We operate Future Centers in 16 Denver high schools. Each is staffed by a DSF College Advisor who will help you plan and pay for college. Find your Future Center here.
Future Center: Room 220
I am a proud grad of Guilford College in Greensboro, NC where I double majored in Spanish and International Studies with a focus in Latin America. After working for Guilford as their resident coordinator of a study abroad program in Guadalajara, Mexico, I served as their Director of Post-Secondary Support with Big Picture-Philadelphia and was a founding staff member of their alternative pathways school, El Centro De Estudiantes. At Big Picture-Philadelphia all our schools and programs, including El Centro, provided students with extensive support in fostering strong, attainable and productive post-secondary plans as well as creative dual enrollment partnerships with local certification programs and community colleges.
Having spent several years living in and learning about Latin America, and most specifically Mexico, I could not be more excited or feel any luckier than to be working for DSF at Abraham Lincoln High School. Outside of work, I travel around Colorado on my dirt bike, play sports, snowboard as much as possible and stubbornly root for Cleveland sports teams.
303 East 17th Avenue, Suite 200,
Denver, CO 80203
Future Center: Room B114
Growing up in a military family, Leticia moved around a lot, but is proud to call Texas home.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from University of the Ozarks in Arkansas, where she played on the women’s soccer team and was a Resident Assistant. Upon graduation, she moved to Colorado and worked at the University of Denver in both the Center for Multicultural Excellence and Housing and Residential Education, while attending graduate school.
After earning her Master of Arts degree in Higher Education-Student Development, Leticia worked as an Academic Advisor at Arapahoe Community College where she advised first generation, low income and ethnically diverse students.
As a first generation college student herself, Leticia is excited to work for the Denver Scholarship Foundation as a College and Financial Aid Advisor, where she can help high school students navigate the college process and in doing so, transform not only the lives of students but their families and communities as well.
In addition to her role at DSF, Leticia is passionate about social justice, specifically issues of educational access and equity. In her leisure time, she enjoys being active and spending time with her family and friends.
Stapleton Future Center: 2nd Floor past the 2nd Floor Commons
Hello. My name is Zachary Montez, and I am a Colorado native that grew up on the Southwest side of Denver. After graduating from West High School, I decided to be the first in my immediate family to go out-of-state for college. I attended and graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Psychology and Pre Professional Studies. I can honestly say that my college experience helped me grow both academically and personally, and helped sculpt my strong beliefs and values in the power of family and hard work. For the past three years, I have helped high school students create their own post-secondary plans. Currently, I am excited to be working with students from the DPS school district. I always knew I would one day be back in the Mile High city, and I am honored to be working with amazing Denver Public School students.
Future Center: Room 223
Our greatest hope is to educate our youth to become lifelong learners that value giving back to their communities. Through instilling this value, we are able to create a more sustainable system of philanthropy and community building.
After graduating from Denver West High School, Angrith attended the University of Denver where he received his BA in Human and Mass Communications and a minor in Leadership. Angrith has been working with high school students for the past 13 years, helping to promote higher education.
As a product of Denver Public Schools, Angrith Na has had many mentors throughout his life that have provided guidance, advice, and advocacy for his educational endeavors. Through his role with the Denver Scholarship Foundation, Angrith embraces the idea of passing on the torch of postsecondary education to the next generation of scholars.
Angrith looks forward to mentoring and guiding students at East High School as they traverse through the college admissions process. He hopes that his perspectives and sense of humor will help to ease students’ stresses and anxieties as they take the next steps towards attending college.
Future Center: Room 128
Future Center: Room 305
I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. I graduated from North High school and from there decided to continue my education at Colorado State University where I obtained my Bachelor of Arts. I am proud to say I was the first person in my family to graduate from college. My father is from Mexico and my mother from Guatemala so my primary language growing up was Spanish. After taking some time off from school I began to miss it and decided to go back for another degree. I obtained my Master of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) from CSU in May of 2013. I have always been passionate about education and giving back to my community. I felt that this educational path was where I wanted to be and I couldn't have been more right. I am now the College Advisor at Kennedy High School and I absolutely love my job. I hope to guide students and inspire them to create the person they want to become and intrinsically stumble upon success by doing what they love. I firmly believe that education opens up more opportunities to lead us to where we belong.
