Editor’s note” This article was written by Vivian Mensah. Vivian is the cofounder of Diversifying Our Communities (DOC), a nonprofit organization that provides personalized educational services, life skills training, and empowerment coaching to individuals and families. She also serves on the Parent Engagement Committee for African Leadership Group. She is active in civic affairs in the Denver-metro region and an advocate for improving educational conditions for all students.
Have you ever witnessed a dream become a reality? Better yet, have you ever helped a person overcome major obstacles to pursue a life-changing opportunity?
This is the kind of empowerment that happens through a nonprofit organization run by my husband Evans and me, with a mission to help people reach their greatest potential through life skills training and personalized coaching.
Diversifying Our Communities (DOC) works hand in hand with African Leadership Group (ALG) to support individuals and families in the community.
One of the generous funders that makes our programming possible is Denver-based Daniels Fund, which makes this success story even more interesting. I’ll tell you why.
During the 2022-2023 school year, DOC served over 55 individuals, but one case stands out as a vivid example of what happens when service organizations, philanthropic organizations, and opportunity seekers are in sync. When this occurs, lives are changed, and communities are improved.
We worked with a family of African immigrants struggling to navigate the college and scholarship application process. This family was very proud of their high school senior, who aspired to continue his education by going to college. His name is Isaac. But, paying for college would be a challenge, so earning scholarship assistance was critical.
We advised Isaac about the Daniels Fund Scholarship Program, and provided support and lots of encouragement as he went through the process of applying, then preparing for interviews, and—to our great joy—he was ultimately awarded a scholarship.
The DOC team took this young man and the family under its wings and helped turn an intimidating process into an exciting journey. But it was Isaac’s hard work and perseverance that earned this honor. We later learned that this was the most competitive year in the history of the scholarship, with a record number of applicants. That made the joy of triumph even more special.
Isaac is now on his way to University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) to pursue a degree in physical therapy, which will change the trajectory of his life in a positive and powerful way. He has a passion for the sport of football and aims to master the art and science of physical wellness and recovery to help athletes stay strong and healthy.
In a thank you note to DOC, he wrote:
“…Just wanted to let you know that I got the scholarship! Super grateful for the advice and tips that you gave me leading up to the interview, it definitely helped me and I’m sure affected the outcome of the overall decision.”
DOC is incredibly proud of this success story and looks forward to being a part of many more. It’s such a beautiful thing when the resources and generosity of philanthropists, the supportive services of nonprofits, and the sheer will and determination of individuals combine to make winners of all involved.