COSLI September Newsletter
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COSLI September Newsletter

The COSLI newsletter is written and edited by students on the COSLI Student Advisory Board.

Enjoy student updates, perspectives, events, and opportunities.
Letter from the Executive Editor

Dear Friends of COSLI, 
I have worked on the newsletter team as co-editor and editor for nearly two years now, but this is the first time I have written a column. Our Student Advisory Board President and previous writer of this letter, Mohamed Ibrahim, graduated in May and is now attending Yale. His columns were always timely and well-written, and I looked forward to reading them and making what few minor alterations were apt. Thank you to Mohamed Ibrahim for his work on the newsletter and in COSLI in general. He is missed. 
However, people move on, and others must try to fill their roles. Ibrahim’s successor will not necessarily be me; a new Student Advisory Board President will be elected in a few months and will step into Ibrahim’s shoes. They are big shoes to fill, as he did all that was needed from him and far beyond. It can be intimidating to try to fill that role, to put yourself forward and say, “I think I can do what he did.” Feelings of nervousness and inadequacy creep in. But it’s essential that we, the younger generation who will be stepping up to fill the roles of those who must move on, have faith that we can meet our predecessor’s standards and do even better. Whether we are stepping up for a student organization, for an activist group, in the workplace, in government, or anywhere else in life, we need to remember that we can do everything we need or want to do. We will rise to the occasion. We have the power to transform and revolutionize if we just act on it. 
Thank you all, 
Tobin Wheeler 
COSLI Class of 2020 
Olympia High School Class of 2023

Letter from the Founding Executive Director

Friends of COSLI is proud to be a Project of the Rose Community Foundation

September is a favorite month of mine - it is the beginning of the school year, it is the beginning of fall, it is the official beginning of sports seasons--so many beginnings.  It also happens to be my birthday month. But, today, as I write this letter, it becomes a month that holds another historic sadness. We are witnessing on television the reaction to the death of Queen Elizabeth II.  

What a world leader she was. She reigned 70 years--she lived through 14 presidents and 15 prime ministers. She led through multiple wars and untold tragedies, while celebrating so many global triumphs. Her example of leadership is impossible to match. Some love the royals, some do not; but there is a general respect, and her own popularity is at an all-time high. Her stabilizing presence was something that I'm not sure we know how much we depended upon. If COSLI is able to infuse even a pin prick of the amount of dignity and leadership qualities she embodies into even one student, we have done amazing work. What a time in history to witness.

At the same time, for our country, it is a remembrance of another most difficult day. September 11 brought us into a new era, robbed of innocence and keenly aware of those around the world who see the U.S. as an enemy, a shock to the free world from which I suspect we will never recover. On September 12th, Queen Elizabeth requested that the Star-Spangled Banner be played at the Changing of the Guard. Following that, there was a memorial service for those who died on 9/11 at St. Paul's Cathedral in London. She was a friend to the world, an example for all who live.

It is hard to think about little else, as the queen's death forces us to remember whatever years in her long life we have been alive--the changes she withstood and those that we have seen. Tobin speaks of a small change, in comparison to this very big global one, but September is rife or blossoming with change, however you see it. I hope that you will approach this new time thinking about the promise of good works, rather than worried about the possibilities for the opposite.

Happy fall!

Lessons Learned

By Skyla Rogers

Caps, gowns…it’s senior year! It’s that time of year when college applications are opening up for the graduating Class of 2023. Though applying to colleges is an exciting process, it can be daunting and scary for a lot of seniors. Being prepared can be one of the most important advantages for being successful during the college application process. Preparation and the correct education can improve your chances of standing out strong among other applicants and getting accepted into college. COSLI strives for students to be ready for college and the outside world by providing an excellent rigorous program preparing students to be active and educated in society. 
Tobin Wheeler, a senior, is applying to some of the toughest yet best-known prestigious colleges throughout the country. These include but are not limited to: Stanford, Yale, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Washington, and Colorado Boulder to name a few. Tobin expresses that he was very grateful for the experience COSLI gave him, saying, “COSLI has given me preparation for the college experience, and skills that will help me succeed in college and the workplace. I think the best advice I’ve been given is that you should be excited about every place you’re applying to.” Despite these positives, he makes sure to add, “Don’t get too set on one school. I think the hardest part about applying for college is having to wait several months between application and acceptance. While obviously not difficult, it’s psychologically tough.” For Wheeler, COSLI has shown him the value and power of voicing your opinions, leading him to guide his community towards a better future. 

