Mar 172015

Over 500 Denver Students to Reap Benefits of Travel, Cultural Opportunities this School Year

Denver Center for International Studies Foundation Awards $32,340 in Scholarships

March 17, 2015, DENVER – The Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS) Foundation announces it has awarded $32,340 in scholarships to Denver Public Schools students during the 2014-2015 school year. More than 500 students from ECE through 12th grade who attend one of four DCIS campuses in Denver’s Baker and Montbello neighborhoods will use the scholarships to pursue a range of global and local travel, language immersion, community service and cultural exchange experiences this spring and summer. For many students, these trips offer a first-time chance to leave the city of Denver, the state of Colorado, or the United States.

“The DCIS Foundation has seen the power of travel and the way it transforms students, expanding their perspective on how the world works,” said Dan Lutz, founder of the DCIS schools and a member of the foundation’s board of directors. “When students get out into the world, they’re able to absorb so much more of what they learned from text books and in the classroom. They come back with their eyes wide open, looking for new ways to apply their learning and take action in their own communities.”

Locally, scholarship recipients will participate in and attend Denver Discovery Camps, experience the performing arts, and explore Colorado and Utah. Travel scholarship recipients will journey to England, France, Spain, Peru, Argentina, Italy and Thailand. All recipients have undergone a rigorous application process and had to meet a number of eligibility requirements. Each student must maintain a minimum grade point average, initiate fundraising efforts, gather references, write an essay, and complete a face-to-face interview with the scholarship committee, as well as attend a scholarship orientation and complete an application. The DCIS Foundation’s scholarship committee completes two yearly rounds of award-making.

With the help of the DCIS Foundation, high schoolers have traveled to countries all over the world – from Western and Eastern Europe, Asia and South America, to the Far East and Africa. Middle schoolers have traveled to other states or countries including Washington DC, New York, Costa Rica and China. Elementary school students have taken group excursions to the Colorado History Museum, the Grant Humphries Mansion and Rocky Mountain National Park, among other locales. Student experiences are documented on the DCIS Foundation’s website.

The foundation wants its number of awarded scholarships to grow. “We have a goal to reach even more students with opportunities. With our system’s recent expansion to include four schools, we believe it is possible to reach every student in some way,” Lutz said.

Founded by Lutz as a center within West High School in 1985, DCIS moved to its downtown Denver (DCIS-Baker) campus in 2006 and offered 6th through 12th grades. Building on that success, two new schools opened in 2011 in far northeast Denver: DCIS-Ford and DCIS-Montbello. And in 2013, DCIS-Fairmont opened its doors downtown. Today, the four DCIS campuses serve 2,400 students.

To raise money for its scholarship program, the DCIS Foundation will hold a fundraising dinner with the theme, “The World as A Classroom,” on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at the Denver Athletic Club. The featured keynote speaker is Jamie Van Leeuwen, a senior advisor to Governor Hickenlooper and founder and CEO of the Global Livingston Institute, a non-governmental organization in East Africa designed to engage students and community leaders, with an aim to develop innovative solutions to poverty. Tickets and reservations are available through EventBrite.

About the DCIS Foundation

The Denver Center for International Studies Foundation creates a world of opportunity for students by taking them out into it. It enables ECE through 12th grade students in four Denver Public Schools to take their knowledge from the classroom and apply it to real-life – through travel, language immersion, community service and cultural exchanges. These experiences transform students into confident, informed and compassionate individuals. They also help students develop into globally competent people who are leaders and problem-solvers and take action in their communities. Learn more at


Media Contact:

Linda Lidov / 303-358-6279

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