ACE Student Scholars Grants

What are ACE Student Scholars Grants?

ACE Student Scholars Grants are offered through the Center for Community Engagement to advance Scholarship & Learning (CCESL) as part of the DU Grand Challenges initiative.


ACE Student Scholars Grants support community-engaged research or creative work projects that are faculty-mentored. DU students are invited to submit proposals for projects that are designed to:

  1. Improve daily living in our communities: For example, meeting basic needs and tackling issues like food and housing insecurity, crime and safety, migration, and urban sustainability.
  2. Increase economic opportunity in our communities: For example, expanding education access, improving transportation options, fulfilling employment rights, advancing entrepreneurship and emerging employee-owned business models, and decreasing poverty.
  3. Improving deliberation and action for the public good in our communities: For example, inspiring civic engagement, amplifying youth voices, preparing new leaders, and strengthening our connections to one another.

Community-engaged research and creative work projects are co-developed with community partners. Collaboration between students and partners should be mutually beneficial and reciprocal.

For example, a project might answer a research question that is important to the student researcher while also meeting a need that is important to the community. Potential partners include nonprofits, grassroots organizations, government agencies or entrepreneurs and businesses.

For detailed application instructions, please review the Request for Proposals (RFP) to help you prepare your application.

Read RFP



Grant Benefits

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    Student Compensation & Covered Project Costs

    For the Academic Year 2023-2024:

    Applicants can request up to $3,000 for a single student or up to $6,000 for two or more students working together on community-engaged research or creative works that are faculty-mentored. Funds can be used for student compensation, project costs and/or project-related travel expenses. Additionally, each mentor (e.g., faculty/staff) may be eligible to receive a $200 stipend for their mentorship of an undergraduate student (or $500 for a group of undergraduate students). See the Request for Proposal (RFP) for full details on eligible expenses and student compensation.


    For the Summer of 2024:

    Grants can be up to $3,500 for compensation per student and up to $2,000 to support project costs and/or project-related travel expenses.  Additionally, each mentor (e.g., faculty/staff) may be eligible to receive a $2000 stipend for their mentorship of an undergraduate student. (See the Request for Proposal (RFP) for full details on eligible expenses and student compensation.

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    Recipients become DU Grand Challenges (DUGC) Student Scholars and work with either a Community-Engaged Fellow, CCESL staff member, or faculty mentor on their community-engaged research or creative work project. Faculty mentors may be eligible to receive a $200 stipend (or $500 for a group of undergraduate students).

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    Access to Resources

    As DUGC Student Scholars, recipients are part of a collaborative network and can access support and resources such as CCESL’s in-person and asynchronous trainings, CCESL courses, and networking opportunities.

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    Project Portfolio

    Recipients document their learning and project outcomes in a public-facing, ePortfolio website that students can use to share their work with their professional networks.

ACE Student Scholars Grants are a 4D signature experience that enables you to deepen and apply your thinking, reflect on your interests and goals, and gain new perspectives on education and life. Through this community-engaged experience, you will grow across the four dimensions, supporting your intellectual growth, character exploration, well-being, and sense of purpose.



All undergraduate students currently in good standing are eligible to apply. Proposals from graduate students are accepted as funds are available. Graduate students are encouraged to contact CCESL before applying to see if funds are available.


How to Apply  

Students should submit their proposals via the Qualtrics form linked in the Request for Proposals (RFP). In addition to the Qualtrics form, students must have faculty mentor and community partner letters sent directly to from the letter’s author with Your Last Name/ DUGC ACE Letter in the subject line. For detailed application instructions, please review the RFP to help you prepare your application. 



The ACE Student Scholars Grants Rubric outlines the criteria that will be used to evaluate your proposal.


Application Deadlines

Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis until all funds have been awarded or by the following deadlines, whichever comes first:

  • Academic Year 2023-2024 projects: April 25th, 2024
  • Summer 2024 projects: May 31st, 2024


Project Timelines

Final ePortfolio websites are due within 30 days of the project’s completion or by June 1, 2024 (for AY projects) or August 31, 2024 (for summer projects) whichever is sooner. Students may determine their own timeline for their project within this timeframe.



