2019 was comprised of enriching activities, changes, and events. By far, the biggest change was the passing of one of our founders, Simon Peter O’Hanlon in February.
His indefatigable spirit and gift for teaching, coaching, and mentoring are but a few of the lasting legacies he bestowed on DAA. We’re grateful that Simon Peter’s his rich legacy will enable us to forge many pathways to meet our goals in 2020 and beyond. We’re also grateful for his wife, Cindy’s continued dedication to leading DAA into this new decade. Without her commitment, DAA would cease to exist.
The summer of 2019 was filled with many activities and celebrations! We strengthened our partnership with the Colorado Association of Black Professional Engineers (CABPES) with our students participating in their annual May gala which showcased engineering projects. Also, several DAA students sharpened their math skills by attending the awesome CABPES summer math boot camp. Generally, students who participate in the boot camp can improve in math and advance at least one grade level.
May and June saw DAA’s second class of high school students graduate and we hosted celebratory parties (BBQs) at our founders’ home. Students were thrilled to reconnect with each other, share memories about Simon Peter, and describe how DAA shaped their educational experiences. Additional DAA alumni attended reunions and also volunteered at fundraising events.
Many of the summer’s Sports-for-Life activities included with options such as bowling, basketball, racquet ball, martial arts, swimming, and kayaking . Along with community service and required study sessions, the Sports-for-Life program keeps students interested in school and connected with other students and DAA tutors.
College preparation workshops and packets provided both students and parents with packages containing essential academic information about what students need as they progress through high school and the college application process.
As fall progressed, DAA continued rebuilding, reconnecting with service providers, and recruiting new partnerships. In September, members manned a DAA booth and volunteered at the three-day Field Day Music Festival. Sharing their experiences about the positive impact that DAA has on their personal and academic lives helped make DAA’s fundraising efforts highly successful.
Students will kick off 2020 with martial arts classes at Tiger Kim’s followed by kayaking lessons in the spring. They’ll go full-circle and jump into summer with CABPES math boot camp in June.
Although 2019 had our most heartfelt loss with Simon’s Peter passing, we remain focused in 2019 on achieving the many goals that support DAA’s mission.