A Denver Scholarship Foundation recipient celebrates at graduation. 

(Photo: Courtesy of Denver Scholarship Foundation)
Nigel Maven, a senior at Colorado State University-Pueblo, will be the first person in his family to graduate from college, but he didn't get there alone. 
 
Maven got assistance from the Denver Scholarship Foundation, which helped him apply to college and pay for it.
 
The scholarship also did something many scholarship programs don't:  It helped Maven stay in college. 
 
A counselor from the Denver Scholarship Program was based on campus to make sure Maven and the other scholarship students were adjusting and doing their work. 
 
Tawnya Armijo was Maven's counselor for his first few years at CSU-Pueblo, constantly staying in touch with him and other scholarship students.
 
“I would bug them like crazy,” Armijo said.  “You know, calling them. Facebooking them. Texting them. Whatever I could do to get ahold of them and get them to do what they were supposed to do.”
 
The scholarship requires students to have at least a 2.0 high school GPA to qualify. Most are first generation college students. 
 
Maven says there were a lot of challenges when he first started at CSU.
 
For one, other students at the school had parental support, and he didn't. 
 
“I couldn’t honestly tell you that my parents know that I’ve switched majors or that they even know what my major was or is now,” Maven said. 
 
The program is producing results: About 80 percent of students have graduated from college or are working toward their degrees.