Future Center: Rooms 219 A and B
Kathleen Abels entered the world of admissions as a Senior Interviewer at Haverford College where she has a B.A. in Political Science with a Concentration in Africana Studies. As a student at Haverford she was also she was co-captain of the basketball team and Vice President of Students’ Council. After graduating, Kathleen worked for an affordable housing non-profit for a year and then re-joined the Haverford Admission Staff. As the Assistant Director of Admission, she managed student volunteers, coordinated the alumni volunteer program, and was the Admission Office Liaison to the Athletic Department. Last summer, Kathleen switched to the "other side of the desk" and has loved working with the Denver Scholarship Foundation and her 61 seniors at KIPP Denver Collegiate High School, an open enrollment, public charter school in southwest Denver. Kathleen has a B.A. from Haverford College.
Future Center: Room 103
Future Center: Room 141
Jasmine Rainey currently works as the Denver Scholarship Foundation college advisor and TRIO advisor at Martin Luther King Jr. Early College. She also serves as the support staff officer on the board of the Colorado Chapter of Aspire (CCA), which serves to unite and support TRIO programs across the state. Jasmine is also a lead writer for CCA’s Fact Book Committee, which collects inspirational stories, statistics and data from all Colorado TRIO programs; the fact book is used to advocate for the continued support of TRIO programs from state senators and congressional representatives.
Jasmine attended Colorado State University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Technical Communication. Jasmine also, took courses in sociology and psychology for her 21-credit option area. At CSU, she was involved in many student organizations and volunteered with groups like the Key Academic Community, which focused on making a difference in one’s community.
When she worked for Kaleidoscope Corner, a Denver Public Schools after-school program that provided tutoring and a safe outlet for students ages 6 to 14, Jasmine discovered her passion for working with students. Many of the students came from disadvantaged families similar to her background. This made Jasmine want to make a difference and to be a positive role model for these students.
As an alumna of the Denver Scholarship Foundation and now as an employee of the DSF TRIO Program, Jasmine is able to repay the generosity that DSF afforded her by helping other students, thus defining the ultimate act of “paying it forward.” Coming from a low-income and single parent family allows Jasmine to relate to many of the students whom she now works with through TRIO. Her success story allows her to motivate and inspire those same students to strive to obtain their goals and aspirations.
In her free time, Jasmine loves to read, write, listen to music, volunteer and enjoy the company of her family and friends.
Future Center: Room 151
TRiO Talent Search Program: Nate Cadena
Nathan Cadena has worked for opportunity programs in Colorado for more than 10 years. As a TRIO alumnus, his work has been focused on serving the formal and informal educational needs and aspirations of diverse and underrepresented students who are: first generation, limited income, disabled, unaccompanied, and otherwise marginalized. He currently serves on the College Access team at the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) as the Director of the TRIO Talent Search program.
Previously, Nathan has served as a TRIO project Director for the Student Support Services (SSS) program at the Community College of Denver (CCD), a long running Hispanic Serving Institution. Additionally he has served as an Educational Advisor/Instructor, Lead College Coach, and Career Counselor at Colorado State University (CSU), the Daniels Fund College Scholarship and Preparatory Program, Front Range Community College, and the Denver Educational Opportunity Center. These roles have enabled him to serve diverse communities in northern Colorado and the Denver metropolitan area. Additionally, he has created and facilitated enrichment programming geared for career development, academic improvement, and increased digital literacy for partner organizations such as Goodwill Industries, Urban Peak, Volunteers of America, and various workforce centers in the counties surrounding Denver.
Outside of professional duties, Nathan has contributed work for organizations such as the Colorado Coalition for the Educational Advancement of Latinos (COCEAL), Fraternal Unity and Empowerment Representing Tomorrow’s Educators (FUERTE), and the Miller McCoy Academy Board. He has been able to share advice for younger communities as an Expert Advisor in the book Junior Guide to Senior Success: Becoming a Global Citizen, by Carol Carter.
Nathan is a native to Colorado, and an alumnus of Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences; Regis University with a Master of Education in adult learning, training, and development; and the Community College of Denver with a certificate in Global Career Development Facilitation.
Future Center: Room 151
Joseph Madera is a College Access Advisor for the Denver Scholarship Foundation and TRIO Talent Search. Mr. Madera has benefited from college access programs and is dedicated to connecting students the best future possible.
Mr. Madera is a Colorado native, born and raised in the Denver Metro area, growing up in an economically disadvantaged household. In sixth grade, his life began a new path as it changed for the better. At that young age, he was invited to apply to a TRIO Talent Search Program. Participating in Talent Search provided the first experience and exposure to a college culture that he would not have experienced otherwise. The first time that he set foot on a college campus, he realized that one day he could be a successful college student, and that a life of education could be a reality.
