The Challenge Foundation offers 8-10 scholarships to students throughout the Denver Metro area every year, estimated to be worth $250,000 each. Our scholarships offer much more than tuition; we provide mentoring, tutoring, and college counseling support as well as costs related to transportation, books, computers, travel and enrichment opportunities, and more.
The Challenge Foundation begins to gather information about potential students through an intensive, year-long application process that begins in the 4th grade. This process is designed to help identify students who we feel can be successful in our program and at an independent school. Students are selected from neighborhoods with some of the Denver Metro area’s highest crime rates, unemployment, gang activity, single-parent families, and dropout rates.
In order to foster success, the program requires that every Challenge Scholar strives to do his or her best in all aspects of the program. They must work to their full academic potential, have excellent attendance, meet school discipline requirements, participate in community service projects, and be positive role models in their schools — all of which will contribute to success in their personal and professional lives.
More than 200 students are recommended by schools and programs for youth in our community every year. These applicants will:
- Be intelligent, ambitious, hard-working students.
- Be respectful to adults and peers.
- Possess a strong desire to graduate from high school and attend college.
- Be willing to make a significant commitment of time and effort.
- Have strong parental support for this long-term academic commitment.
- Be economically disadvantaged, and thus unable to afford the education and resources.
During the 4th and 5th grade, students participate in a number of steps in our application process. These steps include:
- Student testing in reading, math, and writing.
- Student and parent surveys, which help us to identify social and emotional needs.
- Participation in the STARS program, a two-week summer program. This academic session is a critical piece of the application process, allowing us to spend time with each student in an academic environment. We are able to observe attendance, timeliness, homework completion, social skills, and academic abilities.
- Home visits with each family, allowing us to have an individualized conversation with each family to assess their needs and the parents’ ability to support their child’s academic success.
- Challenge candidates complete the same process as all other applicants to the independent schools with whom we work. This includes student and parent applications, essays, school visits and interviews, and financial aid applications.