If you have questions regarding project ideas, faculty mentorship, or requirements please read the FAQ below before contacting us. If you'd like further clarification or if you're unable to find an answer below, email us at

  • General Questions

    What is the ACE Student Scholars Grant? 

    The ACE Student Scholars Grant is a funding opportunity provided by DU Grand Challenges (DUGC) for DU students to engage in community-engaged research or creative work projects that address complex societal issues. 

    What is community-engaged scholarly work? 

    Community-engaged scholarly work is an approach to academic study that involves working collaboratively with community partners. It must include either research or creative work. A community engaged research project might answer a question that is important for the student researcher while also meeting a need that is important to the community. This work should be mutually beneficial, not single-sided service.  

    Who can apply for the ACE Student Scholars Grant? 

    All undergraduate students in good standing at the University of Denver are eligible to apply. Graduate students may apply if funds are available and are encouraged to contact the Center for Community Engagement to inquire about funding availability. 

    How can I contact the Center for Community Engagement for questions about the grant? 

    You can email with "Your Last Name/DUGC ACE Question" in the subject line for project ideas, mentorship, or requirements-related inquiries. 

  • Funding and Benefits Questions

    How much funding can I receive through the ACE Student Scholars Grant? 

    For the Academic Year 2023-2024, grants can be up to $3,000 for a single student or up to $6,000 for two or more students working together. For the Summer of 2024, grants can be up to $3,500 for compensation per student and up to $2,000 for project costs. 

    What can the grant funds be used for? 

    Grant funds can be used for student compensation, project costs, and project-related travel expenses. Mentors may also be eligible for a stipend. 

    What benefits come with receiving an ACE Student Scholars Grant? 

    In addition to funding, awardees become DUGC Student Scholars and gain access to resources such as training, mentorship, and support from the Center for Community Engagement. 

  • Eligibility and Use of Funds Questions

    Can graduate students apply for the ACE Student Scholars Grant? 

    Graduate students can apply, but funding for graduate students is subject to availability. They are encouraged to contact CCESL to inquire about funding before applying. 

    Can I collaborate with other students on my project? 

    Yes, students are encouraged to collaborate with others, especially those from different majors. 

    Can I receive funding from multiple ACE Student Scholars Grants simultaneously? 

    No, students cannot have funding from more than one ACE Student Scholars Grant at the same time. 

  • Budget and Reporting Questions

    What expenses are eligible for funding? 

    Most expenses related to research and creative activity are eligible. Examples include student compensation, project costs, and project-related travel expenses. 

    What expenses are non-fundable through ACE Student Scholars grants? 

    Expenses that have already been incurred, computers/tablets, student tuition, “backpay” covering student compensation or project costs accrued before the date the grant is awarded, any amount to relieve the operating budgets of university departments or community partners, and work from students only for the purpose of class-credit (should the student go above the work level required for the class, this is fine).  

    When do I need to submit my final ePortfolio? 

    Final ePortfolios are due within 30 days of the project’s completion or by June 1, 2024 (for academic year projects) or August 31, 2024 (for summer projects), whichever is sooner. 

    Are there any policies I need to follow when using grant funds? 

    Yes, all use of ACE Student Scholars Grant funding must be in accordance with institutional policies as detailed on the DU website.  If you are collecting data from people, you probably need approval from the Institutional Review Board on campus. This includes interviewing people. Your faculty partner should assist you in this process, unless you are CCESL mentored. IRB applications are reviewed on a monthly basis so you should send your application through the IRB office as early as possible. Your grant can be approved by the CCESL office, but funds may be withheld until you receive approval from the IRB office. 

    See the Institutional Review Board (IRB) page, or contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs (ORSP):

  • Application Process Questions

    How do I apply for the ACE Student Scholars Grant? 

    To apply, you must complete the online application, obtain letters of support from your faculty/staff mentor and community partner (if applicable), and submit a budget and budget justification. Review the submission requirements for more details. 

    What is the deadline for submitting grant proposals? 

    Grant proposals are accepted on a rolling basis until all funds have been awarded or until the specified deadlines (April 25th, 2024, for academic year projects and May 31st, 2024, for summer projects), whichever comes first. It is recommended to submit your proposal well in advance of these deadlines. 

    How will I know if my proposal is complete? 

