DENVER -- Filling out college applications is one of the most stressful and intimidating things about being a high school senior.
Lucky for Denver students, they have help thanks to the Denver Scholarship Foundation. Mawukle Yebuah, 23, is just one of the success stories. He’s a graduate of South High School, earned a degree from the University of Denver and will complete a master’s degree from DU in December. And did I mention he’s an entrepreneur?
Mawukle and his family emigrated from Ghana when he was 6 years old. His family believed in hard work and education and still does. His father worked as an assistant pastor at a Denver church and was a student at the Iliff School of Theology. And along with Mawukle’s mother, who was a seamstress, worked nights in food services at the University of Denver. The family became U.S. citizens in 2010. Combined, the two made about $50,000 a year and with three children, Mawukle being the oldest, the children knew going to college was going to require a lot of work.
Mawukle spent much of his senior year at South’s Future Center, with Future Center Advisor Meredith Barrow who helped walk him through the application and scholarship process, everything from the essays to the signatures and down to choosing the right school. That effort paid off and he had all his tuition covered.
“Through DSF and all the additional scholarships I got, DU actually ended up being the most affordable school,” said Mawukle.
Mawukle walks through the halls of South High where he reminisces about how far he’s come and the many people who have helped him along. Even on college campuses, Denver Scholarship Foundation advisors are there to help to make sure students succeed and graduate. Since DSF started in 2006, more than $33 million in scholarships have been awarded to 5,600 students.
Mawukle is now working fulltime in the financial services industry, finishing his master’s and is a small business owner. He co-founded Flare & Square, a company that designs and manufactures high-end men’s accessories, pocket square and bowties. When we caught up with him, he was calling on a high-end men’s clothing business in Denver where his colorful accessories are starting to catch on and sell.
“Ultimately, we want to grow it, expand it. Socks? I love socks!” said Mawukle.
In the meantime, he’s thinking about how to give back.
“One day we want to start our own scholarship fund and figure out ways we can use money from our business to help our communities,” he said.
Denver Scholarship Foundation is holding its annual gala Tuesday, September 26, 2017, and Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, will headline the gala. Denver7 is a proud sponsor, and Anne Trujillo will serve as the mistress of ceremonies. All proceeds from the gala will benefit the Denver Scholarship Foundation and its mission to inspire and empower Denver Public Schools students to achieve their college and career dreams, whether that is a four-year institution, a community college or a trade school. DSF never wants poor grades or a lack of motivation to hold students back from pursuing a career.
The total number of DPS high school seniors who will be directly served in DSF Future Centers this year is 2,539.