After high school, Joseph attended Metropolitan State University of Denver and earned a Bachelor of Arts. He is the first in his family to attend and graduate from college. Mr. Madera accomplished his degree while working full-time as a project manager for a construction company. He credits his drive to mentors and positive influences and family support in his life. Related, his life’s mission is directed to help students understand and prepare for post-secondary education. He is proud to serve the Denver Scholarship Foundation TRIO Talent Search Program where he advises students in grades 9-12, and has the opportunity to positively influence others like those in his life.
Future Center: Room 151
A first generation college student, Melissa attended Metropolitan State College of Denver and graduated with a degree in Behavioral Science. For six years Melissa worked at the most diverse institution in the state, Community College of Denver (CCD), where she worked with students of all ages and backgrounds. While working in the college’s Recruitment and Student Outreach Office, she learned a lot about the college admissions process and had the opportunity to travel to different schools and serve as an ambassador for CCD.
As a College and Financial Aid Advisor, Melissa assists students with the entire college application process. She is excited to work with the Denver Scholarship Foundation because it gives her an opportunity to help students reach their goal and attain their dreams of going to college – something they may not have realized was possible – by providing them with many resources and opportunities.
Melissa is also greatly involved with the non-profit organization CESDA (Colorado Educational Services and Development Association), which helps first generation, low-income and minority students gain access to college. In her spare time, she loves to take her two yellow labs Buddy and Roscoe on hikes and walks. Melissa also loves to travel and visit different countries to meet different people and experience various cultures.
Future Center: Library Atrium
Elizabeth Canada grew up in New Jersey in an area that her father would say, “You know how New Jersey is always shown in movies with oil refineries? We’re from that part.” She attended Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania and received her B.S. in Secondary Education English. She returned to New Jersey for graduate school, where she attended Seton Hall University and received her M.A. in English.
Eager to continue with school, she applied all over the country for M.A. and Ph.D. programs. When she visited the University of Colorado at Boulder, she knew it was where she belonged. She was planning on enrolling in the Linguistics program, but decided a job might be best in order to pay the rent. So she accepted an English teaching position at a Denver charter high school and found that she preferred it to graduate school. She also began teaching at the Community College of Denver in her spare time.
After teaching full-time for five years, she became a College Advisor with the Denver Scholarship Foundation. She feels she has the best of both worlds because she gets to work with students on a daily basis, helping them navigate an oftentimes tricky postsecondary world, but she doesn’t have to grade essays. She also has a newfound respect for her mother, someone who did not graduate from college but acted as Elizabeth’s original College Advisor, because she was the one to drive Elizabeth across state lines to see Bloomsburg, stand in lines, ask questions, make phone calls, and help complete the FAFSA for her when she was in high school. Without her mother, Elizabeth probably would not have made it through college orientation all of those years ago. So now it is Elizabeth’s goal to play the same role for her students at North High School.
Renae Bruning, M.A., serves as the Director of College Access for the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) providing leadership for 18 DSF College Advisors serving Denver Public School students. She also serves on the DSF program management team offering strategic direction for the organization.
Previously, she was a DSF College Advisor for six years at John F. Kennedy High School, her alma mater, and received recognition from Stanford University for her outstanding achievements in that position. Ms. Bruning began her career in the University of Colorado at Boulder's Office of Admissions playing a lead role in the effort to increase the enrollment of underrepresented students. In 2006 she completed the competitive Color of Justice, Inc. Urban Leadership Institute and in 2012 completed the year-long Denver Leadership Initiative. She uses the skills she gained to be an effective advocate for social justice, donating much of her time to local community organizations.
Ms. Bruning obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Colorado-Boulder in sociology and educational practices and policies, respectively, finishing graduate school with highest distinctions. Her graduate research focused on issues related to college access and success of underrepresented students, and parent engagement.
Ms. Bruning is a 2000 graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in Denver Public Schools, prior to graduation was named to the inaugural class of the Daniels Fund, a full, four-year scholarship based on character, leadership, maturity, academic promise and community service.
Future Center: Room 114
Future Center: Room 100
303.935.5473 ext. 322
I am a proud alumna of the University of Denver where I graduated with a MA in Curriculum and Instruction and BA in Anthropology and Spanish with a minor in Leadership Studies. While attending Morgridge College of Education I worked as the Assistant Program Coordinator for the Pioneer Leadership Program where I supported 200 undergraduate students in their personal and professional development and community change initiatives. Prior to this opportunity I pursued my passion for travel and storytelling in Ecuador where I taught English and authored a children’s book, Guatemala where I recorded the oral histories of mothers and daughters, and Canada where I lead youth in an outdoor leadership development program.
