children have the opportunity to pursue higher education, fulfill their potential, and achieve their dreams. They empower children (“Dreamers”) in under-resourced communities to graduate from college by equipping them with the skills and knowledge to succeed in postsecondary school, along with tuition support to remove financial barriers. IHDF works with Dreamers after school, on the weekends, and over the summer for over ten years, developing long-term relationships with Dreamers and their families.

Upward Bound (sometimes referred to as TRIO Upward Bound) provides opportunities for students from low-income families and first-generation college-bound students to succeed in high school and gain admission to college. Colleges and universities across the country apply for grant dollars from the US Department of Education to establish an Upward Bound program through their school. Typically, students must apply in their freshman or sophomore year of high school, though each program has its own deadlines and requirements. Interested students must apply to an individual school's UB program for admission or with questions. View a list of Upward Bound programs in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Scholarship Organizations

Colorado

The Boettcher Foundation provides a highly competitive scholarship program that covers full tuition and fees for Colorado's top high school students who choose to attend an accredited, four-year undergraduate institution in the state, as well as a living stipend, book allowance, and other programming.

Denver Scholarship Foundation offers need-based scholarships to qualifying graduates of Denver Public Schools. The scholarship can be used at DSF’s Partner Colleges in Colorado, including technical, community, and four-year colleges and universities. Students must enroll full-time. The scholarship is renewable for up to four years depending on the type of college a student attends.

The Latin American Educational Foundation meets the higher educational needs of Hispanic students in Colorado through awarding scholarships and unlocking access to higher education.

The Mary John Goree Las Animas County Scholarship Foundation awards scholarships to residents of Las Animas County, Colorado (including Trinidad and Aguilar) to attend four-year colleges and universities in the United States.

The Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation helps students turn their educational dreams into goals and those goals into reality by providing scholarships for higher education to students in need from all backgrounds from Pueblo and Southern Colorado to assist them in achieving lifelong success.

The Sachs Foundation provides college scholarships to Black and African American residents of Colorado who meet certain academic and financial criteria.

New Mexico

The Davis New Mexico Scholarship provides college scholarships that cover the full cost of attendance for college-ready New Mexican students who will be the first in their families to earn a college degree.

YCD Workshops on College and Life beyond High School

Below is a sampling of workshops YCD has offered at prior conferences and events around life beyond high school, including college and more. Click on any workshop title to read more about the session, the presenter, and reviews from our participants.

A Day in the Life of an Undocumented Student

A group of students speaking.

What is it like to be an undocumented student living today in a divided America? A panel of college students will share stories of their hopes, fears and dreams in an effort to help conference participants understand the dilemma many undocumented students face today. They will also provide suggestions and resources on what we can do to provide a safe space for undocumented immigrants so that they can feel protected and empowered to continue their education or chosen work paths.

A Day in the Life of an Undocumented Student

A group of students speaking.

What is it like to be an undocumented student living today in a divided America? A panel of college students will share stories of their hopes, fears and dreams in an effort to help conference participants understand the dilemma many undocumented students face today. They will also provide suggestions and resources on what we can do to provide a safe space for undocumented immigrants so that they can feel protected and empowered to continue their education or chosen work paths.

A Day in the Life of an Undocumented Student

A group of students speaking.

What is it like to be an undocumented student living today in a divided America? Students and allies will share stories of their hopes, fears and dreams in an effort to help participants understand the dilemma many undocumented students face today. They will also provide suggestions and resources on what we can do to provide a safe space for undocumented immigrants so that they can feel protected and empowered to continue their education or chosen work paths.

College is Like a Kitchen: Making Yourself at Home Once You Leave Home

A student speaks while another listens.

College is meant to be a time of exploration and purposeful community. Kitchens are often the most common room in a house where people tend to gather and just like college, you are being asked to show up, gather, have a seat at the table and begin a life long conversation focused on growth and exploration. Through the use of poignant question asking, personal story, and interactive dialogue we will talk about embracing the college experience with hope and anticipation.

Community Building for LGBTQ Youth

Two students smile.

Join mental health counselors Adam-Jon Aparicio and Jessie Charbonneau for an interactive session on the LGBTQ youth experience. We’ll discuss questions about queer youth topics such as coming out/being out, individual queer identity vs group queer identity, dating and friendship, choosing a queer friendly college, mental health in the LGBTQ community, etc. Participants will have the opportunity to talk with their fellow queer peers about mental health and wellness issues that are important to them while building community in the Northern Colorado region.

Diversity in Medicine

Students listening to a speaker.

Interested in a career in medicine? Ever wonder about the social and ethical challenges faced by healthcare providers? Want to learn more about the importance of diversity in the healthcare field? In this workshop, a panel of medical students and faculty members from the University of Colorado School of Medicine will present cases that bring up questions of ethics and society in the context of barriers to access. You will have a chance to work alongside current and future healthcare professionals to explore solutions that best serve patients.

