There are many talented students in Denver’s school system who get good grades and are active in school life, but just don’t think it’s possible to fulfill their dream of going to college. Denver Scholarship Foundation changes all of that.

They have a three-step strategy system that has become a national role model for college success.  Through hard work and collaboration, DSF has provided more than $21 million in scholarships to nearly 4,000 students to date.

A very honorable speaker, who can demonstrate first hand that coming from humble roots is not a roadblock to success, was on hand Tuesday night: former Secretary of State Gen Colin Powell.

Powell’s impressive diplomatic and military career spans five decades and includes many honors and ranking positions, most notably as the 65th Secretary of State. Powell ultimately served diplomatically under four presidents in various posts including national security advisor to President Ronald Reagan from 1987-89 and as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton 1989-93. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell is the first African-American and first ROTC graduate to serve as chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff. Prior to his diplomatic career, Powell served 35 years in the United States Army rising from second lieutenant to four-star general. “I didn’t join the Army to become a general,” he told attendees. “I did it to be a good soldier.”

The room was full of dignitaries, least of whom were the 2014 scholarship recipients and many DSF alums. Chair Don Silversmith gave a shout out to supporters, as did DSF Executive Director Dr. Nate Easley. Alums Remberto Rivera and ChukwuFumnanya Egbune were on stage and in a video to demonstrate exactly why investing in Denver’s bright young generation is a great idea. They were joined on stage by Senator Michael Bennet, who gave the audience a chuckle when he joked that he much preferred the bright, talented scholars’ company to that of the political arena in Washington. Governor John Hickenlooper also was on stage to add sentiments and encouragement to scholars and supporters.