Program Focus and Outcomes:

PBLA has grown significantly since it was established 20 years ago - from 20 students in 1996 to
150 students in 2015. Plans are to increase the number of students admitted each year by 15 until
the goal of 225 students is reached in 2020. With expansion comes additional costs associated
with the operation of the Academy. There will continue to be no cost for the 3-week Academy to
the student or their families. Other expansion costs will include the addition of teachers and
changes to the curriculum to meet the contemporary needs of the students. The six hours of
academic content each day, which includes grade-specific leadership classes in the morning and
enrichment rotations in the afternoon, will continue. The recent addition of two STEM enrichment
rotations is an example of needed curriculum changes that also include the addition of equipment
and supplies.

Increased year round support is needed of PBLA high school students in grades 9-12 to
accommodate growth. The PBLA high school liaison currently works with 54 PBLA students at
27 different high schools. Resources will be needed to address the needs of additional high school
students, most of whom are the first in their families to attend college. Additional education
sessions will be necessary that provide guidance to students and their parents in navigating the
college application and preparation process.

The result of the year-round work with PBLA high school students speaks for itself. The class of
2015 had an average GPA of 3.1 and an average ACT score of 22. The class of 2016 currently has
an average GPA of3.2. Key indicators of the Academy's success is evidenced in the high school
graduation rate of 98.5% for the 135 PBLA alums, the 83% college attendance rate, and the 70%
college graduation rate.

Program Components:

Beginning with students who are about to enter the fourth grade, PBLA targets at-risk Denver
metro areas students with academic and leadership potential. The Academy helps them become
leaders among their peers, learn that education is the path to success, and offers the skills to
prepare them for college. The ultimate goal is to awaken students to the opportunities available,
while encouraging them to be thoughtful and engaged members of their own growth and

The first component of the program calls for the provision of a robust academic and enrichment
experience for student recruits in grades 4-12 during the three week summer Academy. Students
attend the Academy six hours per day, five days a week, for three weeks. The 2016 summer
Academy will be held June 13- July 1. The selection of the northwest Denver Regis University
campus is intention, exposing students to a real college campus and planting seeds for a future that
includes higher education. Coach Lonnie Porter and a team of Colorado educators work with
Academy youth to develop leadership, creative thinking, teamwork, and conflict resolution skills.

Increasing and/or maintaining high school graduation rates and increasing college attendance and
graduation rates for PBLA alums are the ultimate goals of PBLA. Providing year round support of
Academy high school students has proven successful in accomplishing these goals. Verification,
confirmation and tracking activities related to high school graduation and college enrollment and
graduation are performed by the PBLA liaison, a retired Denver Public School teacher. The liaison
performs activities that include updating historical information for year to year comparison and
accumulation. Additionally, both PBLA students and parents participate in educational sessions
throughout the academic year that provide important tips for navigating the college application

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Right to Left:  Lonnie Porter, Founder and Executive Director; Staci Porter-Bentley, Co-Founder and Director; Chauncey Billups, Co-Executive Director

Gala and Dinner: Saturday February 10, 2018
at The Ritz-Carlton Denver
1881 Curtis Street Denver, CO 80202

Golf Tournament: Monday July 23, 2018
at Cherry Creek Country Club
2405 S. Yosemite Street
Denver, CO 80231

For more information contact: | 303.458.4094 |

Please click here to read the PBLA Newsletter. 

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Our Annual Operating Contributors

Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc.

Morgan Stanley

KeyBank Foundation

Rose Community Foundation

Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation

Bender Foundation, Inc.

Colorado Sports Hall of Fame

The Colorado Trust Crevier Family Foundation

The Schramm Foundation

Salazar Family Foundation

Subaru of America, Inc.

Sooper Credit Union

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