DUGC Student Scholars

Do you want to help solve the world’s most complex problems, but you're not sure how?

Do you ever wonder how your academic learning can prepare you to create the change you want to see in the world? This is exactly what the Student Scholar program offers you—the experience, the support, the tools, and funding to make a difference your way. When you become a Student Scholar, you can build your own unique path toward social change work that reflects your passions and interests.


We're accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year!


What is the DUGC Student Scholar Experience?

DUGC Student Scholars are undergraduate students who want to learn more about the social justice issues that matter to them, how to apply their academic learning to those issues and develop concrete skills and tools for making change in partnership with communities. They work with graduate student mentors to create and implement personal social justice action plans. They also have access to funds to implement their plan. Throughout, they document their journey through a critical reflection ePortfolio.

Over the course of your time as a DUGC Student Scholar, your mentors will help you integrate your academic experiences, personal interests, and community-engaged work through critical reflection. Through this process, you will learn more about yourself, your communities, and how you can work together to make positive social change.

Program Benefits

  • Training and professional development 
  • Individualized mentorship and support
  • Optional Independent Study credit
  • Up to $1,000 in funds to implement your social justice action plan
  • ePortfolio showcasing your work


  • students working together
  • students outside
  • student presenting

What will you experience as a Student Scholar?

Pencils and yellow back

"My experience working with DUGC Student Scholars has led me to think about issues at both a systemwide level and personal one. This is different from previous iterations of my thinking because I have been forced to think through lenses other than my own. Discussions at forums and other community events have allowed me to put faces to experiences, seeing an issue through someone else's story. My research has also allowed me to look at system wide changes and problems outside of my own personal stake."

—Third year student, Political Science & Public Policy

Featured Scholars


Kelly Bonk

Kelly is a fourth year student majoring in Biology and minoring in Spanish.

Kelly's Portfolio

Maddie Heiken

Maddie is a third year student majoring in Theater and with a double minor in Leadership Studies and Gender and Women's Studies.

Madalyne's Portfolio

Haley Paez

Haley is a fourth year student majoring in Psychology. 

Haley's Portfolio
students in discussion

Apply to be a Scholar in the 2021-2022 academic year!

The DUGC Student Scholars application is now open. Apply now!

If you'd like to chat with a DU Grand Challenges staff member about Student Scholars or other opportunities, please drop us a line at DU.GrandChallenges@du.edu. 

Apply Now


The DUGC Student Scholars project is supported by funding from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, whose core belief is that "an educated society strengthens democracy through principled, thoughtful and compassionate leadership."

Note: All CCESL programs, including this one, undergo an antiracist, anti-oppression review at least annually. This year, changes were made to program materials and applications based on that review.