Annual $40,000 investment, plus mentorship program designed to inspire students to pursue STEM careers
The Ball Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Ball Corporation, is partnering with the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) to help low income Denver Public Schools graduates picture themselves as future engineers, plant managers, and information systems officers through a mentorship program and an annual gift of $40,000 to DSF.
In total, Ball has invested nearly $200,000 in scholarship dollars through DSF to help low-income graduates – who are primarily from minority backgrounds – enroll in a four-year college in Colorado. Through an established five-year partnership, 13 DSF Scholars focused on STEM careers have been selected to participate in a year-long mentorship program.
“Growing a workforce that can meet the challenges of the science, math and engineering industries of tomorrow is a concern for all of us in these industries and Ball wants to support and take an active role in cultivating our future employees and business leaders,” said Chris Chavez, executive director of The Ball Foundation.
The goal of the DSF and Ball collaboration is to mentor the Ball Scholars, exposing students to STEM and giving them opportunities to explore STEM-related concepts and develop a passion to pursue a job in a STEM field. “We are so proud to partner with The Ball Foundation to help students from Denver go on to exciting careers in the STEM field,” said DSF Interim CEO Cathey M. Finlon. “Through its financial investment, as well as the time and talent of its employees, Ball will help Denver students imagine themselves working in the STEM industry, and then we’ll work together to provide students with the scholarships and support services they need to make it real.”
DSF believes in its students and is committed to helping them graduate from college and expand their opportunities and horizons for success in life as contributing member of our communities. We have awarded $36 million in scholarship awards to 6,300 Scholars over the last ten years, and have provided scaffolding to help them succeed academically in collaboration with our college partners and community partners. Ball is a shining example of one of our lead partnerships.
At the beginning of November, Ball began their first annual mentorship program by hosting the DSF Ball Scholars at their headquarters for a kickoff event. The event included a lunch panel of Ball employees including John Hayes, Chief Executive Officer; Mike Gazarik, Vice President of Engineering; Allison Barto, Program Manager, James Webb Space Telescope; Jason Gorsuch, Director of Manufacturing Support and Progress Operations; and Charles “CJ” Johnson, Director of Diversity and Inclusion.
A series of questions were shared with the panel by moderator Chris Chavez, The Ball Foundation Executive Director. Words of wisdom, advice and knowledge filled the room, as mentors shared personal advice with the DSF Scholars. One panelist, shared, “It’s unnerving to fail, but, you have to learn to get back up again. Perseverance is one of the best gifts in life.”
The mentorship program is the first of its kind for Denver Scholarship Foundation and is critical to our mission. In addition to providing financial aid, all DSF Scholars are offered wraparound services that support them in completing their college courses. The Ball partnership provides an extra layer of support by stimulating personal and professional growth to help guide these Scholars through their challenges and successes. DSF believes mentoring is important, not only because of the knowledge and skills students can learn, but also because of the professional socialization and personal support to facilitate success in college and beyond.
Denver Scholarship Foundation is grateful to Ball for our long-standing five year partnership that is helping to make college possible for thousands each year! To learn more about the work of Ball, please visit, www.ball.com.