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Grant Recipient: Upsilon Gamma - R.O.Y.A.L Leadership Conference

The Sigma Lambda Beta Education Foundation in partnership with the Denver Foundation is proud to have provided a grant to the Upsilon Gamma chapter in support of their 13th annual R.O.Y.A.L. Leadership Conference. Congratulations to the Upsilon Gamma Chapter for persevering through these trying times and continuing their work with area youth! Please read the event-write-up from the Chapter below to learn more about R.O.Y.A.L. Leadership Conference.

Every school year the Upsilon Gamma chapter hosts Royal that promotes cultural awareness, and the ROYAL youth leadership conference that promotes the success of men of color. We had planned on hosting our 13th Annual Retention of Youth and Latinos Leadership Conference (R.O.Y.A.L. Leadership Conference). In the past our chapter has partnered with numerous Denver Public Schools in order to bring 100-200 high school students to DU. However, we had switched this year to be virtual when applying for the SLBEF grant. Fortunately, COVID restrictions began clearing closer to the event and our chapter was able to form a partnership with the Early College of Arvada. We were able to bring around 40 Latino students to the campus in which they engaged in various workshops focusing on leadership, college preparation, and student experiences. We also will be hosting class workshops at the school throughout the summer and the 2021-2022 school year. Although the event isn’t the same way it was during pre-covid, we were still able to form a great partnership and plan on bringing the originality of the event once both the University of Denver and the Colorado public education system allows us to do so.

Our event promoted inclusive excellence because it promoted diversity and ensured the long term diversification of the University by focusing on prospective students of DU. Through the campus tour and conference which was specific for students from the Early College of Arvada High School, a low-income majority Latino population. We addressed high school engagement and discussion of equity and inequities which plague our higher academic system in the US. Our work with the students was to further encourage the development of student leaders and mentorship here at the University. Through this event current students at the University of Denver had the opportunity to discuss their experiences as a person of color, develop professional speaking, communication, and moderating skills with the high schoolers. The funding from the Denver Foundation facilitated the creation of new relationships with local communities of historically underrepresented students in addition to supporting the diversification and awareness of DU and its student body.

Our goal was to focus on engaging and emerging students into the world of higher education. Many students have never heard, experienced, or been pushed to attain any degree higher than a high school diploma. We hope that such an exposure works as a goal setting experience for their future endeavors. Our second goal was further developing a mentoring program with this high school. We meet with the students twice a week and use this event to visibly engage students and have them ask more questions in regards to university life, how to apply, and really just overall want to further their educational career. The specific population we worked with have little exposure to the world of higher education and lack support systems which would otherwise encourage attendance of university. The high school students' day on campus consisted of a light rail ride to and from their high school to the university, a campus tour, a keynote speaker from the university, dining hall food, and a $50 purchase per student from the university store.

Thank You,

The Upsilon Gamma Chapter

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