Colorado College has received a $575,000 grant from the Sachs Foundation to support Black students interested in pursuing careers in education. The grant will be used to support summer fellowships, academic-year internships, and scholarships.

“We are enormously grateful to the Sachs Foundation for this generous and visionary grant,” says Mike Edmonds, acting co-president of Colorado College. “The grant supports Colorado College’s goals of making a CC education financially accessible and helps advance our Antiracism Initiative.”

Associate Professor and Chair of the Education Department Manya Whitaker says the partnership with the Sachs Foundation allows the Education Department to continue its mission to teach for social justice. “Such a mission necessitates the active recruitment, development, and support of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) teachers, but especially Black teachers whose presence in the classroom yields positive social, cognitive and academic outcomes for all students, regardless of race,” she says. “We are extremely grateful to the Sachs Foundation for removing the economic barriers that prevent many Black students from considering a career in the classroom.”

The primary mission of the Colorado Springs-based Sachs Foundation is to provide educational opportunities to Black and African American residents of Colorado who meet established academic and financial criteria.

“The underrepresentation of Black teachers in Colorado classrooms, along with the benefits that all students receive from a diverse teaching corps, creates an excellent opportunity to support education by directly supporting Black students who want to become educators,” says Ben Ralston, president of the Sachs Foundation. “We are excited to be partnering with Colorado College in this shared mission.”

The foundation’s ultimate goal is to increase the number of Black teachers working in Colorado through the recently created Sachs Teacher Development Program. Upon successful completion of this program, students will be eligible to receive financial assistance to supplement their incomes as teachers for three years.

The Sachs Foundation was first envisioned in 1927 when Henry Sachs promised family friend Effie Stroud Frazier, the top student at Colorado Springs High School, that he would pay for her to attend Colorado College. The foundation was incorporated upon Stroud’s graduation from Colorado College in 1931 and has since supported over 5,000 students in their pursuit of education.

In addition to the legacy of Effie Stroud Frazier through the Sachs Foundation, Colorado College initiated the Stroud Scholars Program in honor of Stroud and her brother, Kelly Dolphus Stroud, who also graduated from Colorado College in 1931. The program, which seeks to address affordability concerns and increase access to Colorado College for students historically excluded from higher education, formally launched in Summer 2020 and enrolled 25 Colorado Springs high school students into a three-year preparatory program.

Colorado College’s Antiracism Initiative is a collegewide effort to actively examine and oppose the ways that racism exists and persists at the college. With antiracism central to Colorado College’s mission, faculty, staff and students will experience greater equity and inclusion, teaching will be more impactful and students will be better prepared to make positive change in the world.

“For nearly a century, the Sachs Foundation has served Black and African American students in Colorado who aspire toward educational opportunities,” says Edmonds. “I cannot state strongly enough how honored we are to receive this grant and how grateful we are to the Sachs Foundation and our joint efforts to advance this important work.”

The Sachs Foundation currently supports 176 undergraduate students and 21 graduate students at 73 colleges and universities around the country and abroad. The foundation also provides pre-collegiate prep and mentoring to 128 high school students in the Pikes Peak region through its Elevated program.

“Since Effie Stroud studied education at Colorado College more than 90 years ago, there have been many barriers for Black students to become teachers,” says Ralston. “We hope to break down those barriers through this partnership and are looking forward to the incredibly talented educators to come.”

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