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Girls Inc. of Metro Denver lauds University

2018 Community Champion for Girls honor granted for work with Eureka! STEM program; CLAS Dean Joan Foster to accept award.

By Cory Phare

May 17, 2018

MSU Denver Students wearing Roadrunner gearMetropolitan State University of Denver is known as a champion for transformative access – now we’re being formally recognized as the 2018 Community Champion for Girls from Girls Inc. of Metro Denver.

“There’s a major gap in science, technology, engineering and math fields, especially among underrepresented populations – only about 8 percent of STEM degrees are conferred to women of color,” said Sonya Ulibarri, president and CEO of Girls Inc. of Metro Denver. “We see MSU Denver as a key partner in creating long-term economic empowerment and intergenerational change to address this.”

When deciding the awardees, Girls Inc. Denver looked comprehensively at partnerships and the positive impact upon girls’ lives, Ulibarri said. She noted the similarity of the missions, populations served and accessibility between MSU Denver and the organization dedicated to empowering all girls to be strong, smart and bold. Girls Inc. Denver is located at Colfax and Julian, just west of the Auraria Campus.

Now celebrating its 35th anniversary, Girls Inc. Denver runs the Eureka! STEM program, a five-year initiative that students enter after the seventh grade. A holistic developmental approach ensures that girls have comprehensive support, mentorship and hands-on skill-building opportunities as a pipeline into higher education and beyond into successful careers.

“The impact of the Eureka! Program’s success is due in large part to MSU Denver giving us a home, providing resources and serving as a campus host,” Ulibarri said. “(College of Letters, Arts and Sciences Dean) Joan Foster has been instrumental in this, advancing and shaping the future of the program.”

Foster, who has served as an advisor and advocate since the inception of the Eureka! initiative, will accept the award and address the audience at a ceremony today at a scholarship luncheon in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts’ Seawell Ballroom.

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