APS Families Experience College Life Thanks to RISE Colorado

Rise at DU (7)Dozens of Aurora Public Schools families recently spent a day experiencing college life on the University of Denver campus thanks to RISE Colorado. RISE is a nonprofit organization that helps educate, engage and empower low-income families and families of color.

Students ranging from toddlers to teenagers attended the “DU Something Now” event with their parents and guardians. Families from the Laredo Child Development Center, Jamaica Child Development Center, Early Beginnings, Aurora Central High School, Hinkley High School and Aurora West College Preparatory Academy participated in the event.

Monet Collins is the mother of a four-year-old Laredo CDC student. She said she understands the importance of getting involved in her son’s education beginning at an early age.

“I want him to reach his highest goals,” said Collins. “I know he’s really smart.”


Rise at DU (16)Many parents voiced similar hopes for their children. Mayra Hernandez is an APS Online student whose son is enrolled in Early Beginnings. She said she plans to attend college and become a nurse.

“When I gave birth to my baby, I thought about dropping out,” said Hernandez. “But I found programs like RISE and Early Beginnings to help me.”

She said she plans to use these community resources to finish school and get into college.

RISE co-founders Veronica Palmer and Milagros Barsallo presented families with a wealth of information about applying for scholarships and how to support students through various stages of their education.

The field trip also included a tour of the DU campus, a panel discussion with current students, dinner and free admission to a DU Pioneers soccer game.

A total of more than 100 students and parents took advantage of the field trip, which included a diverse group of Nepali, Burmese and Somali refugee families. RISE regularly works with many of these families to engage parents in their children’s education.

APS thanks RISE and the families that participated in the “DU Something Now” event for their active role and commitment to accelerating learning every day!