Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy Celebrates Opening with Ceremonial Ribbon Cutting

Posted September 17, 2021

 School founders, scholars, elected officials and university partners come together to celebrate the new HBCU-style high school in Far Northeast Denver.

On Friday, Sept. 17, school founders, scholars, elected officials and university partners came together to celebrate the opening of the Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The ceremony began with a rendition of Lift Every Voice and Sing, performed by members of the founding class. Special guests then took to the stage to offer words of encouragement to the students. 

Florida A & M University representative, Dr. William Hudson praised the school for being the first of its kind and announced a partnership that will offer scholarships to the graduates of Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy.

Susan L. Taylor, editor, writer, and former editor-in-chief of Essence, spoke openly to the students, “Aim high. Know that life is not easy (…) but you never give up, you just keep going. There will be laughter, tears, joys, sorrow, games and losses. It’s all in the mix.”

The school’s namesake, Robert F. Smith, shared in his video message to the scholars, “You get to decide how great you want to be. You have the tools and the opportunity. And from what I’ve heard about the students attending the STEAM Academy, you have unlimited potential. I can’t wait to see what you achieve.”

The event concluded with a pinning ceremony to officially welcome the scholars into “the Pride” and the ceremonial ribbon cutting.

Inspired by and modeled after Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Robert F. Smith STEAM Academy is a district-run high school designed with an explicit focus on locating the self in the context of history and in the local and global community. The high school is a meaningful addition to the Montbello neighborhood, after families in the community called for a school that would better serve the students in the region. The school opened its doors this August to its founding class of students.

Photos from the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony