Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) Scholar Makiyah Hainesworth feels excited to be finishing up her senior year at the University of Denver (DU). “I am thankful for the various opportunities and continuous support throughout high school and college. I appreciate the wisdom I’ve gained from my extensive support system.” Starting early to pursue her dreams has been integral to Makiyah’s success at DU.
Makiyah connected with DSF her junior year at Abraham Lincoln High School. She knew she wanted to go to college and was hoping to get scholarships to help her pursue higher education. She spent time at the Future Center her junior year, but it was really her senior year that stood out the most. Makiyah spent almost every off period at the Future Center, and sometimes even went to see her College Advisor during lunch. Gabe Guidon, now the Director of College Access, was her DSF College Advisor at the time. College Advisor Alejandra Dominguez also supported Makiyah throughout high school. When sharing her aspirations for college, DSF College Advisors helped guide her to find scholarships, most of which she wouldn’t have even known about if it wasn’t for their help. One of the scholarships that she received, in addition to the DSF scholarship, provided her with a new laptop to set her up for success in college.
Ever since her first time at the Future Center, Makiyah has been connected to DSF, and she encouraged her sisters to connect as well. Makiyah has two younger sisters, one of which is a sophomore at Colorado School of Mines, and the other is a freshman at Langston University in Oklahoma. Makiyah feels that if it wasn’t or DSF’s support, it would be much harder for all three sisters to be in college.
Success and Engagement at University of Denver
Makiyah is graduating from DU with a business degree in June 2021. She hopes to pursue a career in the accounting or marketing fields and is looking forward to opportunities that will allow her to use her quantitative and creative skills in the workforce.
Durin her freshman year, Makiyah was a member of the cheer team at DU. She enjoyed being an ambassador for the school and athletic department while representing Denver Athletics in the community. One of her academic highlights during her time at DU was participating and winning second place at the Diversity and Business Ethics Case Competition in 2018. Makiyah and her DU team competed against seven teams from schools around the country. “I was able to implement the skills I acquired from Daniels College of Business towards a real world case experience, while focusing on aspects such as diversity and ethics in a business setting,” said Makiyah when reflecting on her accomplishments.
Makiyah’s favorite experience was between her Freshman and Sophomore years when she got to travel to New York City for the first time. She took a college course called “Urban Geographics of New York City”. “We immersed ourselves into the historic evolution, architecture, urban issues and culture in New York City. Everything there tells a story, from the buildings to the streets.”
Looking Ahead, Through Senior Year and Beyond
Even though her college went remote during her junior year, Makiyah still found ways to stay engaged and looks forward to the opportunities during her last few of months at DU. “I’m excited to participate in career fairs and engage with my DSF Campus Contact. I look forward to attending DSF events, like career panels and mock interviews, even if they are virtual.”
Makiyah continues to be grateful for the scholarships and organizations that are willing to invest in her college journey and success. Once she graduates, she plans to give back with time or monetary efforts to the communities that have shaped her experience. Her support system is also very important to her, and it includes her family, friends, and professors. “My sisters and I have a group Facetime call every other week to discuss what we are doing socially, academically, and just how we are feeling.” Even though they are all away at college, the sisters remain close and support each other on their journeys.
Building a Legacy
Makiyah hopes to build a legacy to inspire her peers, family, and community. “It is important to pursue your individual aspirations. I’ve revolved myself around kinship and representation. Make sure to prioritize your values, and always be genuine.”