Helping students make informed decisions about their futures

In today’s ever-evolving workforce, preparing high school students for the challenges and opportunities beyond graduation is more important than ever.

An after-school program – our Career Readiness Academy – is providing high school students with knowledge, connections, and resources to help them make informed decisions about their futures. Now in its third year, this year’s Academy will enroll 75 students from three schools across Boulder Valley School District: Boulder High, Centaurus High and Broomfield High. 

Impact on Education is committed to providing high school students with training and resources to empower them for their lives after high school. Students that participate in the Career Readiness Academy will explore interests and opportunities they may not have considered or been exposed to, that are available for them to pursue in high school and beyond.

Gaining professional skills and boosting self-confidence

Through a series of ten after-school workshops participants will build self-confidence and self-knowledge throughout the Career Readiness Academy. Students will:

The program places a strong emphasis on developing professional skills that transcend academic knowledge. Students will not only gain valuable insights into what employers look for but also build the confidence needed to thrive.

Recruiting students for the Career Readiness Academy

While all 10th-grade students are encouraged to apply, priority will be given to those facing financial hardship and/or first-generation students, ensuring that opportunities are extended to those who may benefit the most.

To further encourage participation, the program offers a $300 stipend, contingent on attendance. This not only recognizes the commitment of the students but also helps in making the program accessible to a broader range of participants.

How to apply
The deadline to apply for the Career Readiness Academy is Monday, October 23, 2023. Students can click here to apply.

BEFORE YOU GO …

Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 30,000 students and 4,000 educators of the Boulder Valley School District.

Announcing Our 2023 College Scholarship Awardees

We’re excited to share that we’ve funded over $40,000 in scholarships for Boulder Valley School District graduates this year, including $18,000 in scholarship renewals and $23,000 to graduating seniors in the Class of 2023.

Scholarship applications are reviewed by a group of trained community volunteers, and student winners are selected based upon their academic achievement, financial need, and other eligibility requirements.

$5000 Earl & Barbara Bolton Scholarship

The $5,000 Earl & Barbara Bolton Scholarship was awarded to Adriana Aguirre, a senior at Boulder High School. Adriana plans to study nursing at the University of Colorado Denver in the fall. Her scholarship award is renewable for up to four years, with the potential to fund $20,000 of Adriana’s college expenses.

“I believe my education is the key to all of my future successes. My ultimate educational goal is to pursue a degree in nursing and help those who need assistance. I have always had a passion for helping others, I love to serve and give back to my community. And having a job that revolves around these values would make it so enjoyable for me.”

Adriana Aguirre, 2023 Bolton Scholarship Awardee

$1000 Dennie & Donna Wise Scholarship

One of Impact on Education’s longtime scholarships, the Dennie and Donna Wise Scholarship, was endowed by a former board member to support students planning to pursue a vocational, technical, or community college education. 

A $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Alexander Aguirre Jaquez, a senior at Boulder High School. Alexander plans to attend Red Rocks Community College in the fall to pursue a career as an electrician. This scholarship award is renewable for up to two years, funding up to $2,000 of each recipient’s tuition. 

“I enjoy working with my hands and taking things apart, and believe being an electrician will give me the opportunity to do both things. Being the oldest in my family has been tough because I have had to pave the way for myself and learn new things that I can share with my siblings. I will be the first in my family to go to college and I’m excited to start at Red Rocks Community College.”

Alexander Aguirre Jaquez, 2023 Wise Scholarship Awardee

$500 Panther Pride Excellence in Leadership

Impact on Education administers this scholarship for Boulder High School. This year’s Panther Pride scholarships went to Lille Sundberg and Ella Mortenson.

Independent Order of Odd Fellows  – Boulder Lodge #9 Scholarships

Winners will be announced soon!

The importance of scholarships

We offer these scholarships to support Boulder Valley students in financial need who wish to pursue higher education. We’re able to provide this type of important financial support thanks to generous community members. 

If you’d like to discuss opportunities for planned giving, including bequests, gifts from a retirement account, charitable trust, or real estate, please contact darcy@impactoneducation.org.

BEFORE YOU GO …

Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 29,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.

Teaching professional skills and inspiring confidence in high school students

As a high school student, you were probably starting to think about your future. Maybe you had some ideas about what you wanted to do, but didn’t know where to start. That’s exactly what our Career Readiness Academy teaches BVSD high school students – where to get started.

