Nebiyu Tadesse, a 2015 graduate of Smoky Hill High School, is one of 13 Colorado students to be named to the new class of Greenhouse Scholars, an organization that is dedicated to cultivating the next generation of community leaders.
Despite moving to the United States as a high school freshman and knowing no English, Tadesse transitioned out of his ELA program after only one semester and was put into the regular educational track. He graduated in the top 5% of his high school class four years later, after taking IB, AP, honors and concurrent enrollment college classes. A true Renaissance man, Tadesse was president of the robotics club, participated in dance and theater clubs, tutored 5th graders in math and science, and was involved in student government. After realizing he had naturally become a role model for other Ethiopian students at his high school, he founded a leadership club for the Ethiopian community there. Tadesse will study mechanical and electrical engineering at University of Colorado - Boulder starting this fall.
Greenhouse Scholars is a unique program that provides personal and financial support to high-performing, under-resourced college students. Using a holistic “Whole Person” approach, the program provides intellectual and academic support, professional networking, personal mentoring, and assistance with tuition and related expenses. The goal is not only to help deserving students excel during college, but to also ensure they are prepared to succeed in their professional endeavors upon graduation and make significant contributions to their communities.
Prior to being invited to join the program, Scholars go through a rigorous selection process focused on academic achievement, service to community, demonstrated leadership skills, and financial need.
"The Greenhouse Scholars Class of 2019 is an inspiring group of exceptionally accomplished young people who have overcome incredible obstacles while remaining committed to serving others," said Pete Burridge, president and chief executive officer, Greenhouse Scholars. "As catalysts, the Greenhouse Scholars community is activating the potential within these relentless leaders to become change agents by surrounding them with the support they need. It is humbling to work with these outstanding young people to help foster generational change at the individual, family, local and global levels.”
This year the organization has expanded its presence to Georgia and is now supporting students in three states. The inaugural Georgia class includes three exceptional students who were invited to be Greenhouse Scholars. They join 13 new students from Colorado and 14 new students from Illinois, making up the largest class in the organization’s history. The selection was extremely competitive as just 10 percent of the nearly 300 applicants were invited to join the program.
A complete list of the incoming class of Greenhouse Scholars and their stories can be found here.
Examples of achievements by this class include:
• The class of Scholars had a cumulative grade point average of nearly 3.9.
• The class has volunteered for more than 9,000 hours of community service during their high school careers, and more than 70 percent of the class has mentored a younger student.
• 77 percent of these students will be the first generation in their families to attend a four-year college.
• One-third of the class founded new clubs or programs at their high schools.
• The average annual household income for the Class of 2019 was slightly more than $31,000, and one in five members of the class worked a job outside of school to help support their family income.
Scholars in the Class of 2019 will be attending top-tier colleges and universities, including Baylor University, Brown University, Colorado State University, Cornell University, Duke University, Georgetown University, Johnson & Wales University, Middlebury College, Northwestern University, Pitzer College, Pomona College, Portland State University, Santa Clara University, Stanford University, University of Colorado, Boulder; University of Colorado, Denver; University of Denver, University of Illinois, Springfield; University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; University of Miami, University of Missouri, Washington University in St. Louis and Yale University.
The Greenhouse Scholars "Whole Person" approach, incorporates intellectual, academic, professional, and financial support. Proven through a decade of results, the program has seven key components: mentorship; professional networking; peer support; internships; Summer Symposium, an annual leadership conference held in Colorado each August; “flex funding” to defray college-related expenses and a tuition scholarship.
As a result of the program's comprehensive support, the Scholars graduate from college prepared to succeed in their professional fields and make an immediate impact on their communities and communities across the globe.
Nebiyu Tadesse shared his story with Cherry Creek Schools Parents' Council in April. Read about that here.