    You will receive an automated confirmation email after submitting the online application. CCESL will also send an email to confirm the successful submission of your complete proposal once all required letters and documents have been received. 

    What should I do if I have previously received an ACE Student Scholars Grant? 

    If you have previously received a grant, your Project Narrative should address how your current proposal differs from previously funded projects. 

    What should I do if I don't receive an email with responses to my application? 

    If you haven't received an email response regarding your application, it's possible that your application wasn't successfully submitted. Double-check your submission, ensure all required components are included, and if needed, reach out to the Center for Community Engagement for assistance. 

    What constitutes a complete application for the ACE Student Scholars Grant? 

    A complete application includes the online application form, letters of support from your faculty/staff mentor and community partner (if applicable), a budget and budget justification, and all other required documents as outlined in the submission requirements. Ensure that all components are submitted correctly for your application to be considered complete. 

    How should I submit letters of support? 

    • Faculty/Staff Mentor's Support Letter: 
      • Your mentor should email a brief letter to with 'Your Last Name-DUGC ACE Letter' in the subject line. 
    • Community Partner's Collaboration Letter: 
      • Your community partner should email a brief letter to with 'Your Last Name-DUGC ACE Letter' in the subject line. 

    What should my letters of support include? 

    • Letter from Faculty/Staff Mentor: 
      • A brief expression of support for your project and acknowledgment of departmental responsibility. Clarify understanding of fund access and usage in line with institutional policies, accessible at institutional policy link. The letter should emphasize they have discussed the project and this letter requirement with you prior to submission. 
    • Letter from Community Partner: 
      • Briefly describe the assessment of the collaboration and outline potential community benefits resulting from the project. The letter should demonstrate that they have discussed the project and letter requirements with you before providing the letter. 
  • Timeline and Review Process Questions

    What is the timeline for reviewing ACE Student Scholars Grant applications? 

    The timeline for reviewing applications typically takes around two weeks from the date of receiving a complete proposal. However, it's recommended to submit your proposal well in advance of your intended project start date to allow sufficient time for review and processing. 

    When can I expect to start my ACE Student Scholars Grant project after submission? 

    It is recommended to plan for a start date that is 4-6 weeks after submitting a complete proposal, including all required documents. This timeline allows for the review process and necessary administrative steps. 

  • DU International Travel and IRB

    We ask that you work with your faculty mentor to make sure you are adhering to all the relevant institutional policies, including international travel and IRB. 

    You can find more information about registering your travel here:

    And information about IRB here:



Not sure where to start? Join us for an ACE Grant info session. The next one will be on February 12, 2024.

Details & Registration

Need a Project Idea?

Look through the Scholar Shop Community Partner database below to see an array of projects our community partners are seeking to collaborate on. To learn more about what Scholar Shop is, visit the Scholar Shop info page. If you’ve found an organization/project you’d like to collaborate with or you just want to learn more, send an email to the Scholar Shop Coordinator, at, and we'll be happy to get you connected.



Highlighted Projects

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DU Writers in the Schools

DU students Lydia McCann, Hayley Sayre, and Mario Melo received an ACE grant to revive The Writers in the Schools Program alongside Dr. Kelly Krumrie. The DU Writers in the Schools Program seeks to cultivate a creative, intuitive, and dynamic learning experience for all students through the implementation of poetry, prose, and imagination throughout Denver schools. The grant allowed them to engage with hands-on, community learning and career development.

Learn More About the Project
group of college students standing in a highschool hallway

The Right Foot Project

DU students Soffy Anderson, Lauren Butler, Sergio Sandoval, and Cade Palmer received an ACE grant to launch the Right Foot Project, a yearlong community change initiative aimed to help alleviate food insecurity in youth populations. The Project is based out of the Leadership Program at the University of Denver. They created strong, local partnerships with Thomas Jefferson High School and The Conscious Alliance. 

Learn More About the Project
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Pollution Solution

DU students Annabelle Kiely, Loklin Nord, Brady Rogers, Madelyn Kavalieros, Jacob Hughes, and Kabe Aberle received an ACE grant to launch the Pollution Solution project, which aimed to address the issue of climate change by providing young students with access to the outdoors and environmental education. They worked with two Denver Public Schools to implement classroom-based learning sessions consisting of fun activities as well as informational segments. 

