Student Scholars

Do you want to help solve the world’s most complex problems, but you're not sure how?

Do you ever wonder how your academic learning can prepare you to create the change you want to see in the world? This is exactly what the Student Scholar program offers you—the experience, the support, the tools, and funding to make a difference your way. When you become a Student Scholar, you can build your own unique path toward social change work that reflects your passions and interests.

We're accepting applications for the 2022-2023 academic year!

Apply Now

What is the Student Scholar Experience?

Part of DU Grand Challenges, a university-wide initiative powered by CCESL, the Student Scholars program is for undergraduate students who want to learn more about the social justice issues that matter to them, how to apply their academic learning to those issues and develop concrete skills and tools for making change in partnership with communities. They work with graduate student mentors to create and implement personal social justice action plans. They also have access to funds to implement their plan. Throughout, they document their journey through a critical reflection ePortfolio.

Over the course of your time as a Student Scholar, your mentors will help you integrate your academic experiences, personal interests, and community-engaged work through critical reflection. Through this process, you will learn more about yourself, your communities, and how you can work together to make positive social change.

With the mentor support of Community-Engaged Fellows, Student Scholars can partner with an existing Fellow's project or develop their own. Either path integrates with the Student Scholar's academic pursuits, passions, and interests.

Why become a Student Scholar?

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"My experience working with Student Scholars has led me to think about issues at both a systemwide level and personal one. This is different from previous iterations of my thinking because I have been forced to think through lenses other than my own. Discussions at forums and other community events have allowed me to put faces to experiences, seeing an issue through someone else's story. My research has also allowed me to look at system wide changes and problems outside of my own personal stake."

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2022-2023 Student Scholar Application

The CCESL Student Scholars application is now open. If you'd like to chat with a CCESL staff member about CCESL Student Scholars or other opportunities, reach out to us at 

Apply Now

Featured Scholars

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Marissa Martinez Suarez

Marissa is a Student Scholar triple majoring in Spanish, History, and Political Science with a minor in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies and is also a dual degree student at Morgridge College of Education in the Masters in Teacher Education.

Marissa's Portfolio
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Brandon Arneson

Brandon is a Student Scholar majoring in Media Studies with minors in Spanish, Leadership, and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies and will soon begin his pursuit of a Master's degree in Social Work from the Graduate School of Social Work.

Brandon's Portfolio
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Libby Gardner

Libby is a Student Scholar studying International Relations and Sustainability. She is also part of the Alpine Club, Club Lacrosse, and The Valverde Movement Project at CCESL.

Libby's Portfolio

The Student Scholars program is supported by funding from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, whose core belief is that "an educated society strengthens democracy through principled, thoughtful and compassionate leadership."

Note: All CCESL programs, including this one, undergo an antiracist, anti-oppression review at least annually. This year, changes were made to program materials and applications based on that review.