COSLI October Newsletter
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COSLI September Newsletter

The COSLI newsletter is written and edited by students on the COSLI Student Advisory Board and is released on the first Monday of each month. 

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

Dear Friends of COSLI, 

At their last meeting on September 21, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) again raised the Federal Funds Rate by 75 basis points in an attempt to curb inflation. Reaction to the Federal Reserve’s continued rate-raising strategy is mixed: some think it is important to correct mistakes in monetary policy made in the past several years, and the Federal Reserve is doing a good job of that; others think that the interest rate projections for 2023 are 50 or 100 basis points too low to properly address inflation; others think that the time for high interest rates is past, and raising interest rates now will just worsen the coming recession, but … it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture in all this jargon. 

In light of the current economic situation and the news in general, I often find myself getting absorbed in a maze of statistics, projections, analyst opinions, and public reaction gauges. There are multiple reasons I do this, but part of it is that it is easier for me to look at the numbers than it is to look at the tragic reality of the situation. Whether it’s climate change, COVID-19, the war in Ukraine, the FOMC’s last meeting, or another current event, it’s more comfortable for me to take refuge from the realities — species going extinct, millions dying of disease, cities being bombed in an unprovoked invasion, or millions losing homes and retirement funds — by looking at the numbers and how we got to where we are. Of course, quantitative analysis and details are key to finding a way forward, but if we rely on them alone to construct our solutions, we lose sight of the human impact of the problem. We lose sight of what we are trying to solve. Policy makers, leaders, and everyday citizens cannot insulate themselves from human suffering with analysis. Remember those who lose everything to the problems we are faced with. And hold them in mind and in heart as we make solutions. 

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

The 2023 application is open!

We are thrilled that the application for 2023 is now open and we are ready to begin to meet next summer's class.  COSLI, our state's governor's school, is very dear to my heart.  As founding Executive Director, I know all too well the blood (yes), sweat (yes), and tears (oh, yes) that went into making this program happen.  And every. single. summer. has given us immediate proof of how lifechanging it is for Colorado teens.
Seeing kids become competitively excited about entrepreneurship is exhilarating (OUR Shark Tank is better!).  Hearing possible solutions to problems that plague legislators makes me wonder every year why more aren't listening to the mouths of babes.  Exploring projects about our state's history, the most nuanced parts of it, creates an even larger pride in our home.  And each year's book club is more insightful than the last.  
The day's presentations, the lab in InWorks, the maker's workshop, the exposure to Jake Jabs and the Jake Jabs Center for Entrepreneurship, the world religions day, the Buena Vista outdoor ed weekend - everything - is one day of relevant and engaging learning after another.  Last night I was enjoying a Zoom with one of our alumni - she's eager to apply for the CU Denver BA/BS to MD program, also something the students hear about each summer.  And, of course, we can't not talk about the annual kickball tournament!  Now an iconic and key tradition.
If you are a current 9th, 10th or 11th grader - or know someone - who likes to work and think outside the box, while wanting to be part of our state's decisions in science, art, politics, energy, policy matters, education and everything else that matters, we hope you'll apply.  Each year we look for the top 100 who will make future Colorado even better.  So far so good.  
Here's the link to the application:

Happy October!


Lessons Learned

By Joe MacDougall

In a previous Lessons Learned article in the July COSLI Newsletter, we delved into the importance of media literacy. The student leaders of COSLI met with Dana Coffield and Skip Thurman to discuss this topic and were encouraged to gain further insight. Recently, Mr. Thurman shared a report by the Media Insight Project, entitled “Fatigue, Traditionalism, and Engagement: The News Habits and Attitudes of the Gen Z and Millennial Generations.” The report outlines the recent study by the Media Insight Project, a collaboration of the American Press Institute and AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs. The study includes almost 6,000 respondents in the Gen Z and Millennial demographic (ages 16-40), building upon a study in 2015 of only Millennials. With the vast amount of data that the studies present, insight can be gained into the trends of media consumption, media fatigue, trust, and expectations of the media. 

When comparing the 2015 and 2022 report, there is a clear decrease in the amount of people finding enjoyment in the news. There is also a drop in the number of respondents wanting to share news with either friends or family, from 53% to 37%. The number of respondents stating that news keeps them informed halved in the same time period.  

Although Millennials and especially Gen Z’ers receive the majority of their news from social platforms, they continue to seek news from traditional sources. While 91% of the Gen Z and Millennials receive their news from social media on a weekly basis, 74% receive their news on a weekly basis from traditional sources. This certainly dispels the myth that this demographic does not care for the more traditional sources of news. In addition, the types of social media where the news is being sourced has changed since 2015. For example, Facebook has dropped from 57% to 40% usage, while other platforms (like Twitter) have increased significantly. This speaks to the type of platform that is popular, and in comparing these two platforms, Twitter lends itself to shorter bits of information, while Facebook tends to be more in depth. We can see by looking at the more popular social media platforms that the attention spans necessary to consume news of some kind is decreasing. 

