Academy News by Ryan Widemon

This summer has been busy with students participating in academically enriching programs and camps all over the country and  summer school. We are very fortunate and grateful to have such supportive donors and community partners that have allowed our scholars to participate in these opportunities.


The scholar who covered the most miles was Shaone, a rising senior who participated in the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy in Vermont. She received a full scholarship for this program.  While on campus, Shaone spoke only German for the three week course. Her German vastly improved and she won the talent show with her German rendition of “I Want to Hold Your Hand”.

Another set of travelers are our rising seniors.  They ventured to Nebraska for the annual BHGH Collegiate Prep Camp. At this camp, BHGH rising high school seniors and rising college freshmen met up with all the other BHGH scholars their age.  One of the main activities was learning more about the online portal “The College Road.”  The seniors focused on polishing up their common application essays.  College freshman reviewed the financial aid process – which loans they are accepting and how to apply their BHGH scholarship awards. 

We also had a lot of exciting activities locally. This year we had four students participating in the RYLA Youth Leadership Camp at the YMCA in Estes Park. This camp, which is sponsored by Denver Metro Rotary Clubs, offers our scholars an opportunity to develop their leadership abilities in a mountain camp environment. The scholars were initially nervous about whether or not they would be able to live life “off the grid” but by the time they were picked up at camp most were in tears and were not at all ready to leave their new friends.

All of our scholars attended a financial literacy class lead by Bank of America employees.  Jesus was able to attend the World Affairs Seminar on Global Energy at Carroll College through the Highlands Ranch Rotary.  Kalil won an award at Junior Achievement’s Business Week for his team’s business proposal.  Scholars participated in book clubs reading up to RIP (Read. Investigate. Prepare) books and then they submitted reflections in “The College Road.”  Eveli and Maribel attended Regis University and received college credit for a 6 week sociology class.  Other scholars worked at markets, babysat and did lawn care.

Our BHGH summer program came to an end this month all culminating with two volunteer projects that we have been working on throughout the summer. The first being a summer camp in-conjunction with the St. Joseph Catholic Parish. Scholars worked with students from the ages of 5-13 on life skills and leadership skills through art.  The other project was with the Shalom Park Assisted Living home. Eleven scholars partnered with eleven Shalom residents to write up the “Living Histories Project”. This writing project allowed scholars to interview residents and create biographies for each resident. The presentation was impressive with scholars showcasing their writing in the biographies. 

What a summer it was for the BHGH Academy program!  Hard to believe school starts on August 12th!