Learn More About the Project

2022-2023 Funded Projects

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  • The Power of Youth Artivism

    Through this project, The Power of Youth Artivism, students at DSST: Byers Middle and High School used theatre, social-emotional activities, and Pedagogy of the Oppressed methodologies to explore the changing perceptions of LBGTQ+ people over time. Students participated in healthy, constructive, and supportive conversations that explored queerness and effective allyship. At the end of April, they performed She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition and featured a lobby exhibit to highlight their collective research and one student’s interview-based play which explored queerness and trans identities.

    Students behind the project: Maddie Heiken

  • Writers in the Schools Community Outreach

    The Writers in the Schools Program seeks to cultivate a creative, intuitive, and dynamic learning experience for all students through the implementation of poetry, prose, and imagination throughout Denver schools. The Program expanded the learning of creative writing by supplementing materials that may not be accessible to grade schools. The program aimed to expand students’ knowledge in the classroom carry the excitement of art and creative writing into their everyday lives. Through the Writers in the Schools Program, English students found joy in working with children, sharing their love of literature, learning K-12 pedagogical models, and practicing “professional development skills” in an authentic manner.

    Students behind the project: Lydia McCann, Hayley Sayre, Mario Da Silva Melo

  • Reported School Climate for Diversity and Feelings of Belonging for Latinx Students: Moderation of Feelings of Belonging by Parent’s Academic Aspirations and Expectations

    The purpose of this study was to examine associations between teachers’ perceptions of school climate and third through fifth grade Latinx children’s school belonging. Previous research investigating Latinx students’ feelings of belonging and associations with school climate had focused on adolescent populations. This study aimed to extend the literature by investigating these associations with children in middle childhood. The development of feelings of belonging for children start very early on in education. In aiming to understand the school climate and feelings of belonging at a critical age for development and socialization, intervention gaps can be identified specific to elementary aged Latinx students. 

    Students behind the project: Lydia McCann, Hayley Sayre, Mario Da Silva Melo

  • Health Outreach of Latin America Volunteer Trip

    HOLA is a Denver-based nonprofit that provides vertically integrated health care systems in rural communities of Latin America. This particular trip with the DU Chapter occurred during the spring break (March 18th- March 26th, 2023) at Managua, Nicaragua. During the trip, students shadowed local obstetricians and gynecologists in operating rooms and various wards. Students conducted some public health work relating to the provision of resources for women in their postpartum period. Students were also involved with research designed to lower counts of unintended teen pregnancies in the communities.

    Students behind the project: Naya Ogbonna-Ukuku

  • Pollution Solution

    This project addressed the issue of climate change by providing young students with access to the outdoors and environmental education. By bringing students of all backgrounds and identities together in an outdoor experience that is not only exciting but also informative, this program hoped to instill a passion for the environment in young students that will drive them to take action in the future. By working with community partners at two of Denver’s public schools, Cole Arts and Science Academy and Garden Place Academy, students designed a program to address the gaps in environmental education. The program's goal was to take students out into nature and run classroom-based learning sessions twice during the month of April. These sessions consisted of fun activities as well as informational segments to both engage and teach students about the issues of climate change and its effects on the world around them. This project blended research, creative work, and community impact with a focus on the impact students can have on young people’s interests in the natural world as a way of combating climate change. An outcome was an entirely new curriculum based on creative activities, field trips, and hands-on education for elementary school students to compel them to be conscious of our planet’s health. 

    Students behind the project: Annabelle Kiely, Loklin Nord, Brady Rogers, Madelyn Kavalieros, Jacob Hughes, Kabe Aberle

  • Enhancing Equitable Community Listening

    You be You Early Learning (YbY)–Colorado’s first and only nonprofit mobile preschool and teacher-led cooperative–seeks to formalize and strengthen their early childhood program to meet the diverse needs of students and families by enhancing organizational approaches to effective community listening. Via a community-based research approach, PhD C&I student, Kristopher Tetzlaff, collaborated with co-investigators to design an evidence-based photovoice/video annotation protocol embedded into routine instruction. In so doing, YbY staff (1) gleaned the perceptions of young children vis-à-vis YbY’s pedagogical practices; (2) ascertained programmatic assets; and (3) identified/addressed pedagogical gaps to advance the efficacy of their program. Additionally, the research collective operationalized humanizing conceptual frameworks to (1) facilitate capacity-building; (2) democratize knowledge, resources, and decision-making processes; (3) co-create a research tool for teachers of young children; (4) learn how to effectively employ said tool; and (5) collectively analyze, report, and disseminate data and findings to advance educational equity while enhancing their praxis.

