Together, we’re going all in for graduation.
At Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF), our goal is for all Denver Public Schools’ (DPS) students to walk across the commencement stage at college graduation,
toss their mortarboards high into Denver’s sky and say, “I did it!”
From Graduation to Giving Back — Myrna’s Story
As a DSF Scholar who now works as a DSF College Advisor, Myrna Hernandez has stood in the shoes of the students she advises in the Future Center at North High School. Though her students may face challenges ahead, Myrna knows they will succeed with the help of DSF, just like she did.
Growing up as the daughter of Mexican immigrants, Myrna immersed herself in activities like student council, Link Crew, and cheerleading at Abraham Lincoln High School. But it wasn’t until senior year, when she met her DSF College Advisor, that dreams of college began to appear on the horizon.
“Even though I did get good grades and did well on my ACT, it was never really with the intention of going to college,” Myrna said. “Come senior year, I met my DSF College Advisor, Ms. Castillo, and that was when college started to become a tangible thing for me.”
“I decided I wanted to go to college because I wanted a better life for me and for my family, and I knew that college was my ticket in.”
But as the first in her family to go to college, the path to get there was unclear. Throughout the year, Ms. Castillo worked with Myrna to complete college applications, meet with college representatives, perfect her essays, and apply to scholarships.
“I remember thinking that every step of the college admissions process was daunting, and the nervousness that came with having to complete each part,” Myrna said. “Luckily, Ms. Castillo helped me overcome those feelings by always offering answers and solutions.”
With Ms. Castillo’s help in finding the best college fit and securing additional financial assistance, Myrna set her sights on Metropolitan State University of Denver. Myrna embarked on her journey to and through college in 2010 knowing that her tuition was fully covered.
Balancing multiple jobs while enrolled in classes full-time, Myrna pushed herself to complete her coursework—and her hard work paid off. Myrna graduated in 2014 with her bachelor’s degree in Human Services with a concentration in High Risk Youth, and from there, her career path became clear.
“Once I graduated, I decided that I wanted to help other students like me learn about the opportunities that are out there for them,” Myrna said.
“I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to go to college. Thanks to that opportunity, I learned how to problem solve and get through any barriers that may come my way and this has been one of the most valuable skills when it comes to my job.”
Now, Myrna sees herself in the students she works with, who may not know that their dreams of college can become a reality if only a door of opportunity is opened. As a DSF College Advisor, Myrna has the opportunity to show students that college is possible for them, and that the community supports their success.
“As a DSF Alumna and now a DSF College Advisor at North High School, I am able to see how much DSF cares about the students. I see the battles that take place in order to remove barriers standing between students and their successful futures.”