For Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) supporter Lola Salazar, gratitude is the ultimate north star.
A native of Denver, Lola graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School. After marrying her husband Rob, also a Denver Public Schools (DPS) graduate, the two moved to the San Luis Valley of Colorado while Rob attended college. At that time, they welcomed two children into the world. Lola then went on to earn her bachelor’s degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver.
“When I look back now, it must have been hard, but it was all we knew,” Lola reflects. “Being so young, we really did grow up together. All we had was our dreams and our goals.”
Lola then pursued her dream of becoming a teacher. After graduating from MSU Denver, she was hired at Jeffco Public Schools, which allowed her to earn her master’s degree at the University of Colorado Denver while continuing to work. Meanwhile, Rob had launched his own business. As the business continued to grow, Lola saw the opportunity—and the need—to spend more time with their children.
“I realized that I wanted to be there for my kids when they got home from school,” Lola shares. “My mentor reminded me that I had two little humans for whom I needed to make a difference. We still had our dreams and goals, but now they included the kids.”
Keeping their story of big dreams and hard work close to her heart, Lola and Rob wanted to invest in Denver’s students, as a way to show gratitude to the city that gave them so much. In 1999, the Salazars launched the Salazar Family Foundation as a way to give back to the community. In partnership with DSF, the Salazar Family Foundation helps make college possible for Denver’s students through the DSF Named Scholarship program.
“I felt it was important to support DPS students,” says Lola. “When Rob and I were in school, there was not a foundation like DSF to help us get to college. Now, DSF helps students like us.”
The Salazar Family Foundation Scholarship supports DSF Scholars who, like Lola, graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School, are first-generation college students, and attend an Auraria Campus institution. Earlier this month, Lola had a chance to meet a few of the Scholars the Salazar Family Foundation supports. Lola invited the Scholars to her home for an afternoon, where they did journaling and vision board activities while getting to know one another.
“When I invited the DSF Scholars to our home, I asked them to bring something special to talk about,” shares Lola. “Hearing their stories made memories from my childhood come to the surface and was so special. I hope that sharing my home with them was just as inspiring.”
DSF thanks Lola, Rob, and the Salazar Family Foundation for their commitment to and support of our DSF Scholars through the Named Scholarship program. With their generosity, we are able to help make college possible for thousands of DPS students each year.