The Denver Scholarship Foundation helps Denver Public Schools (DPS) students get into, pay for and succeed in college. We offer college and financial aid guidance services at our Future Centers, and we provide scholarships and ongoing support services to help students succeed in college.
Edgar spent his childhood reassembling broken items, building bridges with popsicle sticks and questioning the mechanics of cars and trains. Little did anyone know, that Edgar would go on to break barriers, beat the odds, and accomplish far beyond what he even thought was possible.
Edgar grew up in Denver in a low-income household where attending college is almost unheard of. He entered Kennedy High School knowing he wanted to become an engineer one day. He studied hard in high school and tried to prepare himself for college, but then the realities set in. He began to question the feasibility of going to college and paying for it.
His questions were quickly answered when he visited the Denver Scholarship Foundation Future Center at his high school. DSF Advisor, Renae Bruning, was herself a first-generation college student, and she knew exactly what Edgar was going through. She also knew exactly how to erase his doubts and help him plan and pay for the college experience he would need to fulfill his goal of becoming an engineer.
"I can honestly say that if it were not for Renae Bruning I would not be where I'm at today," Edgar said. "She was at the Future Center and wanted to help me. We started working together, filling out applications and we built this bond. Even to this day, I still keep in touch with her. Every now and then we meet up for lunch. She shows me she does care because she keeps in touch with her students, even when they're in school."
Edgar's first year of college was challenging, but the rigorous coursework was only a piece of it. He was living on campus to experience the full college experience, but that proved to be very difficult for his family which was dependent on him for help with household chores and childcare of his younger sibling.
Each year his family expresses how difficult it is for Edgar to be away at college, and although he tries to support them as much as possible, he continues to persevere in college and make amazing accomplishments. From this struggle, he feels that he is growing as a person and is learning more everyday on how to prioritize and balance school and family.
Edgar has had an internship for every summer he's been in college. For his first two years, he interned with "Energy Future Holdings" a coal mining company in Texas, where he was learned about mining engineering and also worked alongside engineers who were building a new retention pond.
For his last two years of college, he has worked as an intern with CH2MHill, a prestigious engineering company, where he helped with roadway design, business, and marketing.
Edgar has been accepted to the University of Oviedo in Spain, where he will complete his senior year in civil engineering during the 2012-13 school year.
Eventually, Edgar wants to become a civil engineering project manager. He hopes to someday be the CEO of his own civil engineering company. He also wants to be able to give back to the community and prove to students that money should not be a factor in obtaining a higher education.
Edgar wants to enter graduate school immediately upon receiving his bachelor's degree. He says it would serve as a personal accomplishment and also demonstrate to his younger siblings that graduate school is possible. He wants to set the standards high for his younger siblings so that they will believe they can go to graduate school as well. He plans to apply to the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Edgar continues to credit the Future Center for his college experience.
"If it wasn't for the Future Center, I honestly don't know where I would be. Right now I would probably be without direction or any sort of guide as to where my life would be leading to."