Shared from the 6/29/2017 The Denver Post eEdition

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Seniors receive college send-off

Boys Hope Girls Hope graduates honored at ceremony

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Seniors from the Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado academic program attend a graduation ceremony May 30. Photos contributed by Rhiannon Hendrickson

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The 2017 Boys Hope Girls Hope program graduates earned more than $1,200,000 in scholarships for their college tuition.

The graduating seniors in the Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado academic program enjoyed a graduation ceremony at the Common-Ground Golf Course on May 30. Boys Hope Girls Hope helps academically motivated children in need earn a college degree via tutoring, counseling and scholarship assistance.

In the Boys Hope Girls Hope Class of 2017, three students graduated from Regis Jesuit High School as part of the Residential Scholar program, and 10 students graduated from Aurora Central High School as part of the Academy Program. All 13 graduates of the Boys Hope Girls Hope program will matriculate to college in fall, collectively earning acceptance into 43 colleges and universities. In total, the graduates earned more than $1,200,000 in scholarships, which include the prestigious Daniels Fund Scholarship, Alpha Phi Alpha Scholarship, GEAR UP Scholarship, Evans Scholarship, Aurora Gives Scholarship, LAEF Scholarship, and the Commanders of the Right Scholarship.

Rep. Mike Coffman gave the commencement address and applauded the students on their achievements.

“This is truly an incredible achievement for each of our bright and motivated students,” said Mary Fran Tharp, executive director of Boys Hope Girls Hope Colorado. “Seven out of 13 of our graduates had at least one parent who did not complete high school, so for these kids, making it to high school graduation and earning acceptance into college is a very big deal.”

Boys Hope Girls Hope has partnered with Aurora Public Schools to improve the district’s low graduation rates by helping one capable and motivated youth in need at a time. In 2014, the average graduation rate for Aurora Public Schools was 59 percent, and at Aurora Central High School the average graduation rate was 43 percent. Fewer than half of ACHS students graduate from high school, and 28 percent are accepted to college.

The Boys Hope Girls Hope scholars are determined to shatter those statistics and achieve their dreams of a college education. Boys Hope Girls Hope operates two residential programs — one for boys and one for girls — as well as an after-school Academy program at Aurora Central High School.

Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado seeks to support children from high school through college, with the ultimate goal of the student graduating with a college degree.

Since its founding in 1993, Boys Hope Girls Hope has provided more than 275 scholarships to youths in need and plans to serve 120 scholars by 2020.

“In our graduating class we have students who plan to be engineers, neurosurgeons, crime scene investigators, and nurses,” Tharp said. “It is an incredible privilege to give these students the tools they need to achieve their dreams. We can’t wait to see the amazing things they achieve as they start their journey in college and beyond.”

To learn more about Boys Hope Girls Hope of Colorado visit boyshopegirlshope.org/colorado .

Rhiannon Hendrickson is the founder of Orapin Marketing + Public

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