Denver, CO – May 1, 2018 – Today, KIPP and the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation (SGFF) announced that two KIPP Colorado high school seniors – Citlaly “April” Fierro and Rodrigo Garcia – have been selected as recipients of the 2018 Dave Goldberg Scholarship. April and Rodrigo are among 30 students who were selected from nearly 350 applicants nationwide to be part of this inaugural cohort of Goldberg Scholars.
The Goldberg Scholarship Program was established by the SGFF in October 2017 to support KIPP graduating high school seniors across the country who have demonstrated remarkable leadership and achievement. The scholarship honors the legacy of Dave Goldberg by supporting a new generation of leaders who embody Dave’s qualities of leadership, resilience, achievement, generosity, kindness, independent thinking and entrepreneurial spirit.
As Goldberg Scholars, April and Rodrigo will receive a unique combination of financial support and mentoring during their four-year college experience. Highlights include:
- A mentor to provide ongoing support throughout college
- Financial support totaling approximately $15,000 a year to cover a range of non-tuition needs not traditionally covered by college-based financial aid
- Support from Goldberg Connectors to help secure summer internships and job opportunities
- Participation in an annual Goldberg Scholars Summer Leadership Day, where scholars will meet leaders in their chosen fields
“Our family is delighted to partner with KIPP to support a new generation of students who demonstrate so many of Dave's qualities – especially his kindness, unflagging drive, independent thinking, and entrepreneurial spirit,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and founder of LeanIn.Org and OptionB.Org. “Dave believed every child deserved a quality education. He would be so proud and hopeful to see the first class of Goldberg Scholars heading to college this fall.”
The 30 recipients of the Goldberg Scholarship have attended KIPP schools in 14 communities. All of the recipients are students of color, and many will be the first in their families to attend college. Any student who attended a KIPP school for either middle or high school and had above a 3.0 GPA was eligible to apply for the Goldberg Scholarship. April and Rodrigo were chosen based on their academic records and demonstrations of leadership.
“Dave was passionate about the power of ideas and connecting people to make the world better,” said Rob Goldberg, Dave’s brother and Founder and CEO of Fresno. “This scholarship brings those concepts to life in a way that would delight him, especially the focus on mentorship and building a community to support the students from the start of college through their first job.”
April is currently a senior at KIPP Denver Collegiate High School. She realized her deep passion for social activism during high school, and now aspires to make an impact through public health. During her sophomore year, April founded two programs, “WHY” and “STAMP,” focused on amplifying and unifying the voices of students of color in the Denver Public Schools System. She plans to attendColorado State University, Fort Collins.
Rodrigo, also a senior at KIPP Denver Collegiate High School, will be attending Duke University in the fall with a focus on obtaining a degree in computer engineering. Rodrigo is a member of the varsity soccer team and since 2014 has also played club soccer through C.A.S.A. As the oldest of four siblings, Rodrigo will be the first in his family to go to college.
“April and Rodrigo are true leaders in our region, and they’re headed for a bright future,” said KIPP Colorado Executive Director Kimberlee Sia. “Now, as recipients of the Goldberg Scholarship, their dreams are within even closer reach. They’ll have access to a professional network and preparation that will support their journey from college to career and jumpstart a career of their choosing.”
SGFF selected the national KIPP (Knowledge Is Power Program) network of public charter schools as its partner for the Dave Goldberg Scholarship program because of KIPP’s proven track record of helping students from educationally underserved communities develop the knowledge, skills, and character strengths necessary to succeed in college and life. KIPP currently operates five public charter schools in Denver. Nationally, KIPP students graduate from four-year colleges at a rate that is above the national average for all students, and approximately four times the average for students from similar economic backgrounds nationwide.
“We are thrilled that April and Rodrigo, and all of this year’s Goldberg Scholars, will have the incredible support offered by this scholarship as they look to the future and begin reaching for their dreams,” said Richard Barth, CEO of the KIPP Foundation. “The Goldberg Scholarship program is a phenomenal tribute to Dave Goldberg’s life and legacy.”
About the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation
The Sheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation works to build a more equal and resilient world. SGFF brings people together to support each other through three key initiatives: LeanIn.Org, OptionB.Org, and the Dave Goldberg Scholarship Program.
KIPP, the Knowledge Is Power Program, is a national network of 209 public charter schools that are dedicated to preparing students in educationally underserved communities for success in college and life. KIPP schools are part of the free public school system and enrollment is open to all students. Started in 1994 as a middle school program, KIPP has since expanded to enroll students in all grades from pre-K through high school.