Similar to Mr. Wheeler, Amiah Hansen is applying to thirteen total colleges. She stated, “My top three colleges idealistically are Brown, Washington University in St. Louis, and Stanford.” COSLI has supported Hansen throughout the whole process too. “COSLI has prepared me for the college application process in a variety of ways. First off, the resume workshop has been valuable in designing and figuring out what to include on my resume. COSLI also simulated a college environment and so comparing the different aspects of the college campus gave me a better understanding of what I should consider when applying,” she said. A common saying in Ms. Hansen’s household is “free to fail.” She explains that society holds top-tier colleges as the gold standard, and it is hard to enjoy applying and the college experience altogether with that pressure. She makes sure to add that despite these standards, her family made it very clear that not getting into a top-tier school doesn't mean she is any less of a person. “There are many voices around us that only highlight the ‘best of the best’ when it comes to colleges, but in reality, the best of the best is what you make of it — wherever you go to college, or even if you don’t. For Hansen, COSLI hasn’t just accelerated her learning about the college process, but reminded her to enjoy and immerse herself in the college process regardless of which college she chooses to go attend. 

One other senior that decided to speak out about her experience applying for college was Cayley Swaim. For her, the hardest part of applying to college is finding the motivation to apply now instead of later. For Swaim, COSLI helped her a lot by teaching her how to manage time in a responsible and successful manner. “I’ve never been in an environment with a workload like COSLI’s, so I gained the confidence that I can handle something similar in college,” she says. Even though she is currently struggling to find time to apply to colleges, she expressed that, “I know I’ll be so much better off if I get everything sooner rather than later.” 

Though COSLI works hard to prepare students for undergraduate universities and experiences, the advice and lessons don’t stop applying there. Graduate student Kayla Ahr participated as an RA during COSLI’s summer sessions and also attends CU Denver. Ms. Ahr immediately knew that CU Denver was the place for her to apply, saying, “I knew this is where I wanted from the first day I came to campus working on research for an NHD project my freshman year, and by the time I was in COSLI the summer before my senior year, I was set on my choice.” Currently, Kayla is attending graduate school and openly spoke about her experience applying for a school: “My grad school application essay began with me talking about COSLI and the story of how I discovered my passion for sociology during a lecture we had from Dr. Jennifer Reich. I never knew before that day that there was an entire discipline dedicated to the way I see the world and I haven’t stopped pursuing it since. Because COSLI taught me new world views and the introduction to academia and research science, I am where I am today and will forever credit COSLI for showing me what and where I was meant to be.” Thanks to COSLI, Ahr is now enrolled in graduate school studying sociology. No matter where you started or are at, there are always new opportunities, you just have to be open to them.

Student Accomplishments
By Alyson Font

Taliyah Claiborne (2021) was part of a pilot AP African American Studies class that was offered at only 66 schools nationwide. Here is a link to a story about this class.

Tobin Wheeler (2020) and Pallen McArdle (2022) were awarded College Board’s Rural and Small Town Recognition award. To be eligible, sophomores and juniors must maintain at least a 3.5 GPA, be in a recognized rural school, and test into the top 10% of the PSAT 10 and/or several other tests. Congrats you two! 

Lidya Tewolde (2021) completed Leadership Enterprise of a Diverse America (LEDA), a competitive five-week program that selects 100 students nationwide to live and study at Princeton during the summer.  

Joe MacDougall (2021) worked at two internships this past summer, in a research position for the NEMOS Lab at the Colorado School of Mines, working on app development, machine learning and biometrics. He also interned at We Don't Waste, a local nonprofit in Denver that working on food insecurity issues. 

Hailey Dennis Perrego (2016) married Zach Perrego on 9/3. Hailey is serving as office administrator and graduate intern for NHDC and COSLI for the 2022-2023 school year, after she returns from her European honeymoon.  

