Volunteers In Partnership (VIP)
The Volunteers in Partnership (VIP) mission is to partner with students, parents, faculty, and staff from Abraham Lincoln High School, Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS), Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST): Montview; DSST: Green Valley Ranch, East High School, Hinkley High School, Pinnacle Charter School, South High School, West Early College, West Leadership Academy in a commitment:
• to promote self-esteem in students;
• complete high school and continue their education or training;
• to bridge transitions between middle school, high school, post-secondary
education, or training and careers.
VIP succeeds because it is coordinated by the University of Denver staff and assisted by VIP students who come from similar economic and cultural backgrounds and serve as role models and mentors as shown by our motto, "Students helping students." In giving back, the DU VIP students develop strong leadership and program management skills and deepen their commitment to impact the lives of others. Students give at least 15 hours of volunteer time to the VIP program each academic quarter.
About the VIP program:
The VIP Program began in 1990 as part of a statewide effort to promote higher education for economically disadvantaged students through university-high school partnerships. The first partnership occurred between the University of Denver and Denver West High School. After observing positive outcomes at West High School, VIP expanded to Abraham Lincoln High School and Pinnacle Charter School in 2004. VIP implemented workshops that helped students with the college application process, financial aid, scholarships, and resumes. In 2005 VIP expanded to the Denver School of Science and Technology: Stapleton (now Montview) campus and in fall 2006 to the new Denver Center for International Studies. Over the past seven years, we've expanded to East High School, and the Denver School of Science and Technology: Green Valley Ranch campus.
High school programs
High school students learn about the importance of a college education through workshops at their high school and DU campus visits. During campus visits, students experience the daily routine of a university student through an admission presentation, a VIP student panel, a college lecture/demo by a DU instructor, lunch in the dining halls, and a tour of the campus. These students learn about the rigors and delights of college life and are often motivated to excel in high school and to continue their education.
Summer link to college
Summer Link was developed as a five-day residential program for rising high school juniors as an introduction to college life. Students stay in the residence halls at DU, attend classes taught by University professors and participate in workshops that motivate them to successfully complete high school and prepare them for the college application process. Additionally, students attend community and cultural activities. The uniqueness of the program is in the follow-up activities, which continue until students graduate from high school. This year, VIP expects to host more than 80 high school juniors for the five-day experience.
Junior/Senior outreach (1-on-1 College Advising)
During the academic year, DU students advise high school juniors and seniors weekly on filling out college applications, college essays, financial aid forms, scholarships, interviews, and college expectations. This process begins with "The Perfect Application" workshop and then continues with one-on-one interactions that enable students to feel more comfortable about the application process and attending college.
VIP assists families in filling out their FAFSA and CSS Profile, as well as sponsoring parent meetings, events, and campus visits. VIP partners with Denver Public Schools Office of Family and Community Engagement, College in Colorado, the Denver Scholarship Foundation and the administration at each of our partner schools to help support parent engagement initiatives that focus on college access and success.
Middle school link to college
This is a year-long program for 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade students at Kepner Middle School and West Leadership Academy that incorporates educational workshops and field trips. The program gives students a taste of college life and motivates them to begin thinking about a college education.