130 Children and Young Adults Arrive at Regis University for 19th Annual Porter-Billups Leadership Academy

June 18, 2014

For the next three weeks, students from Denver’s most at-risk communities will spend their days on the Regis University campus participating in the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy. This program challenges students through high expectations in critical thinking, teamwork, conflict resolution, and character development. The Academy aims to demonstrate to students in grades 4-12 that education is a path to success.

The rigorous three-week academic program occurs each summer and only 130 students demonstrating the most potential are selected to participate. Students and their families also receive year-round support to further bolster their educational ambitions.

The ultimate goal of the Academy is to awaken students to the opportunities available to them and empower them to own their decisions by making thoughtful contributions to shape their futures. The program is working.

  • Since the first graduating class in 2002, 98.2% (107 of 109) of students graduated from high school on time.
  • The 15 seniors in the class of 2013 had an average GPA of 3.3 and an average ACT score of 22.4.
  • Of the Academy students whose home schools offer AP/Honors classes, 85% of Academy juniors and 92% of seniors have taken them. About 75% of Academy students have access to AP/Honors classes.

The biggest testament to the program’s success is that 92% of Academy graduates have gone on to college, and more than half (53%) have graduated with a college degree.

The Porter-Billups Leadership Academy was established 19 years ago by Regis University Men’s Head Basketball Coach Lonnie Porter to provide academic and leadership training to at-risk inner city students from Denver. In 2006, NBA star Chauncey Billups joined forces with Porter in this effort and the program was renamed the Porter-Billups Leadership Academy. Regis University is committed to offering graduates of this program the opportunity to attend college through scholarships.

  • Nearly 85% of students come from families where parents have not completed college.
  • 90%+ are students of color.
  • 36% are from families with incomes that fall below the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • 48 PBLA students have participated for 6-10 continuous years.