"In Spring 2019, Cory Henry joined other seniors for graduation from Hinkley High School in Aurora, on the eastern edge of Denver. About 350 students gathered in the auxiliary gym at an events center, waiting for the ceremony to begin. They rustled in bright blue caps and gowns, anticipating their rite of passage and paths beyond high school.
Henry hoped to study business and construction management in college, but those hopes were covered with question marks. He had applied for a few scholarships and thought his good grades and participation in sports and leadership programs would help him land financial support. Yet he still wasn’t sure where he would enroll or exactly how he’d pay for college.
Then, as students awaited the ceremony, a school counselor took the gym microphone. Henry’s future came to him in a surprise announcement moments before graduation: He was named a Golden Eagle Scholar – one of the first seven students to graduate from Aurora Public Schools with a four-year, full-ride scholarship to Colorado State University Global. The scholarships provide a leg up for motivated Aurora high school graduates who want the flexibility of online coursework and who couldn’t afford college without financial aid."