Scholars Put a Face to the Name Behind their DSF Scholarship

It’s not every day that Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) Scholars have a chance to meet the donors who make their DSF Scholarships possible. But last month, as part of DSF’s Named Scholarship program, Scholars Santos and Michela met DSF donor Dick Shahan, and the three forged a special connection.

DSF Scholars Santos and Michela connected with DSF donor Dick Shahan over lunch.

A personal connection makes a Scholarship possible

Mr. Shahan graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School and studied English literature and psychology at the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder. Accordingly, his Named Scholarship gift supports DSF Scholars at CU Boulder who graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School. Two such Scholars, Santos and Michela, joined Mr. Shahan for lunch on the CU Boulder campus and exchanged stories about their experiences at Thomas Jefferson.

Following the get-together, Michela shared, “I took away that my scholarship is made possible by a person that supports and appreciates me. This makes me want to keep challenging myself and moving forward.”

Investing in Denver’s future leaders

Across town, DSF Scholar Sarah met with Suzann Bacon-Taylor of the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which supports Scholars like Sarah through the BBB Scholarship in partnership with DSF. Sarah is currently a junior at the University of Denver and is studying accounting.

DSF Scholar Sarah meets with Suzann Bacon-Taylor of the BBB.

The mission of the BBB is to support the future of the Denver/Boulder metropolitan business community, raising up an ethical marketplace for tomorrow by creating both ethics education and opportunities for students and youth. Through its scholarship, the BBB aims to cultivate long-term relationships with the Scholars it supports, paving the way for Colorado’s future business leaders to promote ethics in the marketplace as they pursue their careers.

Sarah said that the meeting gave her an opportunity to connect with a DSF donor in a way that otherwise would not have been possible.

“DSF is a significant aspect of my college experience,” Sarah shared. “It is amazing that DSF is able to help so many students before, during, and after college. I am looking forward to connecting with DSF staff and donors again.”

Not only do donor-Scholar get-togethers such as these expand Scholars’ professional networks, but they also provide motivating points of connection for Scholars who are eager to engage with their donors and each other. As DSF grows its Named Scholarship program, we look forward to providing more opportunities like this one!

DSF Named Scholarships make college possible

When a community supporter donates to DSF, they have the opportunity to establish a Named Scholarship. DSF Named Scholarships reflect a donor’s commitment to fund DSF Scholarships. Donors can name a scholarship for themselves or their family, in honor of a loved one, or to reflect the type of scholarship the donor wishes to fund. Donors may choose from a list of criteria for the selection of the students they wish to support, but all Named Scholars must meet the standard DSF requirements and deadlines and receive the standard DSF award amount. During the 2019-20 school year, 495 DSF Scholars were selected to receive Named Scholarships from a total of 33 donors.

Donors may provide engagement opportunities for their Scholars, ranging from casual get-togethers over coffee to job-shadows and mentorships. One such opportunity is the Ball Mentorship Program, which empowers DSF Scholars in STEM.

DSF is grateful for the incredible generosity of our donors. We thank them for all they do to support our work and engage with our Scholars!

For more information about DSF’s Named Scholarship program, please contact our director of corporate relations, Jessica Milnes, at or 303.951.4152.