At the Denver School of Science and Technology: Green Valley Ranch High School, being responsible is part of their core values.

And for Senior Courtney Wilson, that’s a trait she is passionate about.

“Being responsible for not only yourself but helping out other students that might be struggling,” Wilson said.

In a part of the district that was struggling academically just over 6 years ago, many of these students will be the first to go to college—an opportunity that most see here as a better future.

“Our students and our staff and our families work incredibly hard,” explained Principal Jenna Kalin. “And are extremely dedicated to academics and to our school.”

All of that hard work has paid off. The school was the only high school in the state of Colorado named a National Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education.

It’s an award that was given to almost 300 schools nationwide that had success in closing the achievement gap.

“It’s been amazing to see our school community grow each and every year and couldn’t be more proud to be recognized in this way,” Kalin said.

It’s the kind of pride that these seniors hope the underclassmen pay attention to so they don’t forget how to help out when they see students in need. It’s a hope Senior Oscar Ozeta wants to pass along to see them succeed.

“We are paving the way for them and that if we set a higher example then they’ll want to set a higher example than us,’ Ozeta said.

Almost 70 percent of the students at DSST - Green Valley Ranch qualify for free or reduced lunch.

The school is so new it's only had two graduating classes so far, but 100 percent of its graduates were accepted into four year colleges and universities.