SOURCE: Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation

Colorado I Have A Dream Foundation

October 09, 2015 19:12 ET

Three Denver Students to Receive Colorado I Have A Dream® Foundation Summit Awards

Brisa Aguilar-Velazquez, Dulce Cabrera, Yoselin Estacuy to Be Honored November 5 During "Dream Street" Gala

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - Oct 9, 2015) - Brisa Aguilar-Velazquez of STRIVE Prep - Excel in Denver, Dulce Cabrera of Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS) at Montbello, and George Washington High School junior Yoselin Estacuy each will receive the prestigious Colorado I Have A Dream® Foundation Summit Award during the organization's annual gala Thursday, November 5, 2015 in the Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center. The CIHAD accolade honors program participants, affectionately called Dreamers, who have excelled academically, triumphed over personal obstacles, and demonstrated a personal commitment to the betterment of community.

Aguilar-Velazquez, a Dreamer in the Records-Rainaldi Class of 2018, was the only student selected from her grade level at school to participate in the highly competitive High School High Scholar (HS2) program in Carbondale, which provides a three-year residential learning environment in mathematics and sciences for students traditionally underrepresented in these fields. With a 4.1 GPA, she is an active 10th grader involved in volleyball, Evolvement -- a service-learning club for students, and the Aspen Challenge, where high school students design solutions to critical issues facing humanity. Aguilar-Velazquez also recently participated in CIHAD's Work Is Success Internship Program by assisting at University Hills Animal Hospital. At home, where she helps out by babysitting her three younger sisters, she enjoys playing the guitar and piano. Aguilar-Velazquez is exploring her many career interests, especially possibilities related to science, but is undecided about which college she will attend.

Cabrera, who previously attended Noel Community Arts School where she earned a 3.6 GPA, is a member of the JROTC and serves as commander of the drill team Honor Platoon. In addition to travelling with that squad to competitions in other states, earlier this year she represented the Weill Class of 2017-2019 at the National Dreamers Conference in Boston. While at Noel Community Arts School, Cabrera, along with her Advanced Placement English Language classmates, also visited weekly with local second graders to help improve their reading skills. During a recent internship at the University of Colorado-Denver, she had an opportunity to explore different departments and majors while assisting with summer conferences hosted by the school. Cabrera, who has two younger brothers, is considering a career in the military and in engineering. She has been accepted to the University of Colorado Colorado Springs and Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Estacuy moved to Denver from Guatemala when she was in the fourth grade. With hard work and determination, she overcame her English language limitations and adapted to the differences between the U.S. and Guatemalan school systems to achieve and maintain a 4.0 GPA in her school's international baccalaureate program. A Dreamer in the Denver Active 20/30 Class, she participates in many extracurricular activities and also has taken on the role of homework helper for her younger brother. Each Friday, Estacuy volunteers at her church, babysitting and cooking while the adults have bible study. After visiting a local hospital several times with one of her CIHAD mentors, coupled with her experiences caring for her brothers and other children, she has been inspired to become a pediatrician. Looking toward her future, Estacuy plans to study biology at the University of Colorado or Colorado State University.

The "Dream Street" theme for the 2015 gala epitomizes CIHAD's mission of helping metro Denver's most underrepresented youth stay on the road to achieving their dreams. The event begins with a 5:30 p.m. reception, followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and presentation of the organization's annual honors, including the Dream Maker Award to Robert B. Hottman, chief executive officer of EKS&H, and the McHugh Award to former Colorado State Senator Chris Romer, co-founder and president of American Honors. Twelve-year-old jazz pianist Joey Alexander will be the evening's featured entertainer. Tickets are available at https://www.blacktie-colorado.com/rsvp/rsvp.cfm?eventcode=%27%3EJ%5EW%2E0WZ%21%40%20%20.

CIHAD impacts the lives of Denver Metro youth from kindergarten through high school by providing access to resources that go beyond the classroom. The expectation is that all Dreamers will be prepared for college, obtain a degree, and will have a viable path for entry into the workforce. CIHAD empowers Dreamers to meet these expectations by providing them with an array of tools designed to address several key focus areas: academic enrichment, cultural enrichment and civic engagement, life skills development (soft skills development) and social-emotional supports, post-secondary educational pursuits, and career readiness. To learn more, visit http://www.cihadf.org/.