Breakfast brings back past graduates

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More than 200 people attended this year’s Education Foundation breakfast on Feb. 15.

The early morning event at Westminster High School was a reminder to the Adams County School District 50 community about the importance of investing in the district’s students.

The mission of the Education Foundation is to provide grants and scholarships to staff and students in District 50. Creativity grants are awarded to teachers, staff and parent groups to improve student achievement.

Scholarships are awarded to graduating seniors to encourage their dreams for the future. During the 2011-12 school year, 29 students were awarded scholarships in the amount of $44,600.

Evelyn Flores was a past scholarship winner. She was awarded $1,000 from the Education Foundation. She spoke during the breakfast about how important the scholarship was to her education. She is a 2009 Westminster High School graduate and now attends the University of Colorado at Denver. She is going to school to become a registered nurse.

She said with the scholarship money she was able to go to school full time her freshman year, which really helped her focus on her classes and education.

“Because of the scholarship, I was able to have all my concentration in class,” she said. “I’m very grateful for the scholarship. It was probably the best moment of my senior year.”

But after the scholarship money ran out and rising tuition costs, Flores now works full time in order to pay for school, forcing her to only attend school part time.

But that hasn’t slowed her down. She said she continues to focus on her future and hopes other WHS graduates take advantage of the opportunities provided by District 50.

“I’m a part-time student, and a full-time worker. But that hasn’t discouraged me,” she said. “The district helped me out very much and I’m honored to come back and do anything for the district. I want the students to take advantage of what they have here, because there will be a time when they won’t have this anymore and it’s not easy. So I’m very grateful.”

Another Westy gradate also spoke during the breakfast. Congressman and 1955 graduate Don Bonker was the guest speaker for the morning. He served in Congress from 1975 to 1989 representing voters in Washington’s Third Congressional District. He is an executive at APCO Worldwide, a global communication and consulting firm. He spoke about the importance of investing in young people.

“For a lot of people without a scholarship or financial support, education is going to be very limited,” he said. “So by you being here you are creating opportunities for those young people to make a better, more productive life for themselves. You are also enhancing the community and making this country once again become the best that it can and maintain a competitive edge in this global economy.”

The Education Foundation also provides low income students access to medical necessities through the Benevolent Fund and matches businesses to schools to provide tutoring and mentoring. For more information on the foundation, visit www.district50educationfoundation.com.