Kitlapalojua(Welcome)! Journey Through Our Heritage(Journey) is a program designed to create a kalpulli (community) which empowers MSU Denver students to become exceptionally accomplished mentors, focused on developing culturally efficient high school students through a yearlong endeavor. This is accomplished by Journey mentors commuting on a consistent basis to participating high schools and implementing study sessions, which are geared specifically to meet the standards of the Journey Through Our Heritage Program and its curriculum.
Journey Through Our Heritage concentrates on bringing Denver and the Metro area high school students together, by participating in an academic competition that explores the distinct features of American Indian, Xikana/o, Mexicana/o, Mexican–American, Red Bone, African/African American, and Chicana/o studies. Along with culturally relevant curriculum, college level essay and jeopardy style competitions are scheduled to confirm the intense and beneficial educational experience received by students through the Journey program.
We jump-start the year with a Welcome Back ceremony in late fall or early winter. This brings our kalpulli together and celebrates our relationship as mentors and students. In Mexikayoyeliztli aik ixpoliuz!!! Ixkichka Moztla!!!
The next series of events are called the Jornada. They begin with an essay competition designed to form the technical prowess necessary to build students ability to compete in college level environments. The essay competition hones reading, writing, grammar and comprehension skills. Next step in the Jornada is the public presentation of the essay section, which develops student’s ability to speak in a public and professional setting. In this event teatro, music, dance and art are incorporated to create sensory experience. No more boring speeches!
The last event in the Jornada is the Jeopardy style competition, which allows students to develop their memorization, study skills and assist students in developing strategies in acquiring the information necessary for academic success. While the competition is the grand finale of the Jornada, the process of learning basic study skills including time management, memory
techniques, note taking, textbook study, test preparation and test-taking skills last a lifetime. The student’s devotion to academic success is a yearlong focus for both mentors and students alike.
In addition to the Jornada, the Journey program also embraces several other projects. This includes mentors for the after school cultural arts program at the Mauricio Saravia School of the Arts and involvement with several nonprofit organizations including Sister of Color United.