As a first generation graduate and native to Colorado it is an honor to work along wth the students of Southwest Early College and great privilege to be a part of the Denver Scholarship Foundation. In my spare time I find joy in laughing, cooking, and crafting with the people I love most.
Future Center: Room 114
A Colorado native, I was raised in a small rural town in the Northeastern part of the state. Being a first generation student, I was very lucky to have a supportive family and network of friends who added to my success.
In May 2001, I graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Concentration in Marketing and a Minor in Spanish. Upon graduating, I had a great opportunity to move from the state and explore some different career options. After some time away, I realized what Colorado had to offer so I decided to make the move back “home.”
Over the past two school years, while employed at Colorado State University as an Admissions Counselor, I was the representative for DPS. It was a great opportunity to get to know DPS students, faculty and staff as well as the DSF advisors assigned to those schools. I am very excited to continue my work in higher education as the College and Financial Aid Advisor at Thomas Jefferson High School.
Future Center: Room 222
Alfredo Reyes is a Denver native and a graduate of South High School. As a first-generation American, he embodies the success of the Denver Scholarship Foundation. From his parents, Alfredo learned first-hand the creed of the immigrant, “We work today for a better tomorrow.” With much support from his Future Center Advisor, he graduated with too much scholarship money and an invitation to enroll at the Colorado College, where he would major in political science and study abroad multiple times.
He returned to Denver after graduating from college and began his career in education. First with College in Colorado, as southern regional coordinator, where he was responsible for coordinating, developing, and delivering presentations, workshops, and speeches on college access and motivation to a wide range of audiences. Currently, he is a Future Center Advisor at West High school and has come to appreciate even more the life-changing opportunities and dedication offered to students by the Denver Scholarship Foundation.
Having received the Gates Millennium Scholarship, Alfredo capitalized on the opportunity to continue his education and recently enrolled in an MA program at the University of Colorado at Boulder (Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice). Soon he hopes to continue on to a Ph.D. in educational policy, international comparative education or organizational studies.
In his spare time, Alfredo volunteers with local organizations: he is a board member at Platteforum; an education committee member at the Denver Foundation; and a scholarship selection committee member at the Better Business Bureau.
Future Center: Room 222
Delma Ramos grew up in Guanajuato, Mexico and immigrated to the US at 17-years-old, her family settling near Lamar, CO. Barely a decade later, she launched her doctoral coursework last fall at the University of Denver upon receiving her master’s degree in the Student Affairs in Higher Education program at Colorado State University (CSU) in 2012 and her BS in Social Work in 2009.
Professionally, Delma has worked in various college success capacities, including TRiO Student Support Services and Access programs. She has also worked with international populations and has developed and delivered intercultural training for staff development. Delma currently serves as a college advisor at the West High School Future Center while participating in various research projects at the University of Denver and being a full-time student. Additionally, Delma has recently begun an internship with the Education Commission of the States where she has participated in research projects involving statewide higher education master plans, and financial aid laws and policies. Delma hopes to one day become a college professor and to develop a solid identity in scholarship and research by exploring issues of access and college attainment among underrepresented groups. The eclectic nature of her educational and professional experiences is providing a solid path for her to accomplish her goals.
The schools listed below do not have Future Centers but students who graduate from these schools are eligible to apply for the DSF Scholarship and may receive other services. To learn more about how DSF serves these schools, please contact Renae Bruning at 303.996.7586 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is TRiO Talent Search?
The Denver Scholarship Foundation’s TRiO Talent Search program inspires and empowers low-income, first generation students in Denver’s Montbello neighborhood to enroll in college. The program serves 9th through 12th grade students, providing them with support and guidance to graduate from high school, enroll in college and secure financial aid and scholarships. The TRiO Talent Search program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
What can the TRiO Talent Search Program do for you?
For Academic Resources Click Here.
The Denver Scholarship Foundation’s TRIO Talent Search program aims to serve 9th through 12th grade students throughout the Montbello Community. We offer services at the following high schools:
Denver Scholarship Foundation
303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 200
Denver CO 80203
Meet our Team
Nathan Cadena, M.Ed.
Director, Talent Search Program
Advisor, Talent Search Program
Advisor, Talent Search Program
PT Advisor, Talent Search Program
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