The Challenge Foundation

The Challenge Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that helps smart, ambitious, and hard-working students break the cycle of poverty through education opportunities. Challenge takes a whole-student approach, awarding tuition scholarships and individualized support services to low-income students. From middle school, at a college preparatory school, and continuing through college, we see the big picture: the potential in our scholars and their dreams of higher education, the impact they will make in their communities, and the way that giving back to the world is a privilege we should all strive to earn.

History & Mission

Don McFall, a successful Colorado businessman who had worked with homeless and underprivileged populations, wanted to create a unique program for at-risk youth who could have a bona-fide chance of escaping the cycle of poverty. In the mid-1990s, Don gathered a like-minded group of citizens and formed The Challenge Foundation, Inc., a Colorado non-profit which provided academic opportunities for these students:  intense summer school for middle school levels and scholarships for independent college prep high schools.

In 2001, Challenge expanded to provide scholarships beginning in middle school. Understanding that academically strong, economically disadvantaged children may have no other means to achieve their dreams, we enrolled promising candidates in an intensive multi-year program of academic preparation and character building to ensure high school achievement and college admission. The results were both inspiring and measurable. The Challenge Foundation has since expanded to focus on a whole-student approach with services such as mentoring, case management, therapeutic intervention, tutoring, college preparedness, and service learning. We now support Challenge Scholars from middle school through college, helping them to meet the challenges of a success-driven life.

After remarkable success in the Denver program, Challenge expanded to offer programs in El Paso, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona, and now serves more than 150 students.

Because of our individualized programs and the support of our donors and volunteers, Challenge Scholars realize their academic and personal potential, create a new life path for themselves, and then pass it on as they strive to make a difference in their own communities as leaders and role models.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of the Challenge Foundation is to break the cycle of poverty one child at a time.

Core Values

  • Dynamic Education
  • Role modeling
  • Giving back
  • Promises