    Students behind the project: Kristopher Tetzlaff

  • Addressing the Nature Gap for DEI Students

    A group of students created a program for schools in lower-socioeconomic areas to earn the National Wildlife Federation Certification in an effort to bridge the "Nature Gap," a phenomenon wherein underrepresented students have less access to outdoor education opportunities. The program taught the students about environmental science and involved activities to help them pursue sustainable practices and understand ecosystems. As part of the grant, the students implemented the curriculum they developed at Highline Academy and Monarch Montessori at Denver in April.

    Students behind the project: Alisha Pravasi, Zeyta Whitson-Deherrera, Kate Courtney, Logan Simson, and Maite Montes Gonzalez

  • Are Placed-Based Storytelling Tours an Effective Way to Combat the Effects of Redlining? Case Study in Valverde, Denver, Colorado.

    Academic literature has extensively documented the effects redlining has on climate resilience. The Valverde Neighborhood is a historically redlined neighborhood. The legacy of redlining is still felt and seen in Valverde today. To combat environmental impacts caused by redlining, transformative research methods like ’Toxic Tours’ have been used to 1) explore practices that restore or establish people’s connections to places and 2) inspire actionable responses to the crisis at hand. However, ’Toxic Tours’ perpetuates a damage and deficit-based narrative of communities. The literature lacks regenerative and desire-based models to tell stories that both name harms, recognize resilience and desire within neighborhoods. This project is a place-base storytelling tour in Valverde which hopes to be a transformative research method to combat the impact of redlining. This project includes a steering committee to co-create the tour, Valverde residents to record their own stories, a pilot tour, and a focus group. The follow-up focus group will help evaluate if place-based storytelling can increase connections and motivation to reverse environmental impacts caused by redlining.

    Students behind the project: Jenna Wyatt

  • The Right Foot Project

    The Right Foot Project aims to help every Thomas Jefferson High School student achieve their goals, starting with the SAT. The SAT can arguably determine what university the student will be able to attend. For an exam so essential to their futures, every student should be able to take the SAT feeling confident. However, there are many things that could be going on in a student's life outside of Thomas Jefferson High School that prevent them from being able to face their exams feeling prepared.

    Allowing students to start off on the same foot nutritionally can help to boost scores alone. The Right Foot Project provided all students taking the PSAT and SAT at Thomas Jefferson High School with a warm, calorie-dense, and nutritious breakfast. The next step was to connect the students with The Conscious Alliance, a national nonprofit that brings healthy food to underserved communities, to ensure that the project is a sustainable support to the school and community. The Conscious Alliance will help to stock the school's food pantry with healthy and nutritious food to ensure that all students can always start off their day on the right foot. 

    Students behind the project: Soffy Anderson, Lauren Butler, Sergio Sandoval, Cade Palmer

  • Sustainable Tourism Becomes Interactive

    This project developed an educational workshop about sustainable travel. A group of Girl Scouts grade 6-12 was coached to generate a concept including physical and digital material for teaching kids how sustainability and tourism interact. The team members learned about SDGs, received insights into how to plan and book a sustainable trip, and learned how they can become a Changemaker to achieve a healthy interaction between tourists and the environment. They learned educational and leadership skills while developing an interactive workshop to educate younger kids. 

    Students behind the project: Lilith Diringer

  • Youth Organizing

    Youth Organizing is a youth civic engagement initiative in which young people address a social justice issue based on the principles of community organizing. Supported by the CCESL Student Programs Manager, a team of CCESL scholars and Community-engaged Fellows served as coaches and worked closely with a group of high school students from one of CCESL's partner schools to identify social justice issues that students cared about within their school and community.

