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Aurora Public Schools Students Named CSU Global Golden Eagle Scholars

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Aug. 13, 2021 – Four Aurora Public Schools (APS) graduates have recently been named Golden Eagle Scholars and will receive four-year scholarships to attend Colorado State University Global (CSU Global), the first 100% online, fully accredited, state university. These students were honored by APS, CSU Global, friends and family during a virtual reception on Tuesday, Aug. 17. 

The 2021 Golden Eagle Scholars, as well as their intended programs of study, are: 

  • Mariyo Hassan, Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration and Management
  • Kymani Kelly, Bachelor of Science in Business Management
  • Mia Payan, Bachelor of Science in Marketing
  • Sinthia Gutirrez, Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration and Management

These deserving students were awarded the scholarship based on academic merit, demonstration of financial need, community engagement and work experience plus a statement of goals. Each Golden Eagle Scholar will receive a minimum $7,500 annual award each year for four years, which, coupled with a generous tuition discount issued by CSU Global to all APS students, will cover costs of tuition and books as they complete their degrees.

Golden Eagle Scholar Mariyo Hassan, like many of her peers, credited APS counseling staff with encouraging her to apply for the scholarship. Hassan challenged herself academically by taking International Baccalaureate (IB) classes during her junior and senior years of high school. “The IB classes challenged me and helped me get my grades up,” said Hassan. “This scholarship means a lot to me because I don’t have to worry about finances, and sadly that’s a big part of going to college. A lot of people my age are constantly concerned with affording college. I’m lucky enough to have this scholarship to earn a bachelor’s degree for free.”

Golden Eagle Scholar Kymani Kelly explained, “Getting this scholarship is motivating me to make things better for my family.” Kelly also credited her APS counselor with encouraging her to apply for the scholarship despite Kelly being initially nervous about doing so. 

Golden Eagle Scholar Mia Payan’s late father had encouraged her to attend college, so this opportunity is especially meaningful. “[The] last thing he told me was about me going to college. I had been thinking about how I would pay for it, and my dad said I could get a scholarship. This scholarship means a lot because I have a full-ride and I now don’t have to worry about money.” 

Golden Eagle Scholar Sinthia Gutirrez explained that she previously didn’t anticipate being able to attend college, but became excited about the prospect when she learned about the Golden Eagle Scholarship. “The scholarship…is just an amazing opportunity to keep going to school, to keep motivating myself, to work hard and become someone for my little [one].”

“The Golden Eagle Scholarship allows us, together with Aurora Public Schools, to empower the next generation of leaders in our community. I am incredibly proud of these students and look forward to welcoming them to CSU Global’s online classrooms. I hope they make the most out of the experience, pursue their passions, and never stop learning,” said CSU Global President Pamela Toney, MS, MBA.

Susan Smith, MS, is a Senior Enrollment Counselor at CSU Global who has been preparing the Golden Eagle Scholars to begin classes this fall. “Working with these APS graduates brings a different meaning to my job at CSU Global. I'm able to guide traditional students through the admissions and registration process with a scholarship that will allow them to graduate with a bachelor’s degree debt-free,” said Smith. “The students who have earned this scholarship may not have been able to attend college otherwise for financial or logistical reasons, so helping these students prepare for classes brings me great joy. These students inspire me! Their future is bright – and even more so with the ability to study entirely online through a public school, without financial worries.” 

Learn more about the APS-CSU Global partnership at

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