“Sometimes when we cry,” Devon explains, “it’s not because we are weak, but because we’ve been strong for too long.” These are the words Devon used to explain his tears upon hearing he had been named a Daniels Scholar. How Devon arrived at this moment, on the threshold of college with a full-ride scholarship in one hand and belief in his dreams in the other is a testament to his strength of character, intelligence, and supportive mother.
A Denver Kid student since fourth grade, Devon’s full-ride scholarship is a testament to his strength of character, intelligence, and supportive mother. College was always a dream, but never likely. Growing up in a single-parent household, Devon felt the weight of being the male role model for his younger brother and sister, knowing his path would strongly influence theirs. As he struggled to manage a sometimes grueling academic class load with the harsh realities of poverty, Devon reminded himself that more than anything he wanted to be the one who would break the cycle of poverty for his family. This goal, and the example provided by his Educational Counselors, gave him the courage to redouble his efforts at school and push beyond his immediate challenges. Additionally, his mother encouraged him to pursue after-school activities. Her support empowered him to join the Robotics Club as a freshman (where he first learned about the Daniels Scholarship opportunity), play varsity soccer, and become a high school mentor to freshmen identified through Denver Public Schools’ early alert program.
Devon highlighted his mentoring experience with the YESS Institute in one of the eight essays he was obliged to write as part of the Daniels Scholarship application process. When he was asked to describe how he will have a positive impact on his community in the future, Devon wrote that as a Denver Kids student he was a mentee, but now he was also a mentor. “I already am having a positive impact,” he wrote.
But Devon’s aspirations do not stop with mentoring. After completing his degree in mechanical engineering and working in the corporate world to gain “knowledge and experience,” Devon is committed to starting his own educational company that provides low-income kids with access to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) related resources. “We all have to look ahead,” he says. “Not just to next week or next year, but to the distant future, and be confident that hard work will pay off eventually.”
Devon is committed to starting his own educational company that provides low-income kids with access to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) related resources.
We honor Devon for his courage to excel, and blazing a new trail for his family. Together we are stronger, one graduate at a time.