What is the Career Readiness Academy?

Through a series of after-school workshops, students learn how to identify and explore their interests and strengths, where to look for jobs and opportunities, how to fill out and submit applications, how to write a resume, and how to introduce and present oneself at an interview.

The workshops are delivered in partnership with industry and community professionals who know firsthand how the application of these skills leads to success.

We asked this year’s students how they would describe the program to a friend:

“It helps students who don’t have help or resources and provides people with opportunities.”

“It is a program that will help you learn more about resumes, interviews, and internships that will ease your anxiety about the world.“

“It’s a great program that helps those who don’t have much help in learning about things like college and interviews.”

“A program that teaches you how to be professional but also inspires you to have confidence when applying for a job.“

“It helps those who don’t have the resources and provides people with opportunities.”

Who can participate in the Career Readiness Academy?

The Career Readiness Academy targets 10th and 11th grade students with an openness to learn, explore and share, prioritizing those whose families are facing financial challenges. This year’s program enrolled 60 students at three schools – Centaurus High School, New Vista High School and Boulder High School – 70% of whom qualify for Free and Reduced Price Meals.

Student learning and growth

We survey students at the beginning and end of the program to assess their knowledge of and experiences with the program content. At the end of this year’s program:

“I was reminded that every person was once a young kid looking and striving to better themselves and their lives.”

Mock Interview Volunteer, 2022-23 Career Readiness Academy

Next year’s Academy

As we look ahead to our third Career Readiness Academy cohort, we continue to improve the content and structure of the program to ensure students are receiving the best possible experience.

Next year’s Academy content will expand to include writing cover letters and practicing networking, while also offering support and tips for accessing BVSD’s Grad Plus opportunities, such as work-based learning experiences and earning college credits during high school.

BEFORE YOU GO …

Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 29,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.

How a scholarship is helping this BVSD graduate build an engineering career

We proudly awarded Shannon Blanco with the inaugural Earl & Barbara Bolton Scholarship in May 2021. The $5,000 Bolton scholarship is renewable for up to four years, contributing $20,000 toward the college education of each recipient.

Shannon was planning to pursue biomedical engineering and the Business & Engineering Women in Technology program at CU-Boulder. We checked in with her two years later to see how the scholarship is supporting her education. 

What led you to apply for the Earl & Barbara Bolton Scholarship?

In high school I did a lot of extracurricular activities and volunteering. I really liked the values of the Boltons and I found that I aligned with them a lot. The Bolton Scholarship really values service and through college my goal is to help others by working in the biomedical field.

Learn more about the history of the Earl & Barbara Bolton Scholarship >> 

What are you involved with so far on campus?

Outside of classes I’m working in the soft tissue engineering lab on campus, which I got into through the CU Summer Program for Undergraduate Research. I work on 3D printing biomaterials like bone and cartilage. I’m in the biomedical engineering society and plan on joining another club this year – either the women engineering society or the mechanical engineering society.

I’ll be studying abroad in Rome this May and then participating in cancer research at Anschutz Medical Campus this summer! I’m also involved in club soccer.

What have you learned about yourself and your studies?

The most important thing I have learned is: failure is good. You’re going to face failures along the way and you shouldn’t see it necessarily as a drawback, it’s just something you have to work on and overcome. I failed my first statics test and I thought, “I don’t know how I’m going to pass this class.” But I was able to not get too down about it and I met with my professor. I worked super hard and was able to finish the class with an A. 

“Never let your failures set you back, keep plowing ahead.”

Shannon Blanco, 2020 Bolton Scholarship Awardee

How will this scholarship support your future?

To me, the biggest thing a scholarship provides is support. Not only do college students receive financial support, but it’s like having a mentor – someone else is there to help make sure you can get through and graduate.

What advice do you have for someone going through the scholarship process?

Apply to everything! Even if you don’t fully meet the requirements, it’s always worth applying. Also, reflect on your own values before you apply. You want everything you are saying to sound reflective of you and what you want to do in the future.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I am extremely grateful for Impact on Education and their support for me in college. I really hope they continue to support other college students in the future!

BEFORE YOU GO …

Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 29,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.

3 ways we’re making a difference in 2023

Last year held many challenges for our community and our organization, but our commitment to creating opportunity for success, from preschool through graduation, supported BVSD students furthest from resources. If you haven’t already flipped through our 2022 Impact Report, we encourage you to see what we accomplished last year.

