TELLURIDE, Colo. – (May 29, 2018) – A college education is out of reach for many students. Cost, parents’ education, even where you live – such as rural – are significant barriers to students getting a great college education. A new program at the Telluride Foundation will help first generation college-bound students attend great schools and succeed. Selected first generation students will be provided with continuous support and financial aid to overcome the challenges and obstacles commonly faced by many students who are the first in their families to attend college. In its inaugural year, the Chang-Chavkin Scholars Program, founded through the generosity of Laura Chang and Arnie Chavkin, will provide financial scholarships, intensive counseling, family advice and support to four graduating seniors and four rising senior (currently junior) high school students.
The Chang-Chavkin Scholars Program will provide resources to students and parents in five regional school districts including Norwood, Ouray, Ridgway, Telluride, and the West End in three ways: 1) work with high school guidance counselors to provide targeted supplemental counseling support to students and their families; 2) award “last in” four-year college scholarships which will bridge the gap after all other financial aid is determined; and 3) provide “wrap-around” support while the students are in college to help ensure graduation. The program is modeled after proven successful first generation programs such as the rural Pennsylvanian “Lenfest Scholars’ program which has realized a 99% graduation rate within its student scholars over the last ten years.
The first cohort of Chang-Chavkin Scholars was recently selected and includes four graduating seniors out of ten finalists. The six finalists will receive a one-time $2,000 scholarship.
The 2018 Chang-Chavkin Senior Scholars:
• Emily Case from Nucla High School, planning to attend Colorado Mesa University
• Hunter Wilson from Norwood High School, planning to attend Arizona State University
• Manolo Nieto from Telluride High School, planning to attend Colorado Mesa University
• Colin Kraft from Ridgway High School, planning to attend University of Denver
Junior Scholars were also selected and will receive support and counseling while completing college applications and making final college selections as well as financial aid forms during their senior year. Just as the senior scholars, these Junior Chang-Chavkin Scholars will also receive a “last in” financial scholarship as well as support throughout their college experience. Four junior Scholars were selected out of eleven finalists. Seven of the eleven finalists will receive a one-time $2,000 scholarship.
The 2018 Chang-Chavkin Junior Scholars:
• James Northey from Ridgway High School
• Johnathan Bruss from Ridgway High School
• Macy Desmarais from Telluride High School
• Miguel “Mike” Ambriz from Telluride High School
Moving forward, the Chang-Chavkin Scholars Program will be available to high school Juniors only.
The Telluride Foundation recently hired Valene Baskfield as Program Manager of the Chang-Chavkin Scholars Program. Baskfield will augment college counseling resources in each of the regional five school districts, Norwood, Ouray, Ridgway, Telluride and West End, to ensure first-generation families have access to the help they need to work through the college and financial aid application and selection processes. She will also provide support to students while they are in college to help ensure they have the support and resources they need to graduate in four years.
“The Chang-Chavkin Scholars Program is much more than just a scholarship, it is a comprehensive program providing support and counseling to students and families,” said Baskfield. “Before accepting scholarship funding, students must be receptive to receiving counseling and support both in high school and college, as well as be committed to successfully graduating from college.”
“We are so excited to see the first scholars off to college and we’re looking forward to the first juniors navigating their college selection process. We appreciated the support of all the families, teachers, guidance counselors who participated and allowed us to begin to see our vision realized. We especially thank the all the applicants for their hard work and commitment to fulfill their quest to graduate from college. They are a truly impressive and inspiring group of students who give us all hope in the future,” said Laura Chang and Arnie Chavkin.
“The Telluride Foundation is honored to work with Laura and Arnie who are so generous and insightful,” said Paul Major, President & CEO of the Telluride Foundation. “The young men and women that we met throughout the application process are truly inspiring. Our community is fortunate to be able to provide this opportunity to our regional students to help them obtain a great education that will change their lives forever.”
The Telluride Foundation is committed to enriching the quality of life of the residents and workforce of the Telluride region. It is a nonprofit, apolitical public community foundation that makes grants and runs programs in arts, education, health and human services, community development, and social enterprise. The Foundation strives to achieve excellence for the community through its mission and core values, including promoting inclusion and maximizing benefit to all. Our work is funded through the generous support of hundreds of donors as well as grants from state and national foundations. Please visit www.telluridefoundation.org.