Colorado Community College System Awards Inaugural Reisher Bridge Scholars Cohort

More than 250 Transfer Students to Receive Additional Financial Aid

Oct. 19, 2023 (Denver) – More than 250 community college students have qualified for the Reisher Bridge Scholars Program, a joint initiative among the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges, and The Denver Foundation that provides financial assistance to high-achieving transfer students from low-income backgrounds.

The inaugural cohort includes 261 students from 12 CCCS colleges. In addition to financial assistance, Reisher Bridge Scholars benefit from personalized academic and advising support to help them successfully complete a four-year degree.

“We are thrilled to announce our first group of Reisher Bridge Scholars,” said Joe Garcia, CCCS Chancellor and current trustee of The Denver Foundation. “These students have excelled academically and shown tremendous tenacity toward achieving their education and career goals. I want to thank The Denver Foundation and the Reisher Family for their generous investment and look forward to the partnership ahead.”

Launched this summer, the Reisher Bridge Scholarship links two signature programs—The Denver Foundation’s Reisher Scholars Program and CCCS’s Bridge to Bachelor’s Degree program—to create a seamless and structured pathway for Colorado transfer students. Upon completing an associate degree at a CCCS college, awardees will receive a $2,000 annual scholarship and be automatically admitted to one of eight state universities participating in the Reisher Scholars Program.

"After running this program for more than 20 years, The Denver Foundation and the Reisher family noticed there was a gap in support for students who had an untraditional path through higher education," said Javier Alberto Soto, president and CEO of The Denver Foundation, which runs the Reisher Scholars Program. "Community colleges greatly expand the opportunities for students to earn a degree. We are proud to support these students as they pursue this goal." 

The Denver Foundation has committed $5 million to the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges for the program over the next five years. Beyond furnishing scholarships, the funding supports two Reisher Bridge Navigators who will identify and assist scholars through the transfer process.

“Both the Reisher Program and CCCS have a shared goal—helping learners in Colorado achieve their hopes and dreams,” said Dr. Landon Mascareñaz, who chairs the Denver Foundation’s Reisher Committee and the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education that oversees CCCS. "By doubling down on the Bridge to the Bachelor Degree Program with Reisher’s already proven model, we have a breakthrough opportunity to accelerate real progress for students in our state.”

CCCS students do not need to apply for the Reisher Bridge Scholarship; instead, the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges awards qualifying students enrolled full-time through the Bridge to Bachelor’s Degree program. Scholars must demonstrate financial need and have 30 credits or fewer remaining in their associate degree pathway.

CCCS has awarded the following number of Reisher Bridge Scholarships at each college. 

  • Arapahoe Community College – 34
  • Community College of Aurora – 28
  • Community College of Denver – 38
  • Front Range Community College – 61
  • Lamar Community College – 3
  • Morgan Community College – 6
  • Northeastern Junior College – 8
  • Otero College – 5
  • Pikes Peak State College – 47
  • Pueblo Community College – 9
  • Red Rocks Community College – 17
  • Trinidad State College – 5

For more information on the Bridge to Bachelor’s Degree Program and Reisher Scholars Program, please visit the CCCS and The Denver Foundation websites. 


About CCCS
The Colorado Community College System (CCCS) is the state’s largest system of higher education, delivering more than 1,000 programs to over 115,000 students annually through 13 colleges and 35 locations across Colorado. Our open access mission ensures all Coloradans who aspire to enrich their lives have access to quality higher education opportunities. The System Office provides leadership, advocacy, and support to the colleges under the direction of the State Board for Community Colleges and Occupational Education (SBCCOE). Join us in changing the way Colorado goes to college. Learn more at

About The Denver Foundation 
For nearly 100 years, people in Metro Denver and across Colorado have trusted The Denver Foundation to steward charitable funds to meet today’s needs and tomorrow’s opportunities. In partnership with generous donors and community partners, we lead a community-wide effort to build a better future for everyone. Visit to learn more.

About the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges
Founded in 1987, the Foundation for Colorado Community Colleges advances the mission, vision, goals, and objectives of the Colorado Community College System. Specifically, the Foundation actively seeks contributions from public and private sources to make scholarships available statewide, advance key programmatic initiatives, provide training and support for CCCS college foundations, and develop partnerships to implement state of the art programs that meet the workforce needs of the 21st century. Learn more at


CCCS Communications
 Jess Harvat, Communications Director
The Denver Foundation