Cultivating compassion: How a former BVSD student is shaping the future of healthcare

Colorado is struggling to overcome a nursing shortage that worsened during the pandemic. As the state’s population ages, Colorado will need 10,000 more nurses in the next decade, according to projections.

Thanks to a scholarship from Impact on Education, the state will need one fewer nurse. Boulder High School graduate Adriana Aguirre, a recipient of the Earl & Barbara Bolton scholarship, represents the future of nursing with her big dreams of diversifying the industry and providing culturally competent care to her patients.

Overcoming financial and educational barriers

Aguirre, a University of Colorado in Denver student, recently finished her first year of college. She spent the year living in a dorm with other students, something she never envisioned for herself growing up. “As a child, my parents faced a lot of financial insecurities,” shared Aguirre. “As I got older and started thinking about college, I didn’t think it would be an option for me.”

Known in high school to be a quiet leader and role model for those around her, Aguirre was determined to find a way to continue her education, applying for and receiving the Impact on Education scholarship. Aguirre was awarded $20,000 towards college expenses, through the $5,000 scholarship that she is able to renew for up to four years.

“I have always had a passion for helping others, I love to serve and give back to my community.”

Adriana Aguirre

Building a support system

Once she overcame the challenge of funding her education, Aguirre encountered new obstacles as a first-generation college student. “The level of independence and responsibility I needed was more than I expected,” said Aguirre. “My parents don’t know what college is like, so I wasn’t able to ask them, ‘How does this work?’” Always persistent, Aguirre leaned into the support systems offered by the university and credits her successful first year to utilizing professor office hours and the campus tutoring center.

She also formed relationships with her TRIO mentor and her dorm roommate, who Aguirre will live with again next school year. “It helped to relate and bond with other students who have similar backgrounds or are first generation,” she said. “My roommate became my best friend.”

Aspirations for a diverse and inclusive healthcare future

Though challenging, the academic rigor of college was easier to overcome for Aguirre. Her favorite classes were the three science labs needed for her major—she loved hands-on learning. Continuing in nursing next year, Aguirre is excited to become a bilingual nurse who will bridge the communication gap and create connection and trust with her patients, especially those who speak Spanish.

“I have always had a passion for helping others, I love to serve and give back to my community,” said Aguirre. She also hopes to inspire future students of color to consider a nursing career, underscoring the need for increased diversity in healthcare. 

Aguirre says she would describe her future as “hopeful” and is grateful for her scholarship. “This scholarship for students like me isn’t just about paying for college,” said Aguirre. “It opens doors to better jobs and careers that will have a lifelong impact and possibly help future generations.”

We’re so excited to see what Aguirre accomplishes in her sophomore year!

BEFORE YOU GO …

Impact on Education is an independent non-profit supporting the Boulder Valley School District. We depend on the support of our community to put our mission into action. Will you help us provide opportunities and resources to students across the Boulder Valley School District?

Announcing our 2024 scholarship recipients

Scholarships play a pivotal role in empowering students to pursue their educational dreams without the burden of financial constraints.

This year we provided over $53,500 in scholarships for Boulder Valley School District graduates, including $28,500 in scholarship renewals for 16 students. And graduating seniors in the Class of 2024 were awarded over $100,000!

Scholarships awarded to the Class of 2024 are all renewable for two to four years, with the potential to contribute $94,000 toward their post-secondary education.

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

Congratulations to this year’s recipients!

*The Independent Order of the Odd Fellows and Panther Pride scholarship winners will be announced soon.

2024 Scholarship Winners

Houston Scholarship

New this year, the Houston scholarship honors a family member whose dedication to taking care of their family financially, meant they were unable to pursue their dream of formal education. The scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate academic achievement and financial need, and each scholarship is renewable for up to four years.

$10,000
Kevin Botello, Boulder High

Kevin plans to study engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado School of Mines, or Regis University.

“As an engineer I believe I can help solve many different types of programs and help make the world a better place for all of us. There are so many issues that are currently facing us as humans and we can work through some of these challenges through engineering.”

$5,000
Jair Ortega, Boulder High

Jair plans to attend the University of Colorado Boulder.

“My educational goal of being a first generation college student is more than just something that’s personal to me. It is also a testament to the impact of determination, perseverance and hope has on defying expectation. Breaking down barriers of cultural and social limitations.”


Earl & Barbara Bolton Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to a student who plans to pursue careers in engineering, forestry, nursing or the sciences, and is renewable for up to four years.

$5,000
Abigail Bensler, Monarch High

Abigail plans to pursue a biomedical education at Colorado State University.

“Whether it is through a wide-reaching medical practice or simply helping people within my own community, I want to spend my career bettering humanity. I am motivated by my own personal experiences with my father’s sickness. His fight and struggles showed me that everyone deserves the best medical care, and a chance to live a strong and healthy life.”


