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Scholarship Overview

DECEMBER 6, 2023 – MARCH 6, 2024


…Those who have endured some misfortune will always be set apart, but that it is just that misfortune which is their gift and which is their strength…

-Cormac McCarthy


The Paving a Pathway Scholarship is an education scholarship designed to assist students, who have been to a Durango Juvenile Court, referred to LPYS Diversion Program or have had an encounter with law enforcement and who have a desire to change their lives through education. Scholarships are based on meeting set criteria. Applicants should be aware that personal interviews may be requested by the Scholarship Committee (a DEF representative, DEF Executive Director and/or Scholarship Donor representative).

Application Cycle: November 15 - February 15
Deadline to Submit: February 15 by 11:59 PM
Award Amount: up to $10,000 total over the course of 4 years to student’s choice school
Selection: Recipients will be selected by the DEF Scholarship Committee, in conjunction with the Martin Family, LPYS representative, and DPD School Resource Officer


Any Durango School District 9-R graduating senior, who resides in La Plata County and who has, at one time, been referred to LPYS Diversion Program or Juvenile/Family Court is eligible.

Scholarship Criteria:
-To qualify, the student must plan to attend an institution of high learning, such as community college, vocational/technical school, or university
-Be in their senior year at Durango High School or Big Picture High School
-Provide proof that the applicant is on track for graduation
-Have been to a Durango Juvenile Court, referred to LPYS Diversion Program or have had an encounter with law enforcement
-If an adult (17 years of age or over), have not been charged with a Felony Act Against Persons


-Copy of most recent transcript (unofficial transcript is acceptable)

-Two (2) letters of recommendation (i.e. LPYS Youth Advocate, School Counselor, School Resource DPD Officer, teacher, clergy, coaches, etc)
-Complete the following cover page: Click Here to Access the Cover Page
-Provide a one to two-page essay discussing:

– What challenges have you faced?
– How did you (or plan to) overcome those challenges?
– What are your career goals?
– If you receive this scholarship, how would it help achieve your career goals?
– How would this scholarship help change your life?

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