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Foster youth advocate (and almost-alum) Glenn Morey is fostering success at MSU Denver

Providing access to the American dream

By Lynne Winter ‘17

When young adults age out of the foster care system, they often find themselves faced with a distinct lack of resources to provide for their futures. The National Factsheet on the Educational Outcomes of Children in Foster Care 2018 report reveals a startling statistic – only 3-10 percent of foster care alumni attain a bachelor’s degree, compared to the national college completion rate of 32.5 percent. Despite having dreams of earning a college degree, survival takes precedence over going to school.

Metropolitan State University of Denver donor and future alum Glenn Morey (IDP, fall ’18) – together with his wife and filmmaking partner Julie – wants to see that change.

Born in Seoul, South Korea, Morey was abandoned at 2 weeks old. When he was 6 months old, a US family living in the Denver suburbs adopted him. “My origin story was a catalyst for getting involved in supporting foster kids going to college,” said Morey. “They face a lot of challenges.”

After graduating from high school, Morey attended MSU Denver (then Metro State College) from 1977-1980, majoring in mass communication and broadcasting with a minor in journalism – but did not graduate. What followed was a successful career in advertising, media, online publishing and filmmaking. “I credit MSU Denver with launching me into my career,” Morey said. “It wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”

The Moreys had been looking for a way to direct funds towards assisting foster care alumni with a dream of attending college when they heard positive feedback from a friend who founded a scholarship at MSU Denver. They made the decision to establish the Glenn and Julie Morey Annual Scholarship as a way to encourage and support individuals in the Epic Scholars Program (formerly MSU Denver Fostering Success program). The program’s objective is to create a community for students, as well as help them reach their goal of graduating and securing a job. 

“MSU Denver is ideally suited to provide for students who have aged out of the foster care system better than any other 4-year in-state college,” said Morey. “And setting up the scholarship was an easy process.”

The endeavor has also been impactful. MSU Denver biochemistry major Kelsey Cook is deeply grateful to be a scholarship recipient. “Less-than-pleasant experiences with the foster care system made me question whether good people still exist,” said Cook. “Since beginning my education at MSU Denver, I have time and time again become acquainted with good people like the Moreys.”

“This scholarship allows me to fulfill my obligations as a student, mother, classmate, young professional and a member of the community,” Cook continued. “I could say ‘thank you’ a billion times and it would never sufficiently express my gratitude.”

Morey is impressed with the strong work ethic of the students who have received the scholarship. “Expenses shouldn’t stop a student like that from completing their educational goals,” he said.

Recently, Morey returned to MSU Denver to complete his own degree and will graduate in the fall – 40 years after leaving to launch his career. “I wanted to get back into the classroom and learn first-hand about today’s student experience,” he said. “It's been great and it will be an honor to receive my diploma.”

He is confident that, together, the community can make a difference for foster care students who want to earn their college degree. “It is important for like-minded donors to find a way to support these students,” Morey said. “There is so much more to be done.”

For more information about how you can make a gift to the Glenn and Julie Morey Annual Scholarship, contact Steve Galpern at sgalpern@msudenver.edu or 303-615-2043.

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Peierls Foundation has been transforming lives at MSU Denver for over 23 years

Dedicated to the mission of making higher education accessible

By Lynne Winter

Sometimes, a donor’s connection to Metropolitan State University of Denver is personal — they, or a family member, are an alum. In other situations, it becomes personal. Such is the case with The Peierls Foundation, dedicated to the MSU Denver mission of making higher education accessible since 1995.

“Growing up, my brother, Brian, and I were surrounded by highly educated multi-cultural families — we thought that represented the experience of more diverse populations than was actually the case,” says Jeff Peierls, co-founder of The Peierls Foundation, Inc. “We came to understand that, in this country, education is not equitably distributed. We want to do our part in leveling the playing field.”

“Brian and I chose to support MSU Denver because, for the cost of one student’s Ivy League tuition, we can fund 7-8 scholarships at MSU Denver,” says Peierls. “It allows the money to make a real impact.”

During the 2017–18 academic year, The Peierls Foundation focused its funds on MSU Denver’s Family Literacy Program, the Peierls Supplementary Scholarship and the Peierls Student Teacher Scholarship.

Since 1994, the Family Literacy Program has been helping to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty by building the literacy skills of whole families around Denver. From home visits with prenatal parents to community center-based classes housed in the Adams 12 and 14 School Districts, the program provides opportunities for low-income, multi-generational families with limited literacy to begin to shape an educational foundation.

“If a child does not read at their grade level by the time they reach third grade, they are four times less likely to graduate from high school than proficient readers,” says Peierls. “Reading makes a tremendous difference in the type of future a child will have — we have to get to them early.”

The Peierls Student Teacher Scholarship provides financial relief for student teachers as they make their final preparations to be teachers. As student teachers, students not only are required to pay tuition but also must continue to cover their living expenses; however, they are unable to work a full-time job due to the demands of an eight-hour workday in the classroom. Scholarships ease the burden during that time.

The Peierls Supplementary Scholarship is a general fund that meets the needs of individuals who face particularly challenging financial circumstances and might otherwise drop out. “When a student and the school have already put two or three years of effort into a degree program, it is a terrible waste to walk away,” he says. “We want to try and ensure that doesn’t happen. Graduating from college and finding a career allows students to be role models for others in their community.”

“We are deeply grateful to The Peierls Foundation for continuing to support MSU Denver students and programs in such meaningful ways,” says Allyssa Joseph, associate director of development. “Their work is tied directly to the mission of the University and has truly transformed lives.”

The Peierls Foundation supports MSU Denver students throughout their educational lifecycle — from birth through graduation — with the goal of narrowing the education gap. When students reach their dream of earning a college degree, anything is possible.

“Prioritizing education is essential to the future of our country,” says Peierls. “Our survival depends on it.”

To learn more about supporting the Peierls Foundation programs, contact Allyssa Joseph, associate director of development, at ajoseph9@msudenver.edu or 303-615-2045.

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