Category Archives: Higher Achievement

Last Minute Volunteer Opportunity: 2 Hours To Help A Student Succeed

If you live in the Denver area, check out this cool opportunity from Mapleton Public Schools to help get their incoming high school freshman on track to attend college. Yes, college!

Mapleton Public Schools’ innovative pre-collegiate camp for 8th graders going into 9th grade, called Camp 2018 (named after the year that the participating students will graduate from high school), needs your help on Friday, June 20 to make it a successful and rigorous experience for their students!

Camp 2018 is from June 17-20 and during the 4 days the students are exposed to college and career planning activities, motivational speakers, leadership activities, college visits, and a community service activity. At the end of the week, the morning of June 20, students will be giving presentations of their learning and showcasing their college planning portfolio. In order to give our students their first interview experience, they are asking for your help! Each student will present their college planning portfolio two different times, to an adult/business person/community member.

June 20th from 10:15-12:15

York International School
9200 York Street
Thornton, CO 80229

If you are available  they would love to have you come and see the students in action as they start on their steps toward college. Please email Julie Silipo at for directions, rubric, and sample interview questions.


Posted in Higher Achievement, Topplers News.

Got 2 Hours to Help a Student Succeed?

Mapleton school district is seeking volunteers to help on with their Mock Interviews. Volunteers sign up at a schooInterviewl of their choice, helping prepare students for professional and college interviews. It’s easy to participate and a great way to help a student get great feedback to help improve their interview skills.

See the attached form to sign up for one of these sessions:

Thursday, February 20th 2-4 pm Mapleton Early College

Tuesday, March 11th 8:15am-10:00am Academy High School

Tuesday, March 11th 10:00am-12:00pm Academy High School

Tuesday, March 11th 1:00-3:20pm MESA High School

Thurday, March 13th 8:45-11:10 am Global Leadership Academy

Friday, March 21st 8:30-11:45am York International

Friday, March 21st 12:15-2:25 pm York International

Wednesday, April 16th 10:30- 11:00am North Valley School for Young Adults

Thursday, April 17th 10:30-11:00am North Valley School for Young Adults

Wednesday, May 14th 10:30-11:00am North Valley School for Young Adults

Thursday, May 15th 10:30-11:00am North Valley School for Young Adults

Mock Interview Sign Up Sheet 2014

Posted in Higher Achievement, Topplers News.

Checking In With Our Book Scholarship Winners

Half-way into the fall semester, we checked in with our 2013 Book Scholarship winners to see how they’ve adjusted to college life. We were excited to hear that they are thriving and finding ways to overcome the financial challenges of paying for their educations:

I’ve been doing great! I’m loving the college life thus far. It isn’t a really big transition for me because I believe that all the habits I created in my previous years in high school have made this transition smooth for me. College requires hard work, organization, and dedication, and I was making sure that those requirements were fulfilled with the habits that I created in my junior and senior year. For example, using a planner and creating a to-do list really helps. This scholarship is a very big part of aiding my purchases of books. I’m a bio major, so the thick science books that cost $150-200 a piece really was a struggle. Thanks to Topplers, I had $350 off of the total of the text books that i purchased which took up about 30% of my total costs for books. This goes a long way and I’m very appreciative of your help.


I’m doing well. Stanford is definitely very different from high school but all the changes are exciting and refreshing. I have a job on campus as a freshmen liaison, organizing events for El Centro Chicano. I am also trying out for the Polo team (though I’ve never ridden a horse), playing with the scatter band, and on the competitive cross country club team. The opportunities here are vast and
it’s incredibly hard to choose between all of the amazing experiences available.

As far as challenges go, it has been a little hard for my family financially because my father had a stroke around three months ago and was out of work for two months. The Topplers scholarship has been very helpful already in covering my book expenses for this quarter and more than likely the next quarter (maybe the whole year if I’m thrifty). It has also been interesting and a bit challenging to find time to sleep amid all the chaos and excitement!

Again, thank you so much for the help and your generosity! I’m sure the MESA seniors this
year will benefit immensely from your contributions!

Posted in Higher Achievement, Topplers News.

Volunteers Needed: 1 Hour to Help Prepare a Senior for College Interviews

York International School in Thornton, Colorado is looking for community/business volunteers to assist their seniors (class of 2014) in reviewing their resumes and critiquing their professional dress:

When: Wednesday, September 11

Times: Anytime between 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Where: York International K-12, 9200 York St, Thornton, CO

Contact: Misti Gossett-Thrower, Post-Secondary Options Coach/Counselor,

This experience is INVALUABLE to the seniors as they write their first resumes to help them prepare for college/scholarship/job applications. Please consider volunteering on this day, even if you can only spare an hour or so.

Posted in Higher Achievement, Topplers News.

