Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

Homeward Bound program sends DU students back to high school

When Miriam Tapia was interviewing for the diversity enrollment director position at DU this summer, she was immediately struck by the high caliber of multicultural students on campus, she says.

“They’re so impressive and I began to think that [the students] are really the best resource for DU to recruit other multicultural students,” Tapia says.

This fall Tapia and Shahreen Salam, a senior sociology and political science major and MBA candidate at DU, began laying the groundwork for a new program called Homeward Bound. The program recruits DU students as volunteers who return to their high schools to talk about the University.

Tapia and Salam say interest in Homeward Bound is strong.

“The students are so enthusiastic and want to help us do this,” Tapia says.

So far, five students have been trained to return to their high schools. 

Terrence Gordon (BA ’05), an applied communication graduate student, says it’s common sense to help.

“I might as well try and help someone,” Gordon says. “There are a lot of good kids out there, and many don’t always get the look they deserve.” 

Next year, Gordon, who played basketball at DU, will go back to George Washington High School in Denver to talk with students there. 

“I had a great experience there [at George Washington] and I still keep in touch with many of the people I went to school with,” he says. “I plan to talk to them about DU and tell them that even though it’s a private school it doesn’t mean it’s cut off from the public sector. There are great resources here.” 

Tapia says 10 DU student volunteers are expected to take part in the first year’s pilot program, and she expects the program to expand to 20 students by the end of 2007. 

For more information, contact Tapia at 303-871-3312 or

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