When I first moved to Denver four years ago, I started looking for ways I could use my skills to give back to a worthy cause. Fresh out of college with a degree in marketing, I was reminded of my university’s simple request to “ask more”—both of myself and of the business world I was about to take on. I started volunteering with a few nonprofits in the area, but none had a mission that resonated with me as much as the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF). Much more than the 33 words it comprises, its mission connected with me on a personal level. When I started high school in Indiana, my freshman class had over 600 students. By the time I graduated, that number had dwindled to less than 400. A third of our class never earned a high school diploma, simply because they never believed postsecondary education was an option.
There are countless reasons why I continue volunteering with DSF. The staff is as friendly and welcoming as any I’ve encountered, and whenever you speak with them you get the sense that they truly care about all the hard work they put in. They help me hone my skills as a marketer and writer, but much more so as a human being. They have also been incredibly accommodating, welcoming me back after I went home for months to help my family, again after leaving to work on a presidential campaign, and once more during the pandemic. But the biggest reason I keep coming back is the sense of hope DSF staff inspire in students. I have seen it firsthand at resume reviews, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) workshops, and celebration dinners. I’ve read Scholars’ success stories. I’ve witnessed the spark DSF provides, and it is one that will endure for a lifetime.
Without the dedicated support of DSF staff—and all its volunteers, benefactors, and supporters—an entire generation of Denver students might resign themselves to believing postsecondary education is not for them. Thankfully, we have an entire team dedicated to changing that perception, and I’m proud to be one of them.
Adam Soisson is a volunteer with the Marketing & Communications team. He enjoys getting lost on hikes in the mountains with his corgi Winston. You can read more about all the ways to get involved with DSF by visiting this page.