The Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) inspires and empowers Denver Public Schools' students to achieve their post-secondary goals by providing the tools, knowledge and financial resources essential for success.
DSF was founded in 2006 based on wide recognition that Denver Public Schools students face multiple barriers to completing a postsecondary degree. Philanthropists Tim and Bernadette Marquez wanted to make a major gift to increase the level of college attainment in Denver. They joined former Mayor John Hickenlooper and former Superintendent Michael Bennet to look at how to make access to higher education possible for all DPS students today and for generations to come.
This "kitchen table" founders' conversation resulted in a $50 million pledge from Tim and Bernadette Marquez in the form of a challenge grant. This challenge catalyzed the process of putting into place a comprehensive program to support DPS students in completing high school and obtaining a higher education degree.
DSF began with a pilot program serving three Denver high schools, and by 2009 the program had expanded throughout the district. Today, DSF operates 14 Future Centers serving 21 DPS high schools.
"My college experience would look completely different without the motivation, connections, and resources I gained just by visiting the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) Future Center and receiving the DSF Scholarship. I am a testimony to what happens when all of those things add up." - DSF Scholar Jorge Armendarez, Metropolitan State University of Denver 2020
"Denver Scholarship Foundation is a citywide commitment to the vision that all Denver graduates should be able to attend college regardless of their financial situation." - Former Governor John Hickenlooper
"Clearly, the Denver Scholarship Foundation is having an impact in terms of its promise of helping to pay tuition and the establishment of the Future Centers in each of our high schools really help students with college counseling."
- Tom Boasberg, Former Denver Public Schools Superintendent