FAQs about the Denver Urban Scholars and Colorado Youth at Risk news

October 2nd, 2017

Why did you do this?

For two simple and completely mission-based reasons:

  • We can serve our youth better, together. By combining the expertise, unique programmatic elements and distinct strengths of each organization, we will forge an even stronger agency to serve our youth better than either of us could have done alone.
  • We have greater financial sustainability and programmatic efficiency as a joint entity. By coming together as a board of directors, a staff of dedicated professionals, and a family of devoted volunteers and donors, we can ultimately serve more students over time. This long-term vision means we can ultimately serve more students, better. That’s the bottom line: improving more lives, together.

Who is Colorado Youth at Risk?

Colorado Youth at Risk focuses on transforming youth, mentors, & the community as a whole. Since 1993, Colorado Youth at Risk has empowered teenage students to make life choices that positively impact their future through community-based mentoring and intensive training. We aim to reduce the number of high school dropouts, match students with an adult mentor and provide students with a sense of the future and their place in that future. Colorado Youth at Risk currently serves 119 students in three Denver Public Schools high schools.

Who is Denver Urban Scholars?

Denver Urban Scholars partners with high poverty, high performing schools to unlock the potential of students facing added challenges by creating individual pathways to career and college. Since 1995, Denver Urban Scholars has combined mentoring, social, emotional and academic support to ensure a life of choice and opportunity for every Scholar. Serving students from middle school through three years post-graduation, Denver Urban Scholars seeks to provide continuous and long-term support. Denver Urban Scholars currently serves over 350 youth in 12 charter and private schools across Denver.

Have the two organizations ever worked together before?

Yes. Over the last twenty years, Denver Urban Scholars and Colorado Youth at Risk have often shared resources, best practices, and worked together in the mentoring space. Past points of alignment have included collaboration through Mentor Colorado; shared training tools through common facilitators (Bold Leaders); joint funding opportunities and shared fundraising events such as Mustache4Cash/Color4Kids; and more.

What will the new joint entity do?

The newly forged organization, which will operate under the Denver Urban Scholars name, will serve young people who face barriers to success in high school and beyond. We will continue to focus on a life of choice and opportunity for every youth, helping the students we serve find their individual pathway to a successful future. Our program will combine mentoring, social, emotional and academic support to help unlock the potential of every student, and to help them find their place in a bright future.

What will the new joint program look like? What changes can we expect?

  • Denver Urban Scholars and Colorado Youth at Risk have long shared similar missions and visions. As such, it is our commitment to execute a transition process into joint programming that feels as natural and congruent to our stakeholders, and most importantly, to our students, as possible.
  • We’re currently undertaking a deep, strategic evaluation process to consider how the strengths of each program can be brought to the table in the new joint entity. While much detail is yet to be determined, we are laser focused on retaining the spirit, community and outcomes achieved over many years by both entities.
  • We will continue to serve the students we’ve both historically focused on: those facing barriers to success in high school and beyond.

Will you continue to serve all students + mentors enrolled in both programs?

  • YES! It is our intent to continue serving all students and mentors enrolled in both Denver Urban Scholars and Colorado Youth at Risk through the 2018 school year.
  • We serve over 350 students through Denver Urban Scholars, and 119 through Colorado Youth at Risk.
  • Our joint organization still plans to serve all 469 students in the 2017-18 school year. No youth will be left behind in this transition, unless they choose to disengage.

What are the strengths of each organization?

  • Each organization brings tremendous strengths to the table.
  • Colorado Youth at Risk is renowned for its innovative, transformational mentoring approach, refined over 25 years and which results in tremendous buy-in from mentors and a deeply meaningful youth-mentor dynamic.
  • Colorado Youth at Risk is also a looked-to leader in mentor training and youth-mentor curriculum, which will be brought to the table in the new organization.
  • Denver Urban Scholars is known for its 360-degree approach combining mentoring, social, emotional and academic support. The integration of case management and deeper relationships with partner schools will help strengthen the new agency’s model.
  • Denver Urban Scholars also brings exceptional organizational and operational strength to the table. With established infrastructure in place on both the volunteer/board and internal operations/staff fronts, the new joint entity will benefit both immediately and sustainably.

These strengths combine to create conditions for a single entity to better leverage the talent of staff, the contributions of volunteers, and the generosity of the community into a brighter future for more students.

More questions? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team by emailing susand@denverurbanscholars.org or calling 303-355-1700

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