First Day of School Photos
Mohamed Ibrahim (Yale) 

Hagan Archer (South Dakota School of Mines) 

Kaya Crawford (George Washington University) 

MacKenzie Woodhead (University of Arizona) 

Grace Schulte (Brigham Young University) 

Moriah Dominguez (Colorado State University)

COSLI Birthdays!

by Sandra Brock and Izzy Garwood

Happy Birthday to our COSLI Alumni! May your day be full of smiles!
Love, your COSLI Family. 

Huizar, Edith - 9/02,  
Tesfa, Bemne - 9/02 
Amankwaah, Emmanuella - 9/03 
Shajikumor, Dhruv - 9/03 
Smith, Ella - 9/04 
Calderon, Isaiah - 9/07 
Loya-Cobos, Esau - 9/08 
Cordova, Annalysa - 9/10 
Grays, Kyia - 9/12 
Yang, Alexander - 9/12 
Carlos, Isaac - 9/13 
Brown-Wolf, Tye - 9/14 
Pausback, Sam - 9/14 
Kern, Jessica - 9/15 
Morales, Nathalie - 9/16 
Chavez, Natalie - 9/17 
Ortega, Marina - 9/17 
Kola-Abiola, Timi - 9/18  
Hensen-Guzman, Kenia - 9/19 
Vo, Christy - 9/19 
Ngo, Timmy - 9/20 
Vasquez-Ramirez, Jessica - 9/20 
Dam, Jessica - 9/24 
Smith, Elora - 9/24 
Garcia, Lillibeth - 9/25 
Morgan, Ashley - 9/25 
Ross, Aylssa - 9/26 
Garcia, Emily - 9/27 
Garcia, Hayes - 9/27 
Lindler, Christian - 9/28 
Garwood, Isabella - 9/29

Colorado History

What else happened in September?

by Sandra Brock and Izzy Garwood

September 6, 2010: The Fourmile Canyon Fire begins west of Boulder. The wildfire destroys 169 homes. 
September 11, 2001:  The Twin Towers in New York City and The Pentagon were attacked, while a plane was purposedly crashed in Pennsylvania, by suicide bombers on board highjacked aircraft, leaving over 3000 dead and marking the most deadly attack on American soil. 
September 21, 2012: US President Barack Obama issues a proclamation creating Chimney Rock National Monument on 4,726 acres. 
September 29, 1879: The Battle of Milk Creek began when U.S. Army Majormeri Thomas Thornburgh illegally advanced his cavalry onto the Ute Reservation in Northwest Colorado. 

COSLI Newsletter Contributors

Tobin Wheeler, Editor (Olympia, WA) 
Sandra Brock (Aurora, CO) 
Alyson Font (Monument, CO) 
Izzy Garwood (Westminster, CO) 
JP Kerrane (Broomfield) 
Knox Leonard (Denver, CO) 
Joe MacDougall (Golden, CO) 
Deajane Jackson Morgan (Aurora, CO) 
Aisha O’Neil (Durango, CO) 
Anjana Radha (Erie, CO) 
Skyla Rogers (Westminster, CO) 
Nathan Yang (Greenwood Village, CO)

COSLI Alumni Feature: LaMoure Philemon

By Anjana Radha and Knox Leonard

LaMoure Philmon is an alumni from the COSLI Class of 2018 who was attracted to the program by the Minds Matter Partnership. COSLI taught Philmon to look at people beyond their beliefs, to appreciate them as equal human beings, and to notice things that truly matter in the world. Having challenging conversations, meeting incredible people, and completing rigorous coursework were among the few of many things he loved about this program. 
Currently, Philmon is attending Howard University in Washington D.C. majoring in Organizational Communication and double minoring in Spanish and Business Administration. With this experience, he hopes to become a Chief People Officer to improve the company culture of American corporations. He recognizes that employees dedicate a large portion of their life to their work, and believes that it’s essential they have a desire to work. His college experience further allows him to branch out and connect with mentors, peers, and those who challenge him to grow. By obtaining an internship at Schomp Automotive, he’s gained assistance through his career and personal life.  
During his COSLI experience, Philmon lived by the words “be comfortable with being uncomfortable.” He tells future COSLI students that it’s essential to figure out one’s own identity by following the path of self-actualization. Nothing can be explored without being uncomfortable, and COSLI provides the perfect environment to push yourself as a human and push your mindset as a learner. COSLI not only provided Philmon with the opportunity to self-actualize, but further allowed him to create connections, push boundaries, and follow his passions.

