The mountains visible from this part of Colorado are often seen as symbols of great possibility, but educational attainment for the district tells a different story.
Just east of Denver, Aurora is the third most populous city in Colorado and home to some of the state’s biggest employers. While on average more than 80% of Aurora residents are earning a high school diploma, less than 30% go on to receive a bachelor’s degree.
In 2011, College Track partnered with Aurora Public Schools to ensure that all students in the city would have access to opportunities within Colorado’s thriving economy. Eight years later, the center is celebrating 100% of students accepted to a four-year college and our very first class graduating from college in May.
A View Inside…
When our students walk into the center, they’re not only greeted with high fives and hugs, they’re surrounded by reminders of what they are working towards. This is epitomized by our College Freshman Wall, displayed under a quote from civil rights activist Angela Davis, “I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I’m changing the things I cannot accept.” Portraits of our current college freshman sit side-by-side, faces of the next generation of College Track graduates that motivate our incoming students to reach higher.
What Our Students Have Achieved
students currently enrolled
identify as students of color
matriculate to a two- or four-year college
Scholar Spotlight: Richardo, University of Colorado Boulder
Growing up the child of Jamaican immigrants, my earliest memories of school were adults putting limits on my success. There was the time I asked for an advanced worksheet in my elementary math class and was dismissed with, “you’re not ready for that.” There was the middle school English teacher who asked me to read an essay aloud because it was so strong she thought I cheated. Or the counselors that encouraged me to set my sights on community college or state schools because a four-year college was not for students “like me.” I had other plans.
The minute College Track came to present at my school I applied. Through the program, I discovered a fire and motivation I hadn’t yet tapped into. Every once in a while I would hear all those people in his past that had labeled me a “bad kid” and wondered if they might be right. My College Track advisors never accepted that.
As a result I was accepted to every school I applied for, including the University of Colorado Boulder, where I’m about to graduate from! I think of myself as an agent of change. I am determined to see equality achieved in my lifetime and will dedicate my life to seeing a better future for all students.
We are proud to partner with local businesses, foundations, corporations, and educational institutions to help us unlock the potential in every student and set a new standard for Aurora students.
Colorado Local Advisory Board
Barbara Grogan Founder and CEO, Western Industrial Contractors (Board Chair)
Kim DeLashmit Principal, Orange Marketing
Curtis Esquibel Associate Director, Latino Leadership Institute
Adeeb Khan Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility & Executive Director, Delta Dental of Colorado
Teresa Kostenbauer Senior Manager, University Relations and Recruitment, Arrow Electronics
Josh Kunau Founder/Producer, Roots Productions; Attorney/Owner, The Law Offices of Joshua A. Kunau
Ivan London Attorney, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Sarai Martinez Sr. Landman, Occidental
Karen McNeil-Miller President & CEO, The Colorado Health Foundation
Nadim Quarshie Private Wealth Banker at U.S. Bank Private Wealth Management
Jennifer Rocks Director, Deloitte Consulting
Tameeka Smith Chief Operating Officer, DSST Public Schools
Adam Silver Vice President, Denver Test Prep
Becky Takeda-Tinker President, Colorado University Global Campus
Vanessa Aponte Williams Human Spaceflight Exploration Lead of Advanced Programs, Lockheed Martin Space
Joan Winstein Owner, IP, Licensing, and Publishing Agency