The Monfort Scholars program, established by the late Kenny Monfort and his wife Myra in 1999, recognizes superior scholastic ability, leadership, service to community and school and outstanding character. Monfort Scholars receive funds for tuition and fees, a room and board stipend and a book allowance for four years if they maintain academic standards. The Monfort Scholars make an invaluable contribution to CSU through the many formal and informal activities and service projects with which they are involved. The Monfort Scholars Program has also served as an inspiration for other donors and a model for new scholarship programs at CSU.
Class of 2020, Monfort Scholars
Evan graduated from Fort Collins High School in May 2016. During high school, he demonstrated leadership as Editor-in-Chief of his school newspaper, Spilled Ink. In addition to participating in a variety of service clubs, including National Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society, Key Club, Friends of Rachel, and Amnesty International, Evan served as a student board member on the United Way of Larimer County for five years. He plays piano and participated in his school band, orchestra, and choir, as well as being a two-year member of Colorado All-State Choir.
As a member of the Honors Program at CSU, Evan plans to major in Communication Studies, and looks forward to further exploring his wide-ranging academic interests. He is grateful to be a Monfort Scholar and for the opportunity to contribute to the CSU community.
Dacre graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Denver in May of 2016. For the past four years she has been involved in several activities including cross country, choir, and student council, all of which are near-and-dear to her heart. She has been president of her choir for the past two years and has been honored in Denver Citywide Choir and All State Choir. Dacre has gone on several service-oriented mission trips in the United States and in Mexico that have changed her life, and hopes to continue volunteering in the future.
At CSU, Dacre plans to pursue a degree in psychology in hopes of becoming a psychotherapist. She is extremely excited to be a Monfort Scholar and is so grateful for this opportunity.
Becca graduated from Animas High School in Durango in May 2016. Her desire to make an impact led to involvement in many community and school-based projects, including serving as a student representative on the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board, helping spearhead a free and reduced lunch program, and establishing a class that promotes positive culture and kindness at her high school. Outside of school, Becca is an outdoor enthusiast. She spends her free time hiking, biking, and camping in the mountains.
At CSU, Becca plans to dual major in Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering. She hopes to make an impact by pursuing her interest in the research and development of prosthetics. Becca is honored to accept the Monfort Scholarship as it will allow her to focus her energy toward these goals.
Class of 2019, Monfort Scholars
Alexis Elio graduated from Pomona High School in Arvada in May 2015. During high school, Alexis participated in a journalism program where she found her passion for research and writing. She feels that education regarding politics is largely avoided and is interested in exploring the field more deeply at CSU. Additionally, Alexis is co-captain of the varsity golf team, president of the National Honor Society, and a high school leader for an outdoor education program for younger students.
At CSU, Alexis plans to major in Political Science to explore her interest in government and law. After graduation, she hopes to combine her passion for politics with her impeccable writing skills. Alexis looks forward to being an active member of the Monfort Scholar community.
Sage Mijares graduated from Pagosa Springs High School in Pagosa Springs in May 2015. Growing up in a ranching community, Sage has been raising livestock for 4-H competitions and raising her own Angus cattle to be sold to the local beef market. Her passion for ranching and knowledge of the poverty rural areas face is combined with a strong background in leadership and public speaking skills. Sage was a New Mexico Beef Ambassador, working to educate a variety of audiences about the cattle industry. She also won a video competition arranged by the Cattle Growers’ Association and was president of her local 4-H club.
At CSU, Sage plans to join the College of Agricultural Sciences and major in Animal Science. She hopes to give back to rural communities by becoming a food-supply veterinarian, treating livestock and assisting hard-working food producers across Colorado. She is excited and grateful to be a Monfort Scholar.
Victoria Palmer graduated from Frontier Academy in Greeley in May 2015. Throughout her high school career, Victoria has sought opportunities to grow academically and socially. From her leadership roles on the Academic Decathlon team, the National Honor Society, and her high school’s Student Council, Victoria’s most outstanding work is in her volunteerism. She has planned and implemented a shoe drive at her school and led groups to provide care packages and homemade scarves for the homeless during the holiday season, among many other projects.
At CSU, Victoria plans to major in Mechanical Engineering, while also participating in the Honors Program. She hopes to combine her passion for education with her academic interests in engineering to prepare her for her future goal: to create playgrounds that convert kinetic energy into electrical energy that also acts as an experiential learning setting for children. Alexis is thankful for the Monfort Scholarship, which will allow her to pursue work about which she is passionate.
Class of 2018, Monfort Scholars
Jacob Moore, is a graduate from Green Mountain High School in Lakewood. Throughout his high school career, he has sought out leadership roles—from student body president and captain of the swim team, to president of his school’s DECA chapter. Beyond academics, Moore has also been a tireless volunteer who has logged hundreds of hours volunteering. For instance, he founded the Socks for the Streets Drive which supports the Denver homeless population. Moore is especially proud of his service with the Swedish Medical Center, where he volunteers in the pre-admissions clinic, at the front desk, and in the histology department. At CSU, Moore plans to major in Chemistry and History.
Theresa Papich, is a graduate from George Washington High School in Denver. As part of her involvement with the National Honor Society, she has dedicated many hours to volunteer projects within her community, including the Center for Hearing, Speech, and Language and Warren Village, a local shelter for low-income, single parent families. Beyond volunteering, Papich works as a writer for the school newspaper and is head copy editor for the school yearbook. At CSU, Papich is looking forward to exploring her career opportunities. She plans to focus her wide-ranging interests in biology, hospitality, and political science and find success with a major that will lead to an advanced degree.
