In 2008, the Challenge Foundation of Denver, CO, established by Don & Janis McFall, partnered with Loretto Academy to develop the Loretto Academy Challenge Program. The program recruits 5th grade girls from local public schools who are academically high-achieving but have limited financial resources. Through a process of interviews and consideration of academic success and family dynamics, six gifted yet underserved students, are selected each year to receive a seven-year scholarship to Loretto Academy, beginning in the 6th grade.
The program’s short-term goal is for Challenge Scholars to graduate from Loretto, apply to college and obtain sufficient financial assistance to assure that they can enroll without the concern of burdening their families. The long-term goal is to empower all Loretto Challenge Scholars to be motivated and prepared to enroll in college, complete their program of study, and make a positive impact in their community and beyond. Parental commitment and support are essential to the student and the program’s success.
Each Challenge Scholar is provided 100% tuition assistance, assistance with school uniforms, a personal computer, tutoring, and mentoring by an accomplished woman from the community. The program pays additional school fees so that each Scholar has the resources and support to participate in sports, music and other campus organizations, as well as attend school-sponsored events.
The scholarship also includes individual support and additional program services to aid in each student’s academic success, college readiness, and family well-being. These include but are not limited to: regular visits with the Challenge Program staff; summer enrichment program and sessions and college campus visits for 10th and 11th graders.
The Loretto Academy Challenge Program recruits 5th grade girls from local public schools during the months of August and September with the following qualifications:
- be intelligent, ambitious, and hard-working
- be respectful to adults and peers
- be willing to make a significant commitment of time and effort
- have strong guardian support and reside with adults who are involved in the student’s education and well-being
- be economically disadvantaged and therefore unable to afford the a Loretto education (qualification for the free and reduced lunch program is a good indicator)
- be above grade level in reading and math
- be inquisitive and show an interest and love of learning
- be capable of completing 2+ hours of homework per night
- have good attendance and complete all homework
- be a United States citizen
If you know of a student who you believe would be a viable candidate, please contact Ms. Sylvia Hernandez or Mrs. Adriana Aguilar.
Each Challenge Scholar is matched with a mentor to journey with them during their time at Loretto Academy. The mentor is a woman from the community who is willing and able to become part of a Challenge Scholar’s support system and can serve as an example and friend. The program asks that a mentor spend time with their Scholar by participating in activities that are of little to no cost. Specialized training, group events, and additional support are provided and coordinated by program staff.
If you are interested in learning more about the Mentor Program, please contact Ms. Sylvia Hernandez or Mrs. Adriana Aguilar.
There are many ways to help support a Challenge Scholar and the Loretto Academy Challenge Program. If you are interested in gifting a scholarship, the cost of supporting a Challenge Scholar for one year is $7,110. The Loretto Challenge Program is always seeking additional support for their summer enrichment program, college preparation program, and middle school tutoring program. Loretto Academy thanks the generous donors who have made it possible for the program to provide life-changing education and enrichment opportunities to those in need.