Two Denver education nonprofits announce merger

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Denver Urban Scholars announced last month it would merge with Uptown-based Denver Kids, Inc. Denver Urban Scholars is a nonprofit based in the Cole neighborhood that helps children middle school students find their paths to college or a career. Denver Kids, also a nonprofit, works with students to help them graduate high school.

The merger will be completed in July and the new organization will operate as Denver Kids, Inc., according to a news release from Denver Kids.

The newly combined organization will continue supporting all students enrolled in both programs through academic support, mentoring and case management. Denver Kids serves approximately 1,000 students in more than 150 Denver Public Schools, and Denver Urban Scholars serves more than 500 individuals, which includes students and parents, the release said. Denver Kids will begin serving students in third grade and will continue working with them through post-secondary education. The nonprofit’s goal is to have all participating students graduate from high school and help student seek opportunities in college or careers.

“This is an exciting opportunity to come together to achieve a mission we both deeply care about: empowering youth to stay anchored to their education, develop fundamental social-emotional skill-building opportunities and graduate high school,” said Denver Kids, Inc. CEO Jim Goebelbecker in the release. “Only good things can come out of the collaboration of two like-minded organizations with similar heart and passion.”

Patrick Byrne, CEO of Denver Urban Scholars, agreed, adding that both organizations are committed to helping students “unlock their own opportunity.” Byrne takes on the role of executive vice president of community relations with Denver Kids.

“This proposed combination creates a new way for us to do more for Denver’s youth while continuing to use mentoring; social, emotional and academic support; and case management that we know leads to better outcomes for our youth,” he said.

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