    Students behind the project: Will Sciepko, Brandon Arneson, Daniela Chavez

  • Ricks' Sustainability Engagement

    In the United States, sustainability education is not consistently taught in the classroom. This is also the case in Denver Public Schools. Students collaborated with Ricks Center for the Gifted to develop an after-school sustainability club for this purpose. This project focused on two research questions: How can a team of undergraduate students create meaningful partnerships based in regenerative practices with a K-12 school within their local community? and How could said team of undergraduate students use the experiences of working with K-12 students to broaden their own understandings of regenerative practices?

    Working specifically with Preschool-8th grade level children who are particularly interested in after-school work, these students brought weekly hands-on activities to meet the needs of diverse students. They developed the curriculum in direct partnership with the host teacher as well as the students themselves in order to foster sustainably minded community members.

    Students behind the project: Melissa Kreppein, Soffy Anderson

  • Sand Creek Regional Greenway Project

    The Sand Creek Regional Greenway Project aims to create equitable access to the greenway throughout surrounding communities. By connecting people to the diverse habitats, cities, and communities along the greenway, the project aims to improve community health, environmental awareness and promote curiosity. The project entailed collecting feedback from the community to contribute to research. This was done by organizing materials for community engagement activities. At the end of the project, there was a final report to analyze feedback from community members surrounding Sand Creek with the final report including supporting factors and barriers that surround accessing the greenway.

    Students behind the project: Ella Williamson

  • DU-Westminster STEM Mentoring Collaboration

    The University of Denver (DU) collaboration with Westminster High School is a near-peer mentoring program for students interested in STEM and their biomedical capstone course. The aim of this collaborative program was to encourage high school seniors to pursue STEM careers after graduation. The proposed project set out to discover how STEM mentoring by DU students has impacted the lives of the mentees from Westminster High School. Surveys were distributed weekly to gain mentee feedback. Quantitative analysis of their answers was used to identify major themes and capture the significance of the mentoring program to help future DU students mentor the Westminster High School students more efficiently, better prepare them for college, and help them get more out of the program.

    Students behind the project: Seraphina Loukas

  • Food Pantry Community Outreach

    Students worked to broaden the scope of the DU food pantry to reach more DU community members and expand the food pantry to provide organic foods from local sources. 

    Students behind the project: Nick Greenspan

  • Sand Creek Greenway Equitable Engagement Project

    The goal of this project was to inform comprehensive, equity decision-making that ultimately leads to a reduction of the barriers faced by historically underserved populations. Additionally, this aimed to increase the use of the Greenway and participation in Sand Creek Regional Greenway Project programs by ensuring equitable delivery of resources and benefits of the Greenway. The project team performed comprehensive data collection to determine where these underserved populations are and conducted a literature review to determine how to best approach and involve these communities in the process of revitalizing the Sand Creek Regional Greenway for their use.

    Students behind the project: Eli Zehe

  • Youth Organizing Addressing Mental Health for Students

    The students at Dr. Martin Luther King Early College have decided to address the lack of equitable mental health resources and guidance within their school and create a more sustainable form cultivating a safe mental health environment for upcoming students.

    Students behind the project: Daniela Chavez

  • The Valverde Movement Project

    The Valverde Movement Project is a collaboration of the Valverde Neighborhood Association, city and regional government, university researchers, and non-profit organizations who are all striving to expand community health and wealth in Valverde through investing in transportation and street safety. Through this project, students are working to identify priority needs by conducting community meetings and creating an interactive "story map" of the Valverde Neighborhood to provide policymakers and planners a better understanding of this culturally rich neighborhood. They are also working to establish career pathways for people from under-resourced communities by ensuring that green jobs provide livable wages and benefits from employers.

    Students behind the project: Maria Roth

2021-2022 Funded Projects

Click "+" to expand and view. 

  • Amplifying Youth Through Art

    Through this project, Amplifying Youth Through Art (AYTA), this student encouraged youth at Aurora Public Schools (APS) and Denver Public Schools (DPS) to talk about issues affecting them using artistic outlets such as photovoice and theatrical performance. AYTA uses art activism to embolden youth to realize their voice matters in social movements and their communities while also cultivating a space based on trust and respect. At the end of the academic year, students shared their photovoice images and performance with community members. 