While we’re continuing to support recovery from the Marshall Fire, gearing up to recognize educators at the 2023 Impact Awards, planning our summer school supply distribution Crayons to Calculators, and preparing another round of our Academic Opportunity Fund, there are three important areas we’re excited to invest in this year.

1. Mental health and wellness

Our investment in four Mental Health Advocates supporting the schools most impacted by the Marshall Fire continues through the summer, and this spring we plan to offer educational opportunities for parents around adolescent and teen mental health. We’re also eager to start raising the funds to continue the Wellness Center at Monarch High School and expand it to BVSD’s other four large high schools (Broomfield, Centaurus, Fairview and Boulder) in the 2023-24 school year.

2. Career readiness

Over the next few months, we’re convening over 20 Career Readiness Academy workshops at three BVSD high schools. This program will help 60 students gain the skills, confidence and knowledge to pursue summer job and internship opportunities. Meanwhile, we are continuing to support the rollout of the GradPlus program. This includes identifying the improvements needed at BVSD’s middle and high schools to support career and technical education pathways and programs.

3. Early childhood education

This year our early learning program for incoming BVSD kindergarten students will shift to a four week, full-day program! We fund Kinder Bridge, now part of BVSD’s summer learning program, because access to early learning is not equitably available to all children who will enroll in the district. Kinder Bridge ensures 160 historically underserved students arrive prepared for school classrooms and excited to learn.

We hope you join us this year in supporting nearly 30,000 students in the Boulder Valley School District. Our work addresses systemic barriers and prioritizes those furthest from resources in order to equalize opportunity and bolster academic success.

Thank you for being part of our community and making investments to help us drive lasting change for students, educators, and our public schools.

BEFORE YOU GO …

Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 29,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.

Over 60 high schoolers joining this year’s Career Readiness Academy

This month we launched our 2022-23 Career Readiness Academy, a series of after-school workshops that help Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) high school students find and communicate their strengths in order to attain professional opportunities.

Tripling our impact

While last year’s academy was hosted at the BVSD Education Center and served 20 high school students, this year we’re expanding the program and reaching students directly at their schools. We have over 60 students enrolled in three cohorts at Centaurus High School, Boulder High School and New Vista High School.

The program targets students from low-income families as well as those who are historically marginalized, but each cohort welcomes a mix of students from varied backgrounds. Each student brings an openness to learn and explore, and a desire to gain professional skills that will serve them well into the future. 

“The next few months will be a really fun and rewarding time for these students. I’m excited to get to know our students and help build their confidence and professional skills.”

Denise Zapata, IOE Career Readiness Academy Coordinator

Gaining self knowledge and professional skills

So far the students had an orientation and their parents or guardians participated in a family session, so everyone knows what to expect and how to get the most out of the academy. Next year’s sessions will cover:

“As the workplace continues to evolve, it’s more important than ever to help students find their purpose and communicate their value to potential employers. Impact on Education is committed to helping all BVSD students find their path to success.”

Amy Batchelor, Anchor Point Foundation

The importance of college and career readiness

Our Career Readiness Academy supplements district programming to help high school students to learn about possible career pathways after graduation and gain professional soft skills in order to land a job, internship or other opportunity for growth in the near future.

The academy is one part of our work to empower BVSD graduates by providing College and Career Readiness opportunities.

BEFORE YOU GO …

Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 29,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.

What do GradPlus and Ballot Measure 5A have in common?

Did you know the Boulder Chamber has identified workforce development as a priority need for local employers? Expanding career and college readiness opportunities for BVSD students will give them the credentials they need for success and will bolster our local workforce. 

What is GradPlus?

The Boulder Valley School District GradPlus program aims to expand each graduate’s skill sets by providing every student with learning opportunities and credentials that offer a head start on a career, postsecondary education, or both.

Grad Plus is intended to break down barriers between traditional academics and career and technical education, allowing students to maximize the credentials they earn across multiple quadrants. By their high school graduation, every BVSD student will complete one or more: advanced placement course, international baccalaureate course or concurrent/dual enrollment course; a seal of biliteracy; an industry certification; or an internship, apprenticeship, or other work-based learning experience.

