PA stories from Denver

Frank Coyne, associate director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning at the University of Denver, wrote this guest post.

Francis.jpg Here at the University of Denver (DU), we just wrapped up our sixth successful year of Public Achievement. This year we worked with six school partners in Denver Public Schools with over 20 teams, over 40 DU coaches, and over 250 K-12 students. The projects ranged in scope from improving school lunches to working on police harassment.

While we could tell you about several success stories this year, I will spend just a minute to tell you about our most unique PA site.

At Denver's South High School, we have been working with the Future Center--a center focused on college access for the high school students. Several DU coaches have been volunteering there for two years, and this year they took what they learned in PA last year and then worked with 15 high school students to improve the college access programs for the students at South. Many of these students are immigrant refugees and never thought of college as even remotely possible before they set foot in the Future Center. PA has helped to turn that notion upside down.

This year, the PA team has worked to develop a peer mentoring program where juniors and seniors are working with underclassmen to create a pipeline to college. These coaches and students worked together to build a strong program that will now be part of the Future Center and the school for years to come.

We are excited about what lies ahead next year at this site and our other six schools. For now, we will spend the summer assessing and planning.

Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs