Dawson Summer Initiative

Initiative n. 1) a leading action 2) readiness and ability in initiating 

Dawson Summer Initiative is a unique, tuition-free program that provides enriching, intellectual opportunities for high-achieving public middle school students from Boulder County and surrounding areas. Enrolled students (“scholars”) are given the knowledge, tools and flexibility to pursue real-world concepts, projects, and ideas in a dynamic and respectful environment.

During the summer, scholars have the opportunity to work with similarly motivated and like-minded peers on the beautiful Alexander Dawson School campus in Lafayette, Colorado.  The thematic five-week summer session allows students from over 28 different schools the time and space to focus on one central issue, and to work with leaders in the field to develop pertinent solutions. In past summers, scholars have explored themes such as Water, Epidemic, Energy, Food, Climate, and the Digital Revolution.


Those who successfully complete the previous summer’s thematic session may then attend a two-week leadership session the following summer.

Academic advising is available throughout the middle and high school years. Scholars also will be invited to campus for periodic reunions with their cohorts from the summer session.

Friendship Through Collaboration

One of the greatest benefits of Dawson Summer Initiative is that a cohort of students with similar interests and academic drive come together to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. Many families say that friendships formed during the program last long beyond the summer months.


Dawson Summer Initiative is supported by the generosity of the Alexander Dawson Foundation.