Yonge Simmons, graduated ranked number one in his class from the IB program at Pueblo East High School in Pueblo. His high test scores and impressive GPA are matched with his involvement in a variety of extra-curricular activities. From his four-year participation with Knowledge Bowl—three as captain—and his time with the Speech and Debate team, to his six years volunteering at the Pueblo Cooperative Care Center, Simmons has played a galvanizing role in his school and community. At CSU, Simmons will explore his passion for mathematics and physics. In particular, he looks forward to obtaining hands-on research experience, potentially building on some of the work he has already done with 3D printing.
Class of 2017, Monfort Scholars
Sara Chaudhary-Mesdag graduated as one of the top 10 students in her class at Discovery Canyon Campus High School in Colorado Springs. She was active in the performing arts, participating in 11 theatrical productions, four choirs and earning the honor of performing with the Colorado All State Choir and Adams State Honor Choir.
Katherine Erler is a graduate of Rampart High School in Colorado Springs. During high school, she participated in National Honor Society, played tennis and regularly volunteered in her community with Key Club. Katherine trained and showed miniature horses through 4-H for eight years and used those skills as a camp counselor for five years where she taught urban youth to maintain and show miniature horses. She also volunteers regularly at the National Mill Dog Rescue.
Zachary Tucker graduated from Lyons High School in Lyons. He plays the piano, mandolin and was a percussionist in the Lyons High School marching band. His passion for music inspired him to start his own business—Red Wolf Sound—with his friend and business partner, as a freshman in high school. Since 2009, Zachary has helped produce major music festivals in Lyons and Telluride each summer. He is also an avid cycler, earning the Student Athlete Leadership Award from the National Interscholastic Cycling Association in 2012, and was a member of the State 2A Championship track team.
Class of 2016, Monfort Scholars
Nicole Aranci is a graduate of Bethune High School in Bethune. She is majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing to pursue a career in advertising. She recently accepted an internship with Hewlett-Packard as a marketing analytics intern Aranci played varsity volleyball and participated in high jump all four years of high school. She also worked with elementary students in numerous physical education classes. As a freshman, Aranci started a speech team at her high school. She has also completed two internships while in high school, one with her hometown newspaper The Burlington Record, and one with The Fine Art and Frame Company in Fort Collins.
Amanda Fairbanks is a graduate of Liberty High School in Colorado Springs. She is studying Biological Sciences with a selected field of Human Anatomy and Physiology, and a minor in French Language. She hopes to attend medical school. She is a part of the Honors program and the Presidential Leadership Program (PLP). Fairbanks enjoys studying languages and cultures stemming from a trip to Europe with People to People when she was fourteen. Fairbanks has been a member of National Honor Society, Serteen, Environmental Club, French Club and president of the French National Honor Society. She has also volunteered her time in the pediatric ward at St. Francis Medical Center, at her church, and with the American Cancer Society.
Christian Fahrenbruck is a homeschooled student from Fort Collins. He is studying Mechanical Engineering and interned at Symbios Technologies, putting his engineering skills to use on a a plasma reactor designed for water purification that, when finished, can be used to clean water cheaply in either mining operations or in poor countries Fahrenbruck has volunteered with Open Door Mission, House of Neighborly Service and Kids at Heart. He played high school basketball for the Northern Colorado Titans, and co-coached a junior high team for the program. He is also active in his church, playing drums for the youth band, and travelling on missions trips with the youth group. He was member of the Colorado Wing Civil Air Patrol, where he achieved the rank of Cadet Chief Master Sergeant.
Class of 2015, Monfort Scholars
McKenzie Kimball is a graduate of Fruita Monument High School and ranked sixth in her class. She is majoring in Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism, concentrating in Global Tourism with minors in French, Business, and International Development. She is an Admissions Ambassador at CSU and the President of Rotaract, a service club on campus. Kimball played basketball and tennis, and was on the cross country and Grand Valley Marksmen teams. In 2007, she founded and served as president of the Fruita 8/9 Invisible Children Club. During 2010 and 2011, Kimball was the editor of the Multum in Parvo Literary Magazine. Kimball has become particularly passionate about working for environmental causes and hopes to continue in this spirit of service while at CSU.
Meng Koh graduated from Skyline High School in Longmont. He is studying Electrical Engineering owing to a childhood love of tinkering with electronics and the experiences he has had since his mother was diagnosed with cancer. He is the Associate Editor for the Journal of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Excellence. He currently works as an undergraduate research assistant in Dr. Randy Bartels’ lab, which allows him to build, test, and run experiments. Koh has volunteered at the Longmont United Hospital since 2009. He plays piano and was active in cross country and soccer during high school. Koh earned the Outstanding Student award in the Longmont Optimist Club in 2010. Koh’s goal is to have a tangible impact on cancer treatment and access to medical care worldwide.
Andrew (Drew) Miller is a graduate of Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins and is studying String Bass Music Performance and Math Education. A goal of his is to continue to participate in musical ensembles, most notably the Fort Collins Symphony. He recently attended the Philadelphia International Music Festival where he was able to study with members of the Philadelphia Symphony. Miller will be attending the Marrowstone Music Festival in Washington where he will be studying with some of the most esteemed musicians from around the nation. Throughout high school he dedicated considerable time and effort to humanitarian causes, particularly to raising funds for the Holy Trinity School of Music in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake.