- Cherry Creek School District No. 5
CCSD seniors awarded prestigious Boettcher Foundation Scholarships
Five Cherry Creek Schools seniors have been named 2023 Boettcher Scholars. They are among 50 scholars selected from 2,000 applicants based on academic achievement, service, leadership, and character. They will receive an $80,000, full-ride, four-year scholarship to a Colorado college or university, as well as institutional, merit, and/or need-based aid from their respective campuses. As a comprehensive scholarship, the Boettcher award also includes programming and support to ensure that Scholars reach their full academic and leadership potential.
“As Boettcher Scholars, these 50 dynamic thinkers and leaders have committed to attending Colorado universities where they will continue using their talents to elevate our communities right here at home,” said Katie Kramer, Boettcher Foundation president & CEO.
- Avi Grope – Cherry Creek High School – CU Boulder
- Yusuf Hanif – Grandview High School – CU Boulder
- Jaikrit Johar – Cherokee Trail High School – CU Boulder
- Noah Osuna – Overland High School – UNC
- Iris Serrano - Overland High School – CU Boulder
The CCSD Boettcher Scholars have unique interests and goals. Cherokee Trail High School senior Jaikrit Johar plans to study something STEM-related, perhaps biology or biomedical engineering, because he wants to become a doctor someday.
“My goal is to provide more accessible healthcare to individuals in disadvantaged communities,” he said. “I feel that healthcare is a fundamental liberty, and it is saddening to see so many individuals worldwide have limited access to proper healthcare. Through my education at the University of Colorado Boulder, I hope to learn more about such issues regarding healthcare and then do my best to find solutions to such problems.”
Overland High School senior Iris Serrano wants to major in strategic communication with an emphasis in advertising. During her junior and senior years at OHS, she worked on the school newspaper.
“I feel like the program helped me be a better leader and learn a thing or two about publication and design,” she said. “It also let me explore new interests which ultimately helped me choose my career. In addition, I did a Pre-Collegiate program at CU Boulder which was very helpful in the college and scholarship application process.”
All of the CCSD Boettcher Scholars were involved in co-curricular and extracurricular activities at their high schools. Cherry Creek High School senior Avi Grope found his place in the Bruin Marching Band.
“Band was my everything,” he said. “(Band director) Mr. Libby was the person who gave me all of my grit, and the people in band have become a second family to me. Having that support has allowed me to expand my interests and succeed the way I have.”
Johar found his second family in DECA and Speech and Debate.
“Participating in DECA taught me the importance of communication and leadership while providing insight into potential career paths for entrepreneurship, finance, and marketing,” he said. “On the other hand, Speech and Debate bolstered my argumentative and improvisational skills and teaching abilities, as I often found myself mentoring novice members.”
All of these outstanding young people are grateful to their families, friends, and teachers for years of love and support.
“I want to thank all the teachers and mentors I’ve had throughout all of middle school and high school,” Iris Serrano said. “They saw potential in me and helped me get out of my comfort zone. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for their support. I am forever thankful that our paths crossed.”
CTHS senior Jaikrit Johar has these words of advice for students following in his footsteps: “These four years fly by, so try to get involved and become accustomed to trying new things. These experiences only happen once, so make sure you take full advantage of it all!”
Since 1952, the Boettcher Scholarship Program has existed to keep Colorado’s most talented high school seniors in-state for their postsecondary years. Last fall, more than 2,000 Colorado students applied for the Boettcher Scholarship, the largest pool of applicants ever.