Area Native American Students Success
Students and Community Partners Celebrate Successful Collaboration in Southwest Colorado
On February 12, several dozen business and community members in Southwest Colorado celebrated the academic growth of Native American students at Durango, Ignacio, and Montezuma-Cortez high schools during a reception at Fort Lewis College in Durango. The American Indian Measurable Success Initiative (AIMS) hosted the event to recognize the effort put forth by members of the support network that was created in 2016 to dramatically increase college and workforce readiness and success for Native American students in Southwest Colorado.
Four students, two 2017 graduates of Ignacio High School who now attend Fort Lewis College, and two Durango High School seniors, held a panel discussion about their experience with AIMS. Each shared authentic and passionate comments about the support they have received, the importance of rigorous curriculum, and their personal visions for college and future careers.
Seventy-six Native American students are participating in Advanced Placement (AP) classes or concurrent enrollment programs this year, a 375% increase from the 16 students who enrolled in the same options two years ago in the 2015-16 school year.
“The AIMS project has had a profound impact on our systems in Durango School District 9-R,” said Superintendent Dan Snowberger. “Not only have we seen a major increase in the number of Native American students graduating and engaging in post-secondary programs, we’ve seen a shift in culture where all students see rigorous college prep programs, such as AP classes, as a place in which they can find success.”