Dawson Summer Initiative

Welcome to Dawson Summer Initiative (Video)

Dawson Summer Initiative (DSI) is a unique, tuition-free program that provides enriching, intellectual opportunities for high-achieving public 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. We strive to make DSI a dynamic, inclusive, and supportive environment where every scholar's voice is heard and respected.


During the summer, scholars have the opportunity to work with similarly motivated and like-minded peers on the Alexander Dawson School campus in Lafayette, Colorado. The thematic five-week summer session allows students from over 30 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 including Water, Epidemic, Energy, Food, Climate, the Digital Revolution, Transportation, Innovation, Making a Fresh Start, Information, Adaptation, and Global Balance.


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


Scholars who have successfully completed one or both of the Dawson Summer Initiative (DSI) summer sessions will have access to academic advising by DSI staff all the way through high school. Reviewing course selections and school options, identifying additional enrichment opportunities, and preparing for college are resources available to scholars and their families.

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.

Thank you!

Dawson Summer Initiative is fully supported by the generosity of the Alexander Dawson Foundation.
Please contact DSI with any questions:

Call us:  303-381-0444
Email us:  lmichael@dawsonschool.org

DSI : Application Process Now Closed

Thank you for your interest in Dawson Summer Initiative (DSI).

The application process for Summer 2023 is now closed. 

Please contact DSI with any questions:
Call us:  303-381-0444
Please email us: lmichael@dawsonschool.org

Meet the Program Director

List of 1 members.

  • Photo of Lisa Michael

    Lisa Michael 

    Director, Dawson Summer Initiative
    Wesleyan University - B.A.
    Harvard Graduate School of Education - M.Ed