Students across the country will forever remember where they were when it was announced in 2020 they would be headed home until further notice. Two weeks became three, then four. Weeks became months. Remote learning became a reality, Zoom a household term and poor camera work the accepted norm. What is even more incredible to comprehend is that the second graduating class of this pandemic is getting ready to leave high school this month.
Many students spent some of the most important months of their high school careers learning in an environment of isolation. There was no play book for this scenario. Students, teachers, and school districts navigated the best they could and are still taking each week as it comes.
Sports have been scattered, homecoming and proms canceled, and many have lost out on the memorable commencement ceremony they imagined.
All of which makes it even more impressive when you find students who have battled through this period, risen to the occasion, and achieved long-anticipated academic goals.
Dihana is a senior Boys Hope Girls Hope Academy scholar at Aurora Central High School. She is currently attending school remotely. She is excited about graduating but does feel a small sense of loss for the expected senior year she missed out on. While she has continued to talk to many friends throughout the past year with the use of technology, she admits it just is not the same as walking the halls and spending that special time with them.
Although Aurora Central High School is on a hybrid schedule, Dihana also attends class at Pickens Technical College, taking a few electives and the coordinated schedules do not allow her to attend in-person learning.
Dihana is headed to University of Colorado – Boulder in the fall, earning four different scholarships. She has admittedly always been disciplined and believes that played a significant role in getting her through a very difficult period, while not losing sight of her goals.
“I have been a part of Boys Hope Girls Hope since freshman year and they have always given me the support and help I needed throughout high school,” says Dihana. “It made a significant difference.”
Even during remote programming, the BHGH team helped her by providing mentoring, tutoring, help with college essays and applications, scholarship dollars and this summer, they will prep her for college life.
Kimberly, also a graduating BHGH Scholar at Aurora Central High School, just committed to Regis University. She plans to pursue a career in medicine. She is another senior that took concurrent courses at Community College of Aurora. Kimberly reports that she will be graduating high school with 41 college credits. Clearly, this pandemic has not slowed her down.
Her sister also currently attends CCA. Together, they motivate each other, as well as their younger brother. They set times at the house for homework and other windows for relaxing with a little television. They built that environment for themselves. She also mentions that a large part of her success was being a part of Boys Hope Girls Hope. She goes on to say, “If there was a school essay that needed another pair of eyes or a college scholarship application, I relied on them. I cannot imagine if I had not been a part of Boys Hope Girls Hope.”
Both Dihana and Kimberly have showcased incredible academic careers thus far and are excited for what is to come. They look forward to a change in environment and their next chapter. The unknown can be exciting. And just maybe, it will entail a normal freshman year.
Established in 1993, BHGHCO has provided more than 400 scholarships to young men and women of potential. The organization is founded on the belief that education is one of the primary tools required to break the cycle of poverty, abuse, and neglect. As a nonprofit, they rely on the generosity of others to make these success stories possible. Their annual Hope Challenge Golf Tournament at Colorado Golf Club is June 28, 2021. If you would like to support this organization, there are foursome and sponsorships still available.
To learn more visit bhghcolorado.org. To take part in the Hope Challenge, simply visit hopechallenge.org.