Things to Know

By JP Kerrane

Hello, my name is JP Kerrane, and last summer I completed my COSLI experience in the Class of 2022! I am very excited to be writing to you to start up a new column, “Things to Know,” dedicated to current events, technology, interesting tidbits, and other cool things I find each month. As a variety column, I hope to write about a lot of interesting topics worth your time. If you have any ideas for what I should focus on next month, please feel free to email me at
This month, I want to share how COSLI students who have just graduated (and COSLI students from previous classes who still have access to their new “” emails) can access Adobe Creative Cloud products for free through the University of Colorado Denver. Adobe Creative Cloud includes popular photo editing software like Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as graphic design tools like Adobe Illustrator. Don’t worry if you can’t access your CU Denver emails anymore! At the end of the column, I’ll also share some services (i.e. Apple Music, GitHub) that allow free or discounted access if you are enrolled in high school or higher education. 
Adobe Creative Cloud: Let’s access Adobe Creative Cloud for free. On a desktop computer, go to and click “Sign in” in the top right of the website. When it asks you for an email address, use your “” address (mine is in the format You should then be redirected to the UC Denver login page. Use the password you used to login to Canvas during COSLI. Now that you are logged in, go to From here, you can access all the apps and services you have access to. You can install individual apps (like Photoshop) directly, but I recommend you download the “Creative Cloud” app to manage your downloads and keep your software updated. That should be it! 
Apple Music and Spotify: With your email address, you can also access a discounted rate for Apple Music. For full instructions, you can read Apple’s support page on the topic at, but essentially you use a school ID or a school email to verify your status with a company called UNiDAYS. Then, you can access Apple Music at a discounted rate of $5.99 a month compared to an individual plan at $9.99 a month. It also comes with a couple of months of Apple TV+ for free. If Spotify is more your cup of tea, check out the instructions at, though I haven’t tried it personally. 
GitHub Student Developer Pack: If you’re a developer or you want to start learning how to program, then the GitHub Student Developer Pack (available to current high school and college students) is for you. With it, you can get access to professional desktop IDEs, GitHub Pro, training resources, free domains, and more. To activate it, navigate to Click “Sign up for Student Developer Pack,” then “Get student benefits.” From there, either login to a GitHub account that you already have or create a new one. GitHub is a company that hosts code for developers across the world, allowing developers to collaborate on programming projects. After signing in, you will be prompted to verify that you are a student. Before I had access to a university email like “” (which automatically verifies you with a confirmation email), I was able to verify I was a high school student by uploading my high school ID and allowing GitHub staff to manually review my application. If you’re taking concurrent enrollment classes or are currently a student at university, then any school email should be able to auto-verify you as well. 
Hopefully you found these tips helpful! I hope you have a good rest of your day and take care. 
– JP

