Download the DCIS Foundation Fact Sheet 2017-2018 (PDF)
Creating a World of Opportunity
The Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS) Foundation creates a world of opportunity for DCIS students by taking them out into it. We provide funding that enables young people to experience international travel and local cultural activities that enhance and deepen global understanding. Taking their knowledge from the classroom and applying it to real life, they transform into confident, informed and compassionate individuals, enhancing their own self-image and their image of the world. These opportunities help students develop into globally competent people who are leaders and problem solvers and who take action in their communities.
For many students, these journeys are their first time out of the country — and even out of their own neighborhood. When they get out into the broader world, they absorb what they learn in the classroom more meaningfully. And they come back to us changed, with a new zest for learning, and new perspectives on their ability to take on life’s challenges.
The DCIS Foundation’s mission is to create transformative opportunities for today’s young people by taking education beyond the classroom and sparking curiosity about other people, places and cultures.
Colorado and U.S. Experiences. We provide funding that makes it possible for students to participate in field trips and educational programs. Elementary school students have taken excursions to the Colorado History Museum, the Grant Humphries Mansion and Rocky Mountain National Park, among other historical and cultural sites. Middle schoolers have traveled to Washington DC and several U.S. states. These experiences create a foundation of cultural knowledge that will shape their global understanding today and in the future.
International Experiences. Our funding exposes high schoolers to the richness of culture, history and people across the globe. Students have traveled to Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, South America, the Far East and Africa. Middle schoolers have recently traveled to Costa Rica and China. Programs to support these opportunities vary and include:
- Homestays: DCIS students live with local families in other countries in short- and longer-term arrangements.
- Service learning: Students work with local people on community projects while gaining an understanding of a range of social, economic and environ-mental issues.
- Language exposure/immersion: Students participate in intensive studies to boost their language skills and fluency with the help of native speakers.
- Extended exchange programs: With trips ranging in duration from two weeks to one year, students gain a deeper, more complete understanding of their host country’s culture, customs and daily life.
- More than $331,000 awarded to DCIS students for travel and cultural experiences since our founding in 1993.
- $51,525 awarded in 2016-2017, benefiting 760 students from ECE through 12th grade across the four DCIS campuses.
Students and Schools
- Scholarship recipients range in age from 5 to 18, and are enrolled in early childhood education, elementary, middle and high school.
- DCIS students study a minimum of one of seven languages offered in school.
- To be eligible, high school scholarship recipients must participate in an application and interview process, maintain a minimum GPA, and fundraise 25 percent of their trip costs.
- Recipients are asked to keep travel journals and make a public presentation about their travels upon returning home.
About the Foundation
The DCIS Foundation relies on financial donations from individuals, foundations, private businesses and other community members to fund opportunities for DCIS students.
We are a working board that loves young people, and we are passionate about global education! Ask any board member why they serve on this board – and you will get myriad responses about what travel has meant in their life and why it’s important to pass those opportunities on to others.
Bringing together a diverse group of alumni, parents, professionals and volunteers, we are on a mission to raise money for kids to travel. Not to sight-see. But to dig. To take what they are learning in the classroom into the world. To push their cultural comfort zones. To find out what makes the world tick.
Please join us in making this work possible for more students!
The dream of opening opportunities to students who might not otherwise travel is part of the DCIS magic. We never fully appreciate the impact it has on their lives. I heard from a student tonight on Facebook about how her travel experiences at DCIS and in college were what kept her going and showed her what was possible in spite of other frustrations.
— Heidi Hursh, outstanding DCIS teacher who recently retired after 23 years