Co-founded in 2006 by Tim and Bernadette Marquez along with the support of current Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) helps make the dream of a college degree achievable to Denver Public Schools (DPS) students who might otherwise not be able to pursue higher education. Its mission to inspire and empower DPS students to enroll in and graduate from higher education institutions, DSF has provided scholarships to nearly 4,000 students and more than $19 million for DPS graduates to enroll in college. More than 80 percent of DSF scholarship recipients are first generation college students, and 80 percent are either currently enrolled in college or have successfully completed their degrees.

On Tuesday October 22nd Denver Scholarship Fund supporters, staff, volunteers and recipients gathered at the Hyatt in downtown Denver for the 2013 Ed Gala to benefit the foundation and celebrate the achievements of scholarship recipients. VIP guests soaked in panoramic views of the downtown Denver skyline and the Front Range Mountains as they enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the 27th floor of the Hyatt’s Peaks Lounge. Following the cocktail hour, guests assembled in the spacious Capitol Ballroom for a multicourse dinner and program emceed by 7 News anchor Anne Trujillo.

As they dined, more than 1,000 guests, which included many notable Colorado civic and political leaders such as U.S. Senator Michael Bennet, Lt. Governor Joe Garcia, Denver Deputy Mayor Cary Kennedy, and former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar as well as many prominent members of the business and education communities, were welcomed to the event by DSF co-founder Bernadette Marquez who thanked them for their ongoing support of the foundation and for helping deserving DPS students attend college. Colorado State University System Chancellor Michael Martin accepted the first DSF College Partner Award for Excellence and introduced Ebenezer Yebuah, a recent CSU graduate and one of the foundation’s many successful scholarship recipients. Following a brief overview of the foundation’s many important programs by former DPS School Board President and DSF Executive Director Nate Easley and a short video highlighting the success story of two other scholarship recipients, Amy and Cara Faliano, the evening was capped off with and address from Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and entertaining keynote address by Pulitzer Prize winning author and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd. The evening was a great success and with the help of $175,000 in guaranteed matching funds, the event raised more than $1.3 million for the scholarship foundation and its programs.

You can find more information about the Denver Scholarship Foundation and the role they play in helping to advance educational opportunities for Denver high school students on their website: www.denverscholarship.org