For many first-generation college students that Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) serves, it can be intimidating navigating the journey to and through college completion. For DSF alumna Liloni S. Ramos, she felt grateful that she had a DSF advisor who she could go to with any questions. “I knew I had access to resources and knowledge, because I was a DSF Scholar. The connection from high school to college helped me feel more confident in my education journey.”
Liloni first connected with DSF through our TRIO program, which helps 9-11 grade Denver Public Schools (DPS) students discover opportunities for after high school. Liloni remembers taking trips to different college campuses and getting help with her resume and college essays. She graduated John F. Kennedy High School in 2011 and enrolled at Colorado State University (CSU). At CSU, Liloni studied human development and family studies and graduated in 2015.
After graduating from CSU, Liloni was excited to continue building her community in Fort Collins and worked at the CSU Community for Excellence, which is an inclusive community for students receiving select financial awards. In 2020, she was eager to reconnect with the Denver community and enrolled in graduate school at Regis University, where she completed her masters in nonprofit management in the past fall. She is grateful for everyone who has supported her throughout her journey—those that invested in her emotionally and financially.
Holding the Values of Those Investing in Her
“If someone helps you up, you reach back and help the next person.” Those are words that Liloni lives by, and her involvement with the DSF Alumni Advisory Committee (AAC) is a testament to her values. In the past year, Liloni has helped current DSF Scholars with their networking skills, how to create valuable connections, and empowered students to share their stories. Being both a DPS and DSF alumna has helped her realize how important her community is to her. Liloni is currently working at DPS as a Project Specialist and says that she is “super excited to reengage with the community that raised and shaped me.”
Reflecting on DSF’s Impact
Liloni says that her advisors were critical to her success, as a student at DPS and CSU, and as a young professional. She finds beauty in the communities that are built from scholarship opportunities and is grateful that she is still involved through AAC. “Because of how impactful it was for me, I continue to give and to help build our future generations of DSF Scholars.”