CU Boulder’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement (ODECE) is looking ahead to this summer as they host the boys2MEN Leadership Summit offered in partnership with the Crowley Foundation, a Denver-based organization that financially supports young men of color in pursuing higher education.
As part of their program, the Crowley Foundation fosters the expectation of excellence as participants prepare for college and success as future professionals through academic activities and mentorship opportunities.
In providing a framework for success, the Crowley Foundation promotes a mindset that is comprised of their seven core values: family, service, pay it forward, authenticity, integrity, leadership and scholarship. These values support the emotional and intellectual growth of this community of students.
CU Boulder’s partnership with the Crowley Foundation began five years ago when the university hosted a student visit to campus. This visit led to further collaboration and a shared vision of preparing Denver and Aurora high school students to be successful in pursuing their college ambitions.
“An important priority for CU Boulder is building trust with students, families and school officials throughout the Front Range metropolitan area,” said David Aragon, assistant vice chancellor of diversity and student success in ODECE. “CU’s authentic collaboration with the Crowley Foundation helps us engage with local communities. Some Crowley Foundation scholarship recipients have enrolled on the Boulder campus.”
Community, leadership and inspiration all shone brightly at this year's annual boys2MEN Leadership Summit, which offered Denver and Aurora high school students the chance to preview campus life.
Exposure to the CU Boulder campus allows the students to expand their thinking about the world and continuously strive in reaching their full potential.
ODECE is a hub of key support systems, which includes numerous programs and activities to engage the campus community. The Miramontes Arts & Sciences Program, a CU LEAD Alliance program, helps connect both underrepresented and first-generation students with current CU students, who serve as mentors.
ODECE is looking forward to this summer’s fourth annual boys2MEN Leadership Summit, which utilizes educational content, team-building activities, dialogue, public speaking opportunities and interaction with role models, both within and outside of the university, to build participants’ confidence. The program’s goal is to empower the students to realize their potential and enroll in the college of their choice.
“Opportunities like this do not come around very often. Which is why it’s imperative for our Young Kings to be exposed to this type of environment,” says Kenneth Crowley, founder and executive director of the Crowley Foundation. “There is a huge disconnect within our own community when it comes to resources or at least taking advantage of those resources. We have to be more intentional, more strategic and more engaged when it comes to programming for our students.”
“The leadership summit has gotten better each year,” Aragon said. “We see this program as an example of how ODECE embodies the campus strategic initiatives, especially our goal of preparing the global leaders of tomorrow.”
Crowley agrees: “This partnership with CU Boulder has been instrumental in helping us shape lives.”