Escuela Spotlight: Aaron and Azurie

Every morning in the carpool line at Escuela de Guadalupe, you can spot 8th grader Aaron Payan jumping out of the car quickly to open the door for his younger sister Azurie. Like clockwork, once the siblings reach the playground, and before Aaron goes to join his friends inside, he gives her the biggest hug and tells her to have a great day.

Aaron transferred to Escuela de Guadalupe in the 5th grade from a local public school where he wasn’t being challenged academically. For Aaron, the increase in the amount of homework he received at Escuela, combined with the social pressures of being the new kid, made the early days of his transition challenging. However, he quickly assimilated into the close knit, multicultural community that makes up Escuela de Guadalupe and paved the way for his little sister—currently in the 3rd grade—to thrive here as well.

When you ask Aaron about what makes Escuela different, he talks about his “teachers, how much they care, not only about your grades, but about how they can set you on the path to achieve the type of success that aligns with your strengths, your values, and your background.” As part of Escuela de Guadalupe’s holistic curriculum, each student is invited to evaluate what faith, integrity, and valor look like in the context of their own story. You see all these qualities shine through in both Payan siblings—whether it’s in the classroom, on the court (both siblings participate in every sport offered at their grade level), or through music, which is Aaron’s greatest passion.

Because of partners like you, students like Aaron and Azurie have the opportunity to change the narrative for their family. In May, Aaron will graduate 8th grade as part of Escuela’s first ever middle school class to continue on to one of Denver’s most reputable college preparatory high schools where he will prepare to become the FIRST EVER college-bound Payan!

Over the last three years, we have expanded to serve even more capable, talented and motivated young men and women like Aaron and Azurie. Through the addition of pre-k and middle school, enrollment has increased 73 percent since 2015. This year Escuela will provide over $1.6 million in need-based tuition assistance, with over 90 percent of our families relying on scholarships to make up the critical difference between what they can afford and the cost of an Escuela de Guadalupe education.

Your support plays a central role in each of our students’ Escuela story. By investing in our mission of making quality, dual-language Catholic education financially accessible to deserving families across metro Denver, you are helping to form and foster our next generation of compassionate leaders and 21st century change makers.

We hope that makes you smile and swell up with pride the way that we do each time we see Aaron and Azurie climbing out of the car to go chase their dreams.

THANK YOU for being a part of our community of learners and leaders! Many blessings to you and yours this holiday season.

If you would like to help make a difference for Escuela de Guadalupe's students and families, click here.

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