- Cherry Creek School District No. 5
CTHS grad receives $24,000 Lynch Family Legacy Scholarship
Gabriella Church discovered her pathway of purpose in one of the Advanced Placement classes she took at Cherokee Trail High School.
“AP Human Geography introduced me to the ideas of urban development and my teacher, Mr. Meyers, was really passionate about it,” said Church, who was in the International Baccalaureate program at CTHS. “I ended up writing my IB extended essay about the intersection between race and the ‘built environment.’”
The built environment is defined as the human-made space in which people live, work, and recreate on a day-to-day basis. It touches all aspects of our lives, encompassing the buildings we live in, the distribution systems that provide us with water and electricity, and the roads, bridges, and transportation systems we use to get from place to place.
Church learned that there are historical inequities in the built environment, with communities of color often having fewer amenities and more impact from less-desirable development. That’s something she wants to change in the future.”
“I want to go into urban planning which, as a field, is pretty saturated with white men,” she explained. “I’d like to bring in another perspective because oftentimes, minority groups are overlooked in the way that cities and suburbs are built, and there’s a history of discrimination in these areas. I’d like to be part of creating social change through the built environment.”
Church, who graduated from CTHS in 2022, plans to pursue that passion at Boston University. Starting this fall, she will study economics and urban studies, thanks in part to a $24,0000 scholarship from the John Lynch Foundation. Church is one of four student athletes from Colorado to receive a Lynch Family Legacy Scholarship, which is awarded on the basis of academics, athletics, community involvement, financial need, leadership, and other intangible qualities. Scholarship applicants must also submit an essay and letters of recommendation. 2022 Cherry Creek High School graduate Charlie Eigner also received a Lynch Family Legacy Scholarship.
John Lynch, former Denver Broncos safety and 2021 NFL Hall of Fame inductee, established the scholarship in 2000.
Church has been a gymnast for 14 years, and competed on the Overland High School consortium team, since Cherokee Trail didn’t have its own gymnastics team. She credits the sport, her coaches and her teammates with helping her develop skills she will need in college, even though she doesn’t plan to participate in gymnastics at the collegiate level.
“Gymnastics created accountability both for me individually and as a member of a team,” she said.
In addition to sports, Church was involved in many school activities, including National Honor Society, Minority Club, DECA, and Geography Club, which she helped establish. She says her Cherokee Trail peers and teachers all helped her become the person she is today.
“I’ve had amazing teachers, especially in the IB program at CT, who have been really responsive to my learning style and who are also really engaged with the content they’re teaching,” Church said. “I’ve also had really motivating peers, who are out there doing great things, which helps me push myself further.”
Congratulations to Lynch Family Legacy Scholarship recipient Gabriella Church!