Embracing Failure as a Way to Grow

Samantha Sparks

This interactive workshop will give insight into real failures and hardship while evaluating the participants’ relationship to failure. Attendees will learn how to embrace failure and use it to gain knowledge. We will discuss strategies on how to take away the negative connotations that surround failure and, instead,  show how failure can be as much of a friend as success can be.

Faith, Belief, Religion, and Worldview

Three teenagers -- one Jewish, one Christian, one Muslim -- speak to the audience.

Participants will reflect with graduate students Alexis Opper-Yacobucci and Olivia Kail on the intersections of college students’ faith and belief identities with their other social identities. We will explore the differences between faith, belief, religion and worldview; current religious/spiritual trends; consider why interfaith dialogue is so important; and discuss challenges that students might face regarding their worldviews. We will invite participants to engage in learning with us through sharing their own knowledge and experiences in this dynamic workshop.

Gun Violence Prevention and Student Action

Student smile and make peace signs for the camera.

This workshop, led by a few select students from Team Enough and Students Demand Action, will inform students about the history and complexities of gun violence in America, the student activism movement focused around gun violence prevention, counter arguments, and solutions being advocated for federally and in Colorado. Students who have made a name for themselves in this movement will provide personal experiences, expertise, opportunities and ways for other students to get involved nationally, statewide, and in their own communities. This workshop will give students access to gun violence prevention tools and groups, and will inspire students to stand up for what they believe in.

How to Pay for College Without Going Broke

Students listen intently.

Is paying for college scaring you from applying? Does the financial aid process freak you out? In this session, we will break down it down into simple steps. We will talk about in-state tuition, grants, scholarships and loans, and share some creative ways to save money and pay for college. Learn about common mistakes and hurdles and how to avoid them. Bring your cell phone or laptop or a notepad because you’ll get some websites with resources. This session will cover financial aid options for DACA, Dreamer and undocumented students too.

Including Students with Disabilities

We all can and should do better to include students with disabilities, both in the classroom and socially. But how?  This workshop will feature a panel of students and open dialogue to explore strategies for being more inclusive in every aspect of our lives. The session will be led by the Director of Academic Inclusion for UNC GOAL, a fully inclusive college opportunity for students with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities at the University of Northern Colorado.

Including Students with Disabilities

We all can and should do better to include students with disabilities, both in the classroom and socially. But how?  This workshop will feature open dialogue to explore strategies for being more inclusive in every aspect of our lives. We will explore physical, developmental and invisible disabilities and how we can become allies for the disabled community.

Perspectives on the Transition to College

Join a panel of current college students from a variety of backgrounds as they talk about their personal journey from high school to college. What challenges did they not anticipate? What did they wish they had known as a high school student? This is your opportunity to ask questions from those who have gone before you, so that you can have a smooth transition to college.

Resolving Conflict: What I Wish I Knew in High School

A student speaks while others listen.

Have you experienced conflict in school, at work, or with family and friends? Of course, everyone has! Everyone can also learn how to deal with that conflict more constructively. We will discuss conflicts that you are experiencing and effective ways to deal with them. We will use small-group discussion and role playing to explore tools to help you address conflict in positive ways.

Social Media and You: Protecting Your Mental Wellness

Though social media boasts benefits of social connection, exchange of ideas, and creative self-expression, these seemingly innocuous forms of communication can have long-lasting, detrimental effects on individuals’ mental wellness. In this session participants will learn more about why this happens, as well as practical solutions to help reduce the negative effects of social media.

Sports for Everyone

Stereotypes, socioeconomics, and gender equality are all factors that affect our social lives—including sports and athletics. What does acceptance look like in today’s world? We’ll have an engaging discussion on how we all play a role in making athletics and sports inclusive for everyone.

Sustaining Youth Activism

Our democracy is broken, and young people are leading the fight to transform it. If we want to achieve equity in our lifetime, youth must know how to change the systems that we operate in. In this workshop we’ll be learning what it takes to create long lasting change in unjust systems and organizations.

What do You Want to be When You Grow Up?… How the #%$& do I Know?

A student and teacher bump fists in a school meeting.

You haven’t even been alive for 20 years yet and people expect you to plan the rest of your life? Let’s be honest—trying to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life can be scary and stressful. How do you decide on a major for college? How do you know if college is the right path? What happens if you change your mind? Where do you go to college? Do you take a gap year?

Join us for this insightful, comical, and real look at what it means to plan the rest of your life. It might change your life, at least for now.

Youth Activism 101

Youth are not only our future, they are actively shaping our world today. Young people have a long history of being on the vanguard of social change movements. Our democracy is broken, and young people are leading the fight to transform it. If we want to achieve equity in our lifetime, youth must know how to change the corrupt and unjust systems that we already operate in. In this workshop we’ll be providing the proper tools and language to learn what it takes to create long lasting change in systems and organizations that are built on prejudice.