Rico Munn, Superintendent, Aurora Public Schools, Robert McGranaghan, director of the Community-Campus Partnership at CU Anschutz, Mary Spillane, Aurora Public Schools Foundation Board Chair

The Aurora Public School Foundation hosted its annual awards gala Thursday Sept. 17, recognizing local partners and community leaders including the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, which received the “Outstanding Community Partner Award” for creating a health and science pathway for local students.

CU Anschutz was honored for its ongoing collaboration with Aurora Public Schools in the STEM sciences and creating a culture aimed at sending kids to college. CU Anschutz faculty support classrooms, schools and programs across the district by providing mentorship, internships, and hosting career fairs.

“CU Anschutz has been a strong advocate for our students,” said Mary K. Wright, Health Science Academy Student Advisor/Health Sciences Pathway Coordinator at Aurora Central High School. “Aurora LIGHTS students have had a lot of hands-on opportunities focused on postsecondary and workforce readiness at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus resulting in internships at the hospitals and schools and ongoing volunteerism in the medical community. In fact, we have a student who is now in his first year at the CU College of Nursing and will graduate in 2017 with a bachelor’s of science in nursing.”

Those living in neighborhoods surrounding the campus – particularly in ZIP codes 80011 and 80010 where ACHS is located – are largely low-income. Many have not graduated from high school. CU Anschutz and the Aurora Public School District are committed to changing that trend by engaging and exposing students to the medical community so they can see what a future in the health and sciences looks like.

Student gets hands on learning at Anschutz Medical Campus
Student gets hands on learning at Anschutz Medical Campus

“CU Anschutz Medical Campus is striving to be a good neighbor to the surrounding Aurora communities,” said Robert J. McGranaghan, director of the Community-Campus Partnership at CU Anschutz, who accepted the award on behalf of CU Anschutz Chancellor Don Elliman. “One way we are doing that is through ensuring a strong, mutually beneficial partnership with Aurora Public Schools, and in so doing, helping young people learn about, become interested in and pursue careers in the health sciences.”

McGranaghan is a faculty member at the Department of Family Medicine, CU School of Medicine and the Colorado School of Public Health. He is also on the board of directors for the Aurora Public School Foundation.

About University of Colorado Anschutz: The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus combines state-of-the-art teaching, research and clinical facilities to prepare the region’s future health care professionals and help fuel its economy. CU Anschutz is the only comprehensive academic health sciences center in the state, with schools of medicine, pharmacy, dental medicine and public health, a college of nursing and a graduate school.

About Aurora Public School Foundation (APSF):  Established in 1987, APSF is a 501(c)3 organization that facilitates collaboration between Aurora Public Schools (APS) and the community. APSF fosters innovations that enable schools to meet student needs, and secures resources to support programs that enrich student opportunity. Aurora Public Schools serves over 40,000 students in 59 schools.