Dennie & Donna Wise Scholarships

These scholarships are awarded to students pursuing a vocational, technical or community college education. Each scholarship is renewable for up to two years. 

$1,000
Yareli Ordaz, Boulder High

Yareli plans to study nursing at Front Range Community College.

“The Latinx community and I Have a Dream Foundation have helped me be a better person and achieve my academic goals. Being bilingual is a gift, but it also makes schooling a little bit more difficult, especially reading and writing. The afterschool program has given me opportunity and the extra support I need to be successful academically and socially.”

$1,000
Nicholas Folsom, Monarch High

Nicholas plans to pursue the automotive tech program at NASCAR Technical Institute in Moorsville, NC.

“Upon graduating from the NASCAR Technical Institute, I want to obtain employment in the racing industry. At a race team I would do whatever job that I am hired to do with the hopes of becoming a crew chief. I want to use the skills that I learn from attending the NASCAR Technical Institute to ensure that I will have a successful career.”

$1,000
Jameson Winding, Arapahoe Ridge

Jameson plans to study Sustainability and Climate Change at Colorado Mountain College.

 “The CMC Sustainability program really stood out to me. I’m drawn to the experiential and hands-on elements of the program. The possibility that, in the not so distant future, a lot of the nature we take for granted now will be gone permanently motivates me to learn how to create a more sustainable future.”


Jeff Howenstein Panther Scholarships

This is a new scholarship for 2024, created in honor of former Boulder High AVID teacher, Jeff Howenstein, by his family and friends. The scholarship is awarded to students who participated in the AVID Program at Boulder High and is renewable for up to four years. Pictured below are the two recipients and with Jennifer DL and Kate V. who organized Howie Fest to raise the funds.

$1,000
Nataly Villa, Boulder High

Nataly plans to attend the University of Denver.

“AVID made me feel like I belonged in a space where my dreams and aspirations carried weight and meaning. That I held a place and position where I could do anything that I set my mind to. That I was limitless in my endeavors. Having teachers who believed in me and who kept me on track, only inspired me to work harder.”

$1,000
Andrea Herrera Rincon, Boulder High

Andrea plans to study nursing at the University of Colorado Denver.

“AVID has made a really big impact on my life and goals. Especially when it comes to self-advocacy. It taught me to have a voice and to reach out when I need help.”


Independent Order of Odd Fellows Scholarships

Recipients will be announced soon!


Panther Pride Scholarships

Recipients will be announced soon!

BEFORE YOU GO …

Impact on Education is an independent non-profit supporting the Boulder Valley School District. We depend on the support of our community to put our mission into action. Will you help us provide opportunities and resources to students across 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.

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.

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.

We’re excited to share that we have awarded up to $24,000 in scholarships to three graduating high school seniors. 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.

“From the number of applications we received for both scholarships to the strength and accomplishments of the applicants, this year highlights both students’ incredible drive to pursue their post-secondary education and goals as well as the deep need for post-secondary resources.”

Jen Biegen, IOE Program Coordinator

Our new 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 Shannon Blanco, a senior at Monarch High School. Shannon plans to pursue biomedical engineering & the Business Engineering Tech Program at CU-Boulder in the fall. This scholarship award is renewable for up to four years, with the potential to fund $20,000 of Shannon’s college expenses.

“On my service trips and volunteering in my community, I have seen the disparity of medical resources for under-served populations [which has] inspired me to look deeper into people’s access to medical equipment and aid. My overall goal is to transform the accuracy and efficiency of medical equipment to provide more accessible medical aid to those in need, specifically in struggling socio-economic communities and developing countries.”

Shannon Blanco, Senior at Monarch High School

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 Maria Garcia Diaz, a senior at Fairview High School and to Rodrigo Marquez, a senior at Boulder High School. Maria plans to pursue child psychology at Front Range Community College in the fall, and Rodrigo plans to pursue law enforcement also at Front Range Community College. This scholarship award is renewable for up to two years, funding a total of $2,000 of each recipient’s college tuition. 

“My goals are to make my parents proud as well as myself…I want to become a child psychologist. I have the opportunity to work in a field where I’m able to not only help others but make other people feel heard. I’m able to use my own life experiences to better understand others and help them know that they’re not alone.”

Maria Garcia Diaz, Senior at Fairview High School

“Since I was a child, my dream has been to become a police officer and help my community, especially the Latino community, my family, and friends. I want to help make changes that can help solve problems, and my goals have been influenced by my parents.”

Rodrigo Marquez, Senior at 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.

We recently shared the story of Earl and Barbara Bolton, announcing the $500,000 endowment they left to Impact on Education. Today, we’re excited to share the details of our newest college scholarship opportunity for Boulder Valley students, the Earl and Barbara Bolton Scholarship, and two other scholarships available to BVSD high school seniors. 

