Partnering with more than 20 donors statewide, the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges provides scholarships for hundreds of students every year. This summer, the Foundation awarded $550,000 in scholarships to 304 students—the majority of whom have significant financial need, are first-generation students, or are students of color. The Colorado Community College System caught up with three scholars to learn how financial support is powering their college and career goals.

Brittney Geschwentner

Image of Brittney Geschwentner

College: Northeastern Junior College

Program: Nursing

Scholarship: Alper Family Scholarship

About Brittany: A nontraditional student, Brittany started her nursing education in her thirties and is on track to graduate in May 2024. She plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing before becoming a nurse practitioner. Brittany is especially interested in heart health and aims to work in a cardiac unit one day.

There is no way I could have pursued my nursing degree without scholarships. Every penny has made such a difference.


Itzel Santos

Image of Itzel Santos

College: Community College of Aurora

Program: Translation and Interpretation Legal Certificate

Scholarship: PepsiCo Foundation Uplift Scholarship

About Itzel: As a bilingual student, Itzel uncovered a talent for translating information for her family. That inspired her to get certified in legal interpretation—a field with critical shortages across the state. Itzel is eager to support Spanish-speaking people through the legal process and make an impact in her community.

Being a recipient of this scholarship has allowed me to 100% focus on my studies, especially since I do not qualify for Pell Grants. I am truly grateful for the support.


Derrick Downes

Derrick Downs

College: Pueblo Community College

Program: Construction Management

Scholarship: Colorado Garden Foundation Workforce Scholarship

About Derek: A military veteran, Derek is nearing completion of his associate degree and plans to transfer to Colorado State University to pursue a bachelor’s degree in construction management. Derek participates in college organizations and founded a small business club that builds fences for local companies. He hopes to expand this into a community workforce development program one day.

Being a full-time student is like a full-time job in itself. These scholarships make it possible to better myself and help me and my family succeed.


If you are interested in applying for or funding scholarships for Colorado Community College System students, please visit the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges website.