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Dreamer Scholars in the Phoenix Class are extremely hard-working and resilient. These students have faced innumerable challenges, including recent events both globally and in our country.
I am incredibly proud to share that 92% of these students graduated from high school
, topping our organization's overall average of 90%!
My name is Francisco Mejias and when I started with the Phoenix Class in 2016, I looked out and saw teenagers preparing to make the difficult transition from eighth grade to high school. They were largely mistrustful of adults and many were pretty rebellious — as 14- and 15-year-olds often are.
I told them that — God willing — I would get them to the finish line and we all would celebrate their graduation together in 2020. I emphasized
Respect, Trust, and Communication
and we used those three guiding principles as we worked on homework, tests, communication with adults, issues in their personal lives, and setting goals for their schoolwork and future.
It wasn’t an easy journey. When one of the Phoenix Dreamer Scholars died in a car accident last year, we were all devastated, but it was especially hard on his fellow students; many had known him since kindergarten. They experienced intense grief, but I also saw them pull through and support one another in an incredibly difficult time.
Although there have been challenges that sometimes seemed insurmountable, I feel proud to share
we crossed the finish line in May thanks to the dedication and motivation of the Dreamer Scholars and of this community that has supported them.
I had the pleasure of seeing the Phoenix Class parade in their cars through Boulder last month and I couldn’t be more proud of them. I told them,
“You can’t go wrong if you’re doing the right thing,”
and I see them taking that message with them to their postsecondary journey. These students are attending CU Boulder, Colorado College, Front Range Community College, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Emily Griffith Technical College, with some jumping straight into their careers.
I want to take this time to especially thank the staff who helped me work with the Dreamer Scholars — Lucía, Chris, Arica, and Parker. Thank you to all the volunteers, mentors, and tutors who have generously invested their time and talents in these students. Lastly, thank you to the Phoenix Class Dreamer Scholar Sponsors. Without your support, none of the crucial day-to-day work that “I Have A Dream” does would be possible.
Phoenix Class Program Director