All seniors who meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply. These scholarships are only available to BVSD students.

All three scholarships are accepting applications now through April 18, 2021.

Earl and Barbara Bolton Scholarship

This $5000 scholarship is renewable for up to four years ($20,000). Applications are accepted from BVSD graduating seniors who demonstrate financial need, have an acceptance letter to a Colorado college (2-or 4-year) or university, and plan to pursue engineering, forestry, nursing, or medicine.

Born in 1920 and 1924 respectively, Barbara and Earl both grew up in Boulder County — Barbara in the City of Boulder and Earl in the City of Longmont. The pair met in grade school but fell in love while attending Boulder High School.

Earl was a distinguished Army veteran, and Barbara was the first draftswoman for Boeing.The couple settled in Boulder and worked with the National Bureau of Standards (now known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology), until retiring together in 1980. They dedicated much of their lives to aviation, education, and travel, and were both driven to give back to those in need.

Review the full eligibility requirements or the scholarship application.

Dennie & Donna Wise Scholarship

This $1,000 scholarship is renewable for up to two years ($2,000). Applications are accepted from BVSD graduating seniors planning to pursue a vocational, technical or community college education (full or part-time).

Dennie Wise, a former Impact on Education board member, established a scholarship fund in his wife Donna’s name upon her death. He wanted to help BVSD graduating students access community college and trade school by offering a scholarship to students who choose to pursue post-secondary education at a vocational, technical, or community college. When Dennie passed away, his children contributed to the scholarship fund and requested the scholarship name be updated to honor both parents.

Review the full eligibility requirements or the scholarship application.

Gould-Foothill Scholarship

This $1,500 scholarship is offered to two graduating seniors (one male, one female) who have attended both Boulder High School and Foothill Elementary and plan to pursue elementary education.

James B. Gould and Bernice W. Gould left Impact on Education this scholarship endowment to aid Boulder High School students seeking to become elementary school educators. 

Review the full eligibility requirements or the scholarship application.

The names Earl and Barbara Bolton may ring familiar for you. And if not, we’re so excited to be the ones to share their story with you.

Who were Earl and Barbara Bolton?

Born in 1920 and 1924 respectively, Barbara and Earl both grew up in Boulder County: Barbara in the City of Boulder and Earl in the City of Longmont. The pair met in grade school, but fell in love while attending Boulder High School. 

Barbara’s family owned a stage line that operated between Boulder, Nederland and Eldora, and Earl’s father and stepmother ran a local grocery store in Eldora. They played and worked in Eldora during the summers and in the winter they went to school in Boulder. Barbara’s family has a long history in Eldora and it’s where they eventually built their summer home.

Earl and Barbara were married shortly after Earl graduated from Boulder High, on November 15, 1942, and they spent their first three years of marriage apart while Earl served in WWII. Barbara studied drafting at the University of Colorado during that time. She became the first draftswoman for Boeing in Seattle, Washington, working on the B-17 during the war. Earl’s knack for electronics and engineering directed his service as a pilot in WWII, the Korean War and later the Air National Guard. Barbara and Earl were both avid aviators with Barbara learning to fly at 55 years of age!

The couple was married for 76 years. Barbara passed away in April 2019 and Earl shortly after in August 2019.

The Bolton’s connection to Boulder and education

After Earl’s distinguished Army service, the two Boulder High School graduates returned to Boulder to work with the National Bureau of Standards (now known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology), and retired together in 1980. They dedicated much of their lives to both aviation and education, pursuing leadership and learning opportunities for youth in Boulder County.

The Boltons were incredibly generous throughout their life, fostering several young people and making donations to many organizations in support of people and animals in danger. They were also active in preserving Colorado history, especially in maintaining the historical value of Eldora. As time went by they gave wonderful collections to local libraries, museums, schools, organizations and individuals.

The Boltons traveled to many countries, learning and exploring along the way. They had great compassion for underprivileged cultures and developed passions for geology and anthropology.

The Bolton scholarship

With a fondness for Boulder and the Boulder Valley School District, Earl and Barbara named Impact on Education in their will, leaving 70% of their estate to create a new scholarship for deserving BVSD graduates. 

While they didn’t leave many assets behind, the sale of the home they built together in 1960 provides a new endowment of over $500,000 to create the Earl and Barbara Bolton Scholarship. We are honored to use this endowment to award deserving BVSD graduates with college scholarships. More details on the eligibility criteria and the application will be shared in February 2021.

It’s been such a tough year for students and we’re excited to have a new way to support a student in need in 2021. And to have an incredible asset that will support our vital work for decades to come.

Want to learn more about the Boltons?

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Impact on Education
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