Service Projects

Current projects

Food Deserts

Project Co-Chairs: Davita Bird and Tobin Houchin

This project partners with the local organization GoFarm to design and implement strategies to decrease food insecurity and help mitigate food deserts in the area. Team members will implement solutions in the local area during the GoFarm’s outreach season in the summer months. The project begins in February, at which point more details will be provided on specific roles volunteers can contribute.


garden improvements

Project Chair: Lauren O’Sullivan

This project team partners with Mitchell Elementary to help build cold frames and install a drip watering system on and around existing garden beds on the school’s grounds. The garden is used primarily by a dozen students involved in the school’s gardening club. The goal is to help increase the growing season with insulated beds. Project members will also work collaboratively to design curriculum to help connect the garden to the classroom.  

Project photo album



Project Chair: Rachel Jones

According to the Admissions Office at Mines, an equal number of men and women are accepted into Mines, but fewer women than men choose to enroll. The Mentorship project partners with the Admissions Office to help make prospective and accepted women feel welcome, answer questions they have about Mines, or STEM careers in general, and share experiences to encourage their pursuit of STEM majors.

This project involves campus tours and information sessions designed with women students in mind. Volunteers will help create marketing materials, participate in campus panels, lead tours and have lunch with students at Mines Market to give them a preview into being a student on campus. Volunteers are asked to maintain email correspondence with their campus visitor(s) throughout their years in high school and during their college application process.

Completed projects


Menstrual products in restrooms

This project began with a single Vanguard champion who raised awareness of the need for products in bathrooms across campus and garnered the support of other students along the way. In spring 2021, after meetings with campus facilities staff, it was agreed that as a pilot test, the facilities team would stock menstrual products in heavily used bathrooms and keep track of usage. In fall 2021 the Mines Undergraduate Student Government (USG) got involved and used their platform to further elevate the need. Members of the Vanguard Community of Scholars added their names to the USG petition/proclamation in support of the initiative. A product line called “Aunt Flo” that other schools use was recommended for adoption at Mines.  Facilities agreed to purchase dispensers and products. They are still in use today.


vanguard scholars blood drive
Project Description:
The recent events occurring over the last weeks and months have inspired many of us to seek opportunities to contribute to our communities. Amidst the disruption and chaos, we believe there are many ways to take action. Members from Mines Vanguard Scholars and Mines Community Alliances are sponsoring a blood drive and encouraging the Mines community and friends to donate blood, wherever they are located in the world. Students are challenging employees to see which group has the highest participation!

If you are not able to donate blood, you can still participate. Please join us in any of the following:

  