Nonprofit Aims To Improve College Enrollment For DPS Grads

Denver Scholarship Foundation Exceeds $10 Million Mark For Scholarships

Twin sisters, Amy and Cara Faliano do just about everything together; this includes working the same job at the University of Colorado Hospital.

"I'm a clinical lab assistant in the blood bank, which means I'm in charge of all the non-testing aspects of the blood bank," Cara Faliano said.

They both graduated from the University of Colorado with degrees in biology, and they also received help with tuition from the Denver Scholarship Foundation.

"The scholarship meant a lot because I didn't have to worry about the financial aspect as much. It made me appreciate my education more," Amy Faliano said.

Since it began issuing scholarships in 2007, the DSF has awarded more than $10 million in tuition assistance.

"The mission is to inspire students, Denver Public Schools graduates, to go on to post-secondary success," said Cindy Abramson, executive director of the foundation.

Besides tuition assistance, the Denver Scholarship Foundation also operates a Future Center in all 14 DPS high schools, where students learn to navigate the sometimes overwhelming process of applying to and paying for college.

"We've actually helped more than 9,000 students through the college admissions process," Abramson said. "So many of our students are the first person in their family to go on to college, so their parents and family aren't in a position to help them through the process, and the process is a complicated one."

The DSF believes its work has contributed to a 29 percent increase in the number of DPS graduates enrolling in college. The nonprofit's scholarships can be used at any of the 39 eligible technical colleges, and two and four year colleges in Colorado.

Now, working in their field of choice, and looking forward to graduate school, the twins said the scholarships helped take a weight off their shoulders as they pursued their dreams.

"I really wanted to go into science. I've known that since I was a little girl," Cara Faliano said. "The Denver scholarship allowed me to do that without worrying so much about finances and just worry about my path and my future and what I wanted to do because that's a lot to figure out anyway."

Print this article Back to Top