LCHS’s Damian Medina set to attend Dartmouth College
“The first few days I kept waiting to wake up from a dream,” he said.
Medina’s journey to acceptance to one of the top-flight colleges in the country was not an easy road. But support from the federally funded Upward Bound program, administered locally by Colorado Mountain College (CMC), and advanced math classes at CMC in Leadville offered through the concurrent enrollment program, helped him to reach his dream.
“He has overcome some really huge obstacles to get there,” said Heather O’Malley, CMC’s Upward Bound director for Lake and Eagle counties. “He is one of the most brilliant people I have ever known.”
Medina qualified for Upward Bound as a first-generation student – the first in his family to go to college. Because of his academic achievements, he was chosen as a QuestBridge scholar. QuestBridge is a nonprofit foundation that helps low-income students gain admission to the most selective colleges and universities on scholarships that meet their full need. To meet admission standards for Dartmouth, he had to really stand out. And he did – with a 4.3 GPA, an associate degree he’ll have in hand before he graduates from high school this May, and student leadership including being president of the student senate and two-year captain of the basketball team.
His scholarship to Dartmouth, worth over $70,000 per year, will cover everything from tuition and books to room and board.
“Damian’s greatest strengths are his desire to share his knowledge and his compassion for others,” wrote his high school math and engineering teacher, and mentor, Karl Remsen, in his recommendation letter for Medina’s college application.
“My father, stepmom and siblings have been my No. 1 supporters, and I could not have accomplished this without them,” Medina said. In addition to thanking his family and mentor Remsen, he’s grateful to Cody Jump (student senate advisor), Kelly Hofer (pre-collegiate coordinator), Mathew Dussault (English teacher), Ben Cairns (principal), Pat Cade (calculus teacher), and Colin McFee and Maura Cremin (CREW teachers).
Now Medina’s dream is a reality, thanks to his sharp mind, his strength of will and the support and encouragement from CMC, Upward Bound and his high school teachers and staff.
Colorado Cup Races Roll into Leadville Jan. 26
The Colorado Mountain College running club will host this year’s Colorado Cup races, which include snowshoe, fat bike and cross-country ski events, at CMC Leadville on Jan. 26. The Colorado Cup will feature a 6.4K skate ski race, an 8K fat bike race and 5K/10K/sprint/medley snowshoe races at the Leadville campus. Beginners to experts are welcome to compete in one or all three of these thrilling races.
The 5K snowshoe race will determine the Colorado High School Snowshoe State Championship. Racers will compete on the trail system surrounding the campus. The Colorado Cup has taken place since 2009, under various names and in different locations, and has been the state high school snowshoe championship since 2010.
The races will start at 8 a.m. and will continue until noon. Fees range from $20 to $40 and participants can register online. All proceeds benefit the Colorado Mountain College Competition Club, which supports the running club.
After two years of tough competition, the CMC running club will join the National Junior College Athletic Association next year. By joining the NJCAA, the CMC club earns the designation of a team and will compete against two-year colleges in the Wyoming, Colorado and western Nebraska region.
Starting next fall the Leadville campus will host races and travel to other colleges. It will be possible for students to run with CMC for two years, then transfer to a larger program. It will also be possible for athletes to compete on the team from any of CMC’s campuses. A runner attending another CMC campus can follow the workout schedule online, attend meetings virtually and travel for meets. Members must attend school full-time (12 credits) and not have any previous college degrees.
For more information about the race, the club or the team, contact Darren Brungardt, coach of the college’s running club, at 719-486-4296 or email@example.com.