Founded as Denver Boys, Inc. in 1946, this organization was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Denver, in partnership with Denver Public Schools, as a response to the aftermath of World War II and the growing prevalence of single-parent households. Boys were dropping out of school to help support their families when their fathers did not return home from the war. In order to combat this growing trend, Denver Boys, Inc. supported youth to gain employment while completing their high school educations.
By 1970, the rise in teen pregnancy and an increase in drug abuse and juvenile crime among girls made it increasingly apparent that female students were also in need of counseling, mentoring, and educational opportunities. That year, Denver Girls, Inc. was founded by the Zonta Club of Denver and the Junior League, with the support of the Rotary Club of Denver and Denver Public Schools.
In 1993, recognizing that together they would be more effective and could reach far more students, the two organizations merged, becoming Denver Kids, Inc.
The environment for today’s students is much different than during the early years of the program. Poverty, gang violence, substance abuse, and teen pregnancy are overwhelming issues in the lives of many of our youth. Although the circumstances have changed, the needs of these students are the same as they were in 1946. They need someone to believe in them, to set expectations and hold them accountable to meet those expectations. They need attention, time, structure, love and respect. At Denver Kids, Inc., we work everyday to meet these needs.