Academics and Research / Magazine Feature

New scholarship available for students in VIP program

High school students who participate in DU’s Volunteers in Partnership (VIP) program have a new scholarship available to them.

The Daniel L. Ritchie VIP Scholarship, named in honor of the former DU chancellor that created the program in 1990, will help pay tuition and expenses for VIP students who enroll at DU. The scholarship has garnered contributions from many individuals and companies.

VIP works with students, parents, faculty and staff from Denver West High School, Lincoln High School, Pinnacle Charter School, Denver Center for International Studies, Denver School of Science and Technology, and Rishel Middle School.

The goal is to promote self-esteem in students, encourage students to complete high school and continue their education, and bridge transitions between middle school, high school, post-secondary education or training and careers.

“This effort to promote higher education for economically disadvantaged students was so successful after it launched that it was expanded to the five other schools,” says Cathy Grieve, director of DU’s Office of Special Community Programs. “When VIP was founded, only one graduate of West High School was attending the University of Denver, but today there are more than 50 who come from the partner schools.”

Students who attend DU become volunteers in the program, which serves more than 1,400 middle and high school students each year. They dedicate 15 hours of volunteer time each academic quarter to VIP, and in return they qualify for scholarships and grants from the University.

The program will soon expand to include more middle schools in an enhanced pre-collegiate program.

At a dinner where the new scholarship was announced, Ritchie told the crowd that if he did nothing else in his life but help the VIP program, his life would be worthwhile.

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