Opportunities & Events September 2022
by Knox Leonard and Aisha O’Neil 

The Daniels Scholarship Program provides the opportunity for motivated students to attend the college of their choice. Daniels Scholars will receive up to $100,000 to be applied at any two or four-year, nonprofit, accredited college or university in the United States, depending on financial need. Application period is September 15 - October 15, 2022. Find more information on how to apply and eligibility requirements here
The Boettcher Foundation Scholarship is now open for applications! All Colorado high school seniors planning on attending college in Colorado are invited to apply! The deadline is on November 1st, 2022 at 5:00 PM MST. More information on the scholarship program here, and apply here
Aim High Flight Academy: Do you want to learn to fly? As a student applicant to the Aim High Flight Academy (AHFA), the USAF will sponsor a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn to fly at a partner university. AHFA is for high school students ages 16 – 18 who meet eligibility requirements. Once selected for the AHFA, students will have an opportunity to live, dine, and learn how to fly an airplane at a partner university. The application window closes on November 1st. Find more information here
The Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange program provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students to spend an academic year attending a German school while living with a host family. The program provides a network of support through reputable international exchange organizations, field staff, trained volunteers, and carefully screened host families to ensure the safety and success of the participant’s exchange experience. The program is designed to strengthen ties between youth, improve their career skills through formal study and work experience, and expand their perspectives and awareness of each other’s culture, society, history and politics. Apply here
Meet the Middle East is dedicated to fostering relationships between the United States and the Middle East. Among its offerings are immersion trips to the Middle East, educational classes for youth to adult learners, academic presentations, and cultural offerings. Meet the Middle East also encourages business interactions, congregates authentic media and voices from the region, and strives to educate and unite diverse populations. Apply for the Youth Ambassador Program here
Robbie’s Hope Ambassadors is a nationwide group of passionate teens committed to ending the epidemic of teen suicide in our country. They aid in community-wide suicide prevention and mental health awareness. As an Ambassador, you’ll be asked to support their mission in a variety of ways: posting on your social media channels, hosting community and school information tables and events, and more. More info here, and application here
The Colorado Youth Congress works to represent young people across Colorado and their hopes for the future. Members are expected to commit two hours a week to the program and attend its three in-person retreats. You can find more information here and the application here
ENGin is an organization that connects Ukrainian youth with English speakers for one-on-one sessions, allowing students more academic and professional opportunities and the country of Ukraine a strong connection to the outside world. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old and willing to dedicate 1 hour a week to ENGin for at least 10 weeks. Learn more here, and apply here
Interns 4-Good connects high school students with virtual internships for nonprofits across the globe. Internships present a wide array of opportunities for students passionate about everything from medicine to tutoring and with various levels of commitment. Find more information here, and click here to apply. 
Denver Mayor’s Youth Council provides Denver youth the opportunity to develop leadership skills and advise the director of the Office of Children’s Affairs on issues impacting youth living in the City and County of Denver. Youth commissioners work together with adult commissioners to make recommendations on setting goals, citywide programs, developing procedures, and ensuring equal rights through legislation and action. More information here, and application here
The Colorado Young Leaders Program is a program for high school students wanting to be involved with their community. The program advisors provide the framework to help students get involved and discover their passions. CYL students want to learn more about the world around them, discover their own gifts, and make a real impact. More information here, and register here.
COSLI Reads & Listens

by Deajane Jackson Morgan
Need book recommendations? Here’s a list of what the COSLI alumni are reading — take a look, you might find one you like!
Deajane Jackson Morgan 
Sir Gaiwain and the Green Knight by Unknown Author 
The Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken 
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Caroll 
The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin 
Verity by Colleen Hoover 
56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard 
It by Stephen King 
Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller 
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven 
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah 
Radio Silence and Solitaire by Alice Oseman 
The Broken Welcome Mat by Helen Raleigh 
Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid 
Against White Feminism by Rafia Zackaria

Need podcast and music recommendations? Our COSLI alumni have lots of music and podcast recommendations that they enjoy. See what your COSLI alumni have been listening to!

“Me Porto Bonito” by Bad Bunny and Chencho Corleone 
“Love Isn’t For the Weak” by D’lourdes 
“Texas in the Spring” by D’lourdes 
“Intertwined” by Eloise 
“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” by Elton John 
“Ceilings” by Lizzy McAlpine 
“Liz” by Remi Wolf 
“Nobody but You” by Sonder and Jorja Smith 
“Bad Habit” by Steve Lacy 
More Plates, More Gates by Derek (podcast) 
God Did by DJ Khaled (album) 
Introduction to Data Science course from EDX 
Montero by Lil Nas X (album) 
Cleopatra by the Lumineers (album)

Friends of Colorado Student Leaders Institute
A Project of the Rose Community Foundation

Celeste Archer, COSLI Founding Executive Director
Kayla Gabehart, COSLI Associate Executive Director
University of Colorado Denver
Campus Box 182 | PO Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217
p: 303-315-1789

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