Be A Mentor: MESA High School Seeking Volunteers for the Class of 2014

MESA is seeking mentors for the graduating class of 2014. The senior year is a busy time filled with excitement and anxiety surrounding preparation for life after high school. All MESA seniors will be applying to at least four colleges and four scholarships. This process includes; filling out college applications, writing a personal statement, editing essays for scholarships, requesting letters of recommendation, retaking the ACT or SAT, applying for FAFSA, preparing a resume, practicing interview skills and making a lot of tough decisions about the future. If you would like to help a small group of seniors (4-5 students) as they navigate through this process please see the time commitment below.

Volunteer Commitment

Informational Meeting: Wednesday Aug 28th from 5:30-6:30 pm at Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts. The new MESA building is located at 8980 York Street, Suite A, Thornton, CO 80229. We will meet on the third floor in the Post-Secondary Options room. We will provide more detailed information about the MESA Mentors program and offer insight from former students and mentors who have participated in the program. This is also a time we can answer any questions you may have about this opportunity.

Mentor Responsibilities:

Monthly meetings: Mentors will come to MESA once a month to meet with their mentees. Mentors will spend the first half hour with the Post-Secondary Coach and Transition Coordinator for a 30 minute training on the day’s topic. Mentors will then have 90 minutes of work time with their group of students to check in with each of them, help them with the project we are working on that day, and make goals for the coming month. The last 20 minutes is spend in a class debrief and celebrations. Monthly Topics are outlined below.

Email and Phone Communication: We hope that students and mentors will keep in touch between monthly meetings. We would like mentors and students to correspond with each other via email, texting or phone every other week if possible.

Tentative Dates for 2013-14 Finalized Dates will be reviewed at Information Session

Tuesday Sept 17th 1:00-3:20 Introductions and getting to know your students-Resumes and Personal Statements

Tuesday Oct 8th 1:00-3:20 Editing the Personal Statement and the College List

Tuesday Nov 5th 1:00-3:20 College Application Day

Tuesday Dec 10th 1:00-3:20 College Application Day

Tuesday Jan 14th 1:00-3:20 Understanding Financial Aid/ Mapleton Scholarship

Tuesday Feb 11th 1:00-3:20 Mapleton Scholarship

Tuesday March 11th 1:00-3:20 MESA Mock Interview Day

Tuesday April 15th 1:00-3:20 PSO Portfolio for Passages

Tuesday May 6th 1:00-3:20 Decision Making Time and End of Year Celebration

Optional: Friday May23rd (Time TBD) Senior Passage Presentations

Optional: Thursday May 29th 6:00-9:00 pm MESA Graduation Ceremony

Contact Us and Register for Information Session:

The feedback from students is overwhelmingly positive and mentors have expressed that the experience is very rewarding. Please consider this opportunity. If you think you can make this commitment please contact Katie Bailey at or 303-908-3400 to register for the information session on Wed Aug 28th from 5:30-6:30pm.

MESA is located at 8980 York Street, Suite A, Thornton, CO 80206, 10 miles north of Denver.


Posted in Higher Achievement, Topplers News.

Topplers Awards 3 Book Scholarships at MESA High School

Topplers was proud to present 3 book scholarships to graduating seniors at MESA High School in Thornton, Colorado. The winning essays were given $350 book scholarships which were awarded at an assembly of their peers a few weeks before graduation. Chris Westfall, the Topplers board president, spoke about domino theory and the difference that all the students can make in the world by setting big things in motion.

Seniors Raquel Lane, Chim Lee, and Alicia Ruiz submitted outstanding essays (respectively) about how Tiananmen Square’s Tank Man, the Adams County Youth Council, and the power of a Smile are all small things that can and have made a big difference on the world.

We wish these three winners and all of the graduates the best of luck in their future studies.

Chim Lee (l) is presented with a book scholarship by Chris Westfall (r ) at MESA High School

Chim Lee (l) is presented with a book scholarship by Chris Westfall (r ) at MESA High School

Alicia Ruiz (l) speaks with Chris Westfall (r ) about receiving a Topplers book scholarship

Alicia Ruiz (l) speaks with Chris Westfall (r ) about receiving a Topplers book scholarship

Posted in Higher Achievement, Topplers News.

Inspiration, Education, and Motivation in Action

Chris Stampeders presentation

Topplers’ Chris Westfall presents to the CU Stampeders

Congratulations to University of Colorado incoming freshmen—especially those who are already stepping it up with participation in the Stampede Leadership Program! Good luck to you as you start your first semester. This is your launch pad—so get involved, lead, and make a difference!

FYI for friends of Topplers, we delivered the keynote at the Stampede kick-off yesterday at CU and all 250 enthusiastic participants left with a domino and a dose of some inspiration, education and motivation.

We drew special attention to three remarkable people in the CU community — Professor Tin Tin Su (cancer drug screening innovation),Emma Coburn (Olympian and USA/NCAA champ in steeple chase) and David Rahmani (physics student and extraordinary teaching assistant).

Check out the presentation here – maybe you’ll get your own dose of inspiration, education and motivation.

Posted in Higher Achievement, Topplers News.