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Douglas County

Nonprofit wants to take vision nationwide

Hide in Plain Sight has awarded more than 40 scholarships in two years

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Hide in Plain Sight provides more than just a handout, founder Joe Roos says.

“We’re providing a solution so at-risk students can be competitive in the job market, earn a substantial income and break their cycle of homelessness or poverty,” he said.

Roos launched the nonprofit, Hide in Plain Sight, in February 2015 to provide scholarships to at-risk students in Colorado to help pay for tuition, books, food, housing and transportation.

To date, it has awarded more than 40 scholarships, ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 each.
Scholarship recipients also receive mentorship throughout their college experience from some of the organization’s volunteers.

More about the Hide in Plain Sight Gala here.

Roos plans to award about 12 more scholarships throughout 2017, thanks to a new grant from the state of Colorado.

The grant will match the organization’s fundraising efforts dollar-for-dollar for the next $75,000 raised.

This additional funding will help the nonprofit continue to grow as Roos adds more elements into the mix.

Among these elements: providing at-risk students with eye exams, eyeglasses and high school scholarships to help them participate in extracurricular activities.

“If you’re a freshman, sophomore, junior in high school, these activities can be very important to your high school development,” Roos said. “We don’t want the kids to pass up on those.”

A program to provide these extracurricular scholarships is already in place at Castle View High School in Castle Rock, where the students not only raised the money for the project, but also have worked with the nonprofit to allocate money to different programs.

Roos hopes to expand the program to high schools across the state.

“My vision started with Douglas County and making this proof-of-concept work,” he said. “It’s now gone to metrowide and statewide. But my ultimate vision is to be a nationwide organization.”

To learn more about Hide in Plain Sight, visit www.hideplainsight.org.

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