Our investments in GradPlus

Impact on Education has been supporting BVSD in the creation and implementation of GradPlus behind the scenes for several years. For the 2022-23 school year, Impact on Education investments will support students in financial need and may include:

How Ballot Measure 5A will support GradPlus

Our secondary schools lack learning spaces, experiences and programming to adequately prepare students for  future careers in vocational trades. BVSD must catch up to peer districts like Cherry Creek and St. Vrain Valley, whose Innovation Centers provide paid work experiences, coursework and industry certifications. In a rapidly changing world, our students are missing out on these important experiences that go beyond the traditional classroom environment. 

Ballot Measure 5A includes renovating our secondary schools, which alongside the GradPlus program will allow BVSD to continue providing the high-quality education our students deserve. Students will be able to work with educators and local companies to leverage their talents and join the skilled labor workforce immediately after high school, and they’ll also have a competitive advantage when applying for higher education. 

Allowing students to build their own path to success is important, and GradPlus enables a skills-based curriculum where students don’t have to choose between learning a skilled trade or further academic pursuits.

BEFORE YOU GO …

Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 30,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.

Four ways we’re driving change in BVSD classrooms

Over the years, we’ve catalyzed change in the Boulder Valley School District by piloting initiatives and accelerating innovation in classrooms and schools. Right now, we’re seeing four recent investments driving change for students.

Early dyslexia intervention

In 2019, BVSD was working to roll out a new phonics-based curriculum in elementary schools and begin screening Kindergarten students to identify those at risk for dyslexia, but they lacked the funds to quickly train all educators. Impact on Education, in partnership with Boulder Valley Kids Identified with Dyslexia (BVKID), stepped in to fund professional development and training for 46 BVSD interventionists and classroom educators.

The training took place in the summer of 2020 and meant that during the 2020-21 school year, every school in BVSD had at least one interventionist who was trained in the Orton Gillingham approach to better support students. In 2021, IOE also supplemented BVSD’s educator training, but we are pleased to share that this summer, BVSD made their biggest investment to date for this critical training opportunity by funding 85 elementary educators to participate in the training.

Helping students catch up on reading and math

Every student experienced disrupted learning in 2020 and 2021, and many now need extra support with their reading and math skills.

Last year, we partnered with BVSD to invest in the Really Great Reading curriculum to help students build foundation skills in reading, and students made wonderful progress:

To catch students up on math skills, we funded licenses for IXL Math at several BVSD schools during the 2021-22 school year. The original request came through our Academic Opportunity Fund and was quickly adopted across the district leading to impressive results:

Seeing the success of these investments, BVSD is now funding the Really Great Reading curriculum more broadly throughout the district and paying for IXL Math access for all middle school students for the 2022-23 school year.

Preparing students for their futures

Beginning in 2019, we have worked in partnership with BVSD and external experts to build a vision of how to better prepare students for their futures. BVSD’s new GradPlus initiative is a direct result of the $40,000 investment we made to move this work forward and ensure BVSD has a solid roadmap and implementation plan to launch for the 2022-23 school year. GradPlus is a game changer in how BVSD will prepare students for their future and will make it far easier for students to gain credentials, work experience and post-secondary credit towards degrees while still in high school.

Driving change in BVSD

Catalytic change is one of our core values and it’s something we strive to do wherever possible. By investing in new tools for learning we’re providing new opportunities for students of all ages to see success in school.


BEFORE YOU GO …

Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 30,000 students and 4,000 educators of the Boulder Valley School District.

Announcing our 2022 college scholarship awardees

We’re excited to share that we’ve awarded $40,000 in scholarships to seven graduating high school seniors in BVSD. Applications were reviewed by a group of trained community volunteers, and student winners were selected based upon their academic achievement, financial need, and other eligibility requirements.

“This year we saw a deep field of scholarship applicants filled with students on their way to doing great things. We’re grateful to our scholarship review team for taking the time to learn about each applicant and make some tough decisions. Each applicant embodied a student empowered to soar and we’re proud to support our awardees as they take the next steps on their education journey.”

Matt Tebo, IOE Program Manager

Our newest Earl & Barbara Bolton Scholarship, is awarded from a $500,000 endowment left to Impact on Education by its namesake. The couple grew up in Boulder County, attended Boulder Valley public schools, and were well known in the community for their love of aviation, history, education, and travel. The scholarship is intended for students planning to study engineering, forestry, nursing, or medicine in the state of Colorado.

