Escuela de Guadalupe has drawn national attention. “In fact, we may be better known across the country than here in Denver,” said Baret Walker, Director of Development on Friday.
The Catholic, kindergarten through fifth-grade school in northwest Denver draws visitors from across the country, eager to replicate the Escuela de Guadalupe model, Walker said. It is community based and financially accessible.
The school’s Board of Trustees recently created a scholarship in the name of Sister Susan Swain, one of the founding members of Escuela de Guadalupe. A gift by a former trustee and her husband has brought the fund to more than $71,000. The school has set a goal for the fund at $150,000 by June 2014.
The scholarship will be awarded to students who best embody “academic excellence, kindness of spirit, generosity” and service to the community.
“We are excited to be starting our first endowed fund in honor of Sister Susan Swain in partnership with Community First Foundation. It was very important to honor Sister Susan’s life and her commitment to our students. Community First Foundation made it easy for us,” said David Card, Escuela de Guadalupe president.
Sister Susan died of cancer April 27.
Escuela de Guadalupe is one of more than 70 nonprofit endowments at Community First Foundation.
Founded in 1999, the school serves a diverse group of students from 37 zip codes across Metro Denver, said Walker. Half of the students are native English speakers when they begin, and the other half are native Spanish speakers. They graduate the school in fifth grade reading, writing and speaking both languages at a high level.
Annually, Escuela de Guadalupe awards nearly $1 million in needs-based scholarships to qualified families.