    Students behind the project: Maddie Heiken

  • Valverde Movement Project

    As a part of the larger ongoing Valverde Movement Project, this student collaborated with the Valverde community members to gather stories, oral histories, and archival documents to highlight their individual stories which has been key to combating the false narratives that often result from suppressing marginalized communities such as Valverde. This collection was presented to the community in June and sent to media outlets to uplift the history and voices of Valverde. View Video

    Students behind the project: Brandon T

  • Earth Day of DUing Video & Reflection

    Earth Day of DUing is an event organized by the University of Denver and the Center for Sustainability that brings volunteers together to work on sustainability projects on campus and throughout the greater Denver metropolitan area. To inform people of the impacts that small scale actions can have and inspire others to take similar action outside of Earth Day, two students went from site to site documenting these projects and interviewing volunteers which then appeared as a short film. 

    Students behind the project: Lydia Bazikos, Alexa Fontes

  • Addressing Admissions Inequality in the University of Colorado System for Low-Income Students

    This project addressed inequitable admissions processes in the University of Colorado (CU) system. It focused on the low enrollment rates of low-income students in the system. Compared to public universities in other states, the CU system enrolls far fewer low-income students on average, which contributes to stagnation and generational poverty by severely limiting the educational and economic opportunities of Colorodans in impoverished communities. The students examined data from the Colorado Department of Higher Education, such as percentages of enrolled students who are Pell Grant recipients and/or come from families with combined incomes below the poverty line, to determine the extent of this disparity. Via interviews with staff and students at CU - Boulder, the system’s flagship institution, they identified the enrollment barriers low-income students face and the types of support or interventions that make college more accessible. Through this data, they evaluated the effects of low enrollment rates on the educational and economic outcomes of low-income students, which in turn, will help understand how these issues should be approached through policy solutions. 

    Students behind the project: Eli Soss, Alex Thai

  • Food Bank Partnership

    Students partnered with Hunger Free Colorado, We Don't Waste and The DU Food Pantry to build connection and strength between these three organizations. The goal was to reduce the stigma around food assistance and encourage increased use of resources like SNAPP and the DU campus food bank. They accomplished these goals by organizing two on-campus events with these community partners. They then shared this project's outcomes and final report with their community partners by inviting them to a final presentation. The report contains analytical data and statistics such as the total number of applicants from the SNAPP awareness and application event and the percentage increase of DU's food pantry uses. 

    Students behind the project: Hillary Boakye, Ariana Cuevas, Camiya Ibanez, Anahi Mendivil

  • StrivePrep Sustainability Education

    CCESL Scholar Students created and delivered culturally responsive sustainability curriculum to middle school students at STRIVE Prep Rise, a charter school within DPS with a diverse student body. Normally, sustainability education isn't prioritized, but through this project they were able to teach students about food deserts and other environmental issues who otherwise wouldn't have access to this education.  

    Students behind the project: Sarah Schuller, Megan Holiday

  • Black History Tomorrow

    Black History Tomorrow was a month-long project celebrating Black History Month in 2022. The intent was to use Black History Month as an opportunity to give a voice and platform to the creatives who will be the most instrumental to the creation of our future yet have the leastprivilege. As part of the project. there was a professional development workshop and gallery opening/poetry slam on the topic of Afrofuturism. In the 2nd weekend of January 2022, there was a youth art, photography, and poetry workshop that taught emerging Denver artists of color between the ages of 15-17 about Afrofuturism and gave them the opportunity to imagine and depict how they would like to construct their future. During the month of February, the project hosted a gallery exhibit in the Community Commons’ Student Gallery with the art that was developed in the workshop. The gallery opening event in February 2022 also served as a poetry slam for the students who chose to write poems in the workshop. 

    Students behind the project: Bertrand Evans-Taylor

  • Learning from the Sunrise Movement

    In addressing the current climate crisis, youth will have a pivotal and important impact on both current and future action. Youth today will also be disproportionately impacted by climate change. The Sunrise Movement is a youth led movement aiming to enact social change addressing the climate crisis. student scholars established a relationship with the local Denver chapter of the Sunrise Movement. They first attended local meetings and engaged with the community. Through this relationship, they created a partnership that enabled them to participate in the DU Center for Sustainability's Earth Week event. 

    Students behind the project: Alicen King, Zach Harker