With the shift in media platforms and relative amount of attention necessary to interact with the media, we also see an increased amount of digital fatigue. Nine out of ten people surveyed spend more than two hours online per day. Three out of ten respondents stated that they felt worse the longer that they were online. Fortunately, 79% of respondents stated that they do something to combat fatigue, including setting time limits and using an app to track usage. Media fatigue has also led to decreasing trust in the media, both at the level of the journalists and the managing companies, with the latter having a higher level of public distrust. This has increased significantly since 2015. After all, the widespread popularization of the phrase “fake news” came after 2015, and there have been increasing amounts of reports of foreign governments using social media to spread misinformation. 91% of respondents reported that misinformation was either a minor or major problem. The blame for this misinformation is spread equally among the media, social media companies, the government, and social media users. 

The trends that can be seen outlined in this report point to the broader problem of distrust and misinformation with media sources today. Advancements in AI have led to improvement in deep fakes and deception; however, these same advancements are also adding in the identification and removal of this harmful content. As the pendulum continues to swing in the ever changing world of media, the public needs to continue to be vigilant. Media literacy will continue to be important for the Gen Z and Millennial generations and for generations to come.

Student Accomplishments
By Alyson Font

Hagan Archer (2018): Hagan was sworn in as Sophomore Senator for South Dakota school of Mines and Technology; which is known for being a top engineering university. 

Riley Cooper (2020): Riley made it to the final round of beatboxing auditions for the Sirens of Swank, the main acapella group at Whitman College! The Sirens is an all-woman cappella group, and they sing a variety of music, from hip-rap to country. 
Emma Davis (2019): Emma moved to Durham University in England. Durham University is a top UK university. 
Myria Garcia (2018): Myria is heading to Copenhagen, Denmark to study abroad. She is excited to be visiting and studying The Hague, the seat of the government of the Netherlands and host to the International Count of Justice and the International Criminal Court. 

Emree Lamb (2022): Emree, a junior at Cheyenne Mountain High School, plays the cello and received the honor to play at Carnegie Hall. Carnegie Hall is one of the most prestigious venues in the world for music, and being able to perform is a huge accomplishment!
Joe MacDougal (2021): Joe has been involved in two internships! One was a research position at the NEMOS Lab at the Colorado School of Mines. Joe is currently studying android app development, machine learning, and biometrics. He is head software engineer of PhoneGuard, which is a fraud detection application. His second internship was at We Don’t Waste (WDW), which works to reduce food hunger and waste in Denver. Joe regularly attends Mobile Food Markets to serve as a Spanish interpreter. Click these links to find more information on both programs: NEMOS and We Don't Waste
Opportunities & Events October 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! Boettcher Scholarships are awarded to the dynamic thinkers and leaders who will propel Colorado forward. Their merit-based, competitive application process recognizes outstanding students who are academically talented and also committed to using their talents to support their communities. All Colorado high school seniors planning on attending college in Colorado and whom meet eligibility requirements, regardless of gender, creed, ethnic origin, race, or sexual orientation, are encouraged to apply! The deadline is on November 1, 2022 at 5:00 PM MST. More information on the scholarship program here, and apply here!  

The U.S. Department of State’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) is part of a U.S. government initiative to foster international cooperation by ensuring that Americans have the linguistic skills and cultural knowledge necessary to effectively communicate. NSLI-Y provides overseas critical language study opportunities to American youth through merit-based scholarships to spark a lifetime interest in critical foreign languages and cultures. Applications for the Summer and academic year can be found here. The application deadline for the 2023-2024 programs is November 3, 2022. 

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

Great Education Colorado is putting together a Youth Storytelling Campaign to advocate for increased funding in Colorado’s schools. Youth can submit essays, art, or video interviews/testimonials about the importance of funding for students, and each participant will be paid $100 for their submission. The deadline for submissions is October 31st. Learn more 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

Girl Security works with girls, women, and gender minorities 14 – 26 from all around the United States and its territories. They employ a phased mentorship model, connecting girls with a student or a professional one-step ahead of them in their advancement into national security. Girl Security Mentoring Network offers two options for mentoring: a six month match with 6 – 10 hours of e-communication or a three month match with 3 – 6 hours of e-communication. Find more info here and apply here to be matched with a mentor! 

The Elks National Foundation Most Valuable Student scholarship application is now open to all high school seniors and closes on November 14, 2022. Ranging from $1,000 per year to $12,500 per year, Most Valuable Student scholarships are for students pursuing a four-year degree full-time in a U.S. college or university. More information here and application here.  

