Friends Who Work Hard Together, Stay Together

Posted Wednesday, December 20, 2017

On December 15th, KIPP Denver Collegiate Seniors and best friends Jesus and Rodrigo received a double dose of good news: both received offers of admission to the college of their dreams: Duke University.

Earlier this year, Jesus and Rodrigo participated in the Duke Preview Program, an all-expenses-paid, four-day visit to Duke University, complete with interviews with admissions counselors. During their visit, the pair of KIPPsters sat in on lectures, attended a football game, and explored the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

After they returned to Colorado, they received a notification from the school informing them they were KIPP pre-review finalists, meaning they could expect to be offered admission to the school.

“We were the most nervous about that letter,” Rodrigo said. “It came on a day when we had a soccer game, so we were just waiting before the game to see if we were going to be accepted or not. We were most excited then because that was basically the in.” 

Jesus and Rodrigo first met when they entered 5th grade at KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy, and by 6th grade, their friendship had taken off. When a representative from Duke presented to their KIPP Through College class their Sophomore year at KIPP Denver Collegiate High School, the two students set their sights on it as their dream college. 

As part of KIPP’s mission to support students in their search for the college that's the best fit, the KIPP Through College team provides students with KIPP’s College Match—a set of four factors that help students select the postsecondary option that’s best for them. The program helps students build lists of schools based on a number of factors to help maximize the student’s ability and desire to persist through and graduate from college. 

“Since we started this process, we told ourselves, we’re both going to go,” Rodrigo said. 

They’re happy to have each other as supporters and friends as they prepare to embark on their collegiate journey thousands of miles from home. 

Despite the distance from Denver, Jesus felt at home at Duke as soon as he stepped foot on campus. 

“I’ve always been in small schools,” Jesus said. “I’m excited for something big like Duke, to have more people around me.”  

Both students will be the first in their families to go to college. They hope that students will see that having a goal and a plan are the first steps to achieving their dreams. 

“I don’t think that it was about sacrifices,” said Rodrigo. “It was about doing the best we can—that was our mentality the whole time. We didn’t think we had to give anything up.”

“I always tell my little brother, ‘If you are meeting your expectations on a daily basis, you’re probably not reaching high enough,” said Jesus. “‘So, reach for the highest goals you can and you should be on a good path.’”


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KIPP Colorado Alumnus Joins KIPPster Policy Fellowship

Posted Monday, December 18, 2017

KIPP Colorado alumnus and current Colorado State University student, Brandon Gonzalez, will join a cohort of KIPPsters for an internship on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC this summer as part of the third annual KIPPster Federal Policy Fellowship Program. Through this program, he will gain invaluable first-hand knowledge of the inner-workings of our nation’s government. 

The opportunity is part of KIPP’s mission to prepare students for success through college and in the competitive world beyond. This means doing more than simply preparing students for the academic demands of college. Instead, our nationally-recognized KIPP Through College team supports alumni during their entire college career, for up to six years, helping students find meaningful programs and experiences that truly prepare them for success in whatever path they choose after completing college. 

Brandon wants to be engaged in the policy arena because he wants to see a path towards citizenship for undocumented immigrants. “There are thousands of others like myself who would take advantage of the privilege to vote and excercise their right and vote for more progressive pieces of legislation," he said. 

In addition to giving him resume-boosting work experience, Brandon’s internship will help provide real-world context for his current studies in college. 

Brandon, and All KIPPster Federal Policy Fellows, will receive financial resources to help cover the cost of living and business expenses, including housing at George Washington University, public transportation assistance, business attire, a bi-monthly paycheck, and field lessons. 

To learn more about the KIPPster Federal Policy Fellowship Program, click here.



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