Earl & Barbara Bolton Scholarship

The $5,000 Earl & Barbara Bolton Scholarship was awarded to Nia Sorel, a senior at Monarch High School. Nia plans to major in Integrative Physiology and Kinesiology at CU-Boulder beginning in the fall. This scholarship award is renewable for up to four years, with the potential to fund $20,000 of Nia’s college expenses.

“My fascination with biology and medicine stemmed, evoking a curiosity about what it would take to be a doctor. As my educational career continues, I crave a deeper understanding of medicine-based sciences; to interpret the human body and the effects of medical intervention.”

Nia Sorel, 2022 Earl & Barbara Bolton Scholarship Winner

Dennie & Donna Wise Scholarship

One of Impact on Education’s longtime scholarships, the Dennie and Donna Wise Scholarship, was endowed by a former board member to support up to two students a year planning to pursue a vocational, technical, or community college education. 

A $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Jaime Ibarra, a senior at Boulder High School and to Julian Mastrine, a senior at Monarch High School. Jamie plans to attend Front Range Community College in the fall to pursue her interests in psychology and nursing, and Julian plans to study Automotive Service Management at Lincoln Tech in Denver. This scholarship award is renewable for up to two years, funding up to $2,000 of each recipient’s tuition. 

“I always want to make sure my people, and others are safe, that their mental and physical health is doing okay. I am bilingual and I can make a difference with the latino community with being able to translate and attend to Spanish speaking patients.”

—Jaime Ibarra, 2022 Dennie & Donna Wise Scholarship Winner

“I’m a young mechanic who loves a trade that’s dying. If we, as a new generation of mechanics, were able to change the whole idea around how a shop functions, then it could be a whole lot better.”

—Julian Mastrine, 2022 Dennie & Donna Wise Scholarship Winner

Additional scholarship recipients

Independent Order of Odd Fellows  – Boulder Lodge #9 Scholarship
Impact on Education administers a scholarship for the Odd Fellows Boulder Lodge #9. They are a long-established part of the Boulder community and wish to reward and assist graduating seniors in the Boulder Valley School District who demonstrate a strong commitment to their community and personal excellence. Each scholarship is renewable for up to five years, funding up to $5,000 per recipient.

This year’s awardees were Jessica Funk from Monarch High School, Gabriela Borlovan from Centaurus High School, and Amairani Chirinos from New Vista High School.

Panther Pride Excellence in Leadership
An additional award we administer, the $1,000 Panther Pride Excellence in Leadership, was awarded to Madelyn Hardee from Boulder High School.

We offer these scholarships to support Boulder Valley students in financial need who wish to pursue higher education. We’re able to provide this type of important financial support thanks to generous bequests left to the organization from local community members. If you’d like to discuss opportunities for planned giving, including bequests, gifts from a retirement account, charitable trust, or real estate, please contact darcy@impactoneducation.org.

Helping students find their purpose and build confidence

Did someone teach you how to shake hands? When to make a phone call instead of sending an email? How to feel confident in a job interview? These are a few of things students in our Career Readiness Academy have learned over the past two months.

What is the Career Readiness Academy?

We launched the pilot of our Career Readiness Academy in January 2022. This program is designed to provide 20 low-income BVSD high school students with workforce readiness skills, training, and leadership development to help prepare them for success after graduation. 

The sessions are delivered in partnership with industry and community professionals who know firsthand how the application of these skills leads to success. So far, students:

How one student described the most valuable thing they learned:

“Communication, because I didn’t realize I could make a stronger impression from just shaking someone’s hand.”

Career Readiness Participant

What other skills will participants gain?

In the remaining four workshops, Career Readiness Academy students will learn about different skill sets and what jobs they may align with, the impact of social media, and participate in workplace simulations. We’ll also be working closely with our community partners to help students line up summer employment and put all of their new skills to use.

Is your company is interested in supporting our work?
Learn about corporate partnerships >>

Thank you to our Career Readiness Academy sponsors, Anchor Point Foundation, Seagate Technology, Premier Members Credit Union, Cielo Foundation Boulder, and Google. And thank you to IOE volunteer Cathleen Kendall for leading the preparation for our mock interview session last week and the 20 volunteer business leaders who participated.


BEFORE YOU GO …

Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We support Boulder Valley public school students with community funding and resources in order to meet critical needs and eliminate opportunity gaps. Your support keeps us going strong and your donation will help us equalize opportunity, bolster academic success for local students.

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info@impactoneducation.org
303.524.3865

Impact on Education
721 Front Street, Suite A
Louisville, CO 80027

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