Understanding Assessments Tool for Families is a resource to support families in navigating the various assessments their students may engage in throughout a school year and how feedback from each can be used. As individual students and the state overall move toward learning recovery, families need to understand the different kinds of data they will be provided with to understand their student’s progress. While large-scale assessments such as CMAS and PSAT/SAT receive the lion’s share of attention when it comes to assessment in Colorado schools, it is useful for families to have a more comprehensive sense of the system of assessments students engage in, as well as the story they tell for students and schools. Available in English and Spanish, the current version of this tool offers insight into the most common types of assessments used. Learn more here

The 350 Youth Action Committee will be hosting a Youth Climate Change Conference this month on Saturday, October 22nd from 11am- 3:30pm at Washington Street Community Center. They are hoping to have a productive conversation about climate change and climate anxiety, provide resources, and answer questions from students. Most importantly, they are hoping to highlight how youth can get involved and become climate activists. You can register here

COSLI Alumni Feature: Izzy McCarty 

By Knox Leonard

Izzy McCarty, a proud alumni of the COSLI class of 2018, is an honors student at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. There, she is double majoring in political science and criminal justice on the pre-law track and takes night classes to become a licensed paralegal. Coming from a very rural area that was rather homogeneous, McCarty was attracted to COSLI because of its diversity of thought and background, both in students and speakers. It was quite refreshing for her to hear and see differing opinions and viewpoints as she learned about concepts that changed the whole trajectory of her high school career, and introduced her to so many people who lived vastly different lives than her.

McCarty’s fondest COSLI memory was when Cayni Jama spent an entire evening drawing beautiful henna designs on her COSLI classmates. Thrilled to share her culture and craft with intrigued peers, the evening with Jama exemplified everything COSLI is: a welcoming place to share who we are and where we come from. McCarty’s advice to future students is to seize every opportunity the program presents, citing her own resume and academic experience, much of which originated from COSLI connections. For example, when McCarty was nominated to run for student advisory board, she accepted, though doubtful of her chances as she was one of the youngest in the class. However, this impulsive decision quickly became one of the most defining moments in her high school career as she served two out of three years as COSLI’s Student Vice President and was appointed as Secretary to the National History Day Board.  

McCarty hopes to go to law school and become an attorney to work as a prosecutor or in public interest law — helping low-income folks navigate the legal system. In addition to her involvement within her sorority, she is a campus ambassador, a staff writer on the student newspaper (The Sentinel), and the secretary of the pre-law fraternity on campus, Phi Alpha Delta. This past semester, she was able to shadow a federal judge through one of her criminal justice classes and landed a job at the non-profit Legal Aid of Western Missouri. As an intake specialist, she helps low-income people with civil proceedings, including landlord-tenant disputes, guardianship proceedings, and other issues. She really enjoys being in close contact with those in need in her community, and she looks forward to further exploring how the legal profession is one of advocacy and understanding. She has also started a large research project, exploring how the frequency and nature of individuals' interactions with law enforcement impact their attitudes about policing and the criminal justice system in general. For her, this is another step toward understanding her community more completely. 

McCarty reminds COSLI alumni about to head off to college that it is more than okay for your identity as a leader to change as you move into this next stage of your life. She spent her entire high school career as a vocal and enthusiastic leader, believing that it was her duty to talk the loudest in order to inspire change and make people listen. In contrast, the college environment fosters people who listen intently and understand the needs of others. By changing her focus, McCarty was able to persist in her desire and calling for leadership, adjust to the demands of her community, and become a more well-rounded individual. She emphasizes that this change did not make her less of a leader, and any change you make in the next coming years will not erase your identity either. Go forth and lead, no matter what that leadership looks like. 

Things to Know

By JP Kerrane

Hello! It’s JP, and I’m back for the second “Things to Know” column, dedicated to current events, technology, interesting tidbits, and other cool things I find each month! 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, we’re heading toward statewide election day on Tuesday, November 8. We’ve just received our Colorado Blue Book in the mail (the booklet sent out to Colorado voters providing information on statewide ballot measures and judges), and I am currently being inundated by the nonstop YouTube and TV ads telling me to vote yes on this proposition or to vote no on this amendment. Even though I can’t vote in this election (I’ll be able to vote next Election Day!), many of us are eligible to vote or are surrounded by family or friends who are eligible. Have a conversation with those around you about what’s on the ballot and get informed!

Before I get to the tips, please don’t rely on this research! I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible here, but double check this information with your local county clerk and recorder, your state ballot informational booklet, and other trusted sources of information. 

If you’re voting for the first time this election day, here’s what you need to know: 

  1. At, you can register to vote, check your mail ballot status (before it’s mailed to you and after it’s sent off!), check your registration, change your party affiliation, and more! 

  1. You’re eligible to register to vote if you are a United States citizen, are 16 years old or older (although you need to be at least 18 to vote in an election), and have been a Colorado resident for at least 22 days immediately before the election you intend to vote in. 


  1. Registering to vote: 

  1. Register to vote online by Monday, October 31, 2022. 

  1. Register to vote by mail postmarked by Monday, October 31, 2022. (You can register this way if you don’t have a valid Social Security Number (SSN), Colorado Driver’s License, or Colorado ID card.) 

  1. Voting: 

  1. Drop off your ballot in-person or at a drop-box/drop-off location, or mail it to be in the hands of the county clerk no later than 7:00 PM on Tuesday, November 8. (If you can’t find a drop box, contact your county clerk and recorder.) 

If you’re out of state for college, you can vote in Colorado or (after checking that you are eligible to vote in the state you are going to college in) vote in your college’s state. Check out more information about that here

Pro tips: 

  1. Sign up for TXT2Cure! If your mail ballot is rejected due to a missing/discrepant signature or a bad ID, you may be able to use a service called TXT2Cure to resolve your issues over text! Get more information here

  1. Not sure where your ballot is, or want to make sure that it is counted? Sign up for BallotTrax, which tracks the status of your mail ballot and sends a series of alerts notifying you where your ballot is in the election process. Get started here

  1. Vote in Honor of a Veteran! Colorado has a program to provide voters with a personalized button to display your appreciation for the contributions of a U.S. Service Member or Veteran while you are voting. Fill out this form, and you will get a button mailed to you before the election, so you can cast your ballot in honor of your selected Service member or Veteran. 

  1. High schoolers looking for an opportunity to be recognized for promoting voter registration at your high school: start a voter registration drive at your school in Colorado’s High School Voter Registration Challenge! Your school will earn the Eliza Pickrell Routt Award for having more than 85% of seniors registered to vote. 

Hopefully you found these tips helpful, and take care! 

Colorado History

What else happened in October?

by Sandra Brock and Izzy Garwood

October 28, 1887: The Denver and Rio Grande Railroad reaches Aspen. 

October 4, 1982: The 16th Street Mall in Denver opens. 

October 17, 2017: Eleven year old Gitanjali Rao of Lone Tree wins the Discovery of Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge. Her invention helps detach lead in water faster than other inventions.

COSLI Birthdays!

by Sandra Brock and Izzy Garwood

Happy Birthday to our COSLI alumni! We hope you treat everyday like a special occasion, and we hope this one is even more special! 

10/03 - Nina Hufman 

10/07 - Yosira Xinol 

10/08 - Amrita Saini 

10/09 - Sydney Pruitt 

10/09 - Yael Sanchez-Vargas 

10/10 - Bryan Rivera-Ibarra 

10/11 - Sahra Bisetegne 

10/12 - Sophia Truex 

10/12 - James Vongphasouk 

10/20 - Rebekah Jensen 

10/21 - Madison Jett 

10/21 - Brittany O’Donnell 

10/23 - Emma Law 

10/23 - Linh Tran 

10/24 - Joey Otteman 

10/25 - Leticia Madrigal 

10/27 - Drew Smith 

10/29 - Yubia Delgado 

10/30 - Oliver Schmeckpepper 

10/30 - Meron Worku 


by Deajane Jackson Morgan

See what your COSLI students and alumni have been reading! 

The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden 
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Thinking In Pictures by Temple Grandin  
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han 
56 Days by Catherine Ryan Howard 
The Stand by Stephen King 
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata  
Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reary   
Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan 
The Bhagavad-Gita, Hindu scripture 
Race in International Relations by Srdjan Vucetic and Randolph Persuad, textbook  

COSLI Listens

by Deajane Jackson Morgan

See what your COSLI students and alumni have been listening to! 

Deajane Morgan 
“Que Sera Sera” by Billianne 
“Age of Worry” by Madison Cunningham  
“Needy Bees” by Nick Hakim  
“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Ms. Lauryn Hill 
“Blue” by Sarah Isen  
“Nobody Likes a Secret” by Lizzy McAlpine  
“When the World Stopped Moving” by Lizzy McAlpine 
“Gold Rush” by Taylor Swift  
Cleopatra by The Lumineers, album  
III by The Lumineers, album 
Tough Drafts, podcast 

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 Morgan (Aurora, CO) 

Aisha O’Neil (Durango, CO) 

Anjana Radha (Erie, CO) 

Skyla Rogers (Westminster, CO) 

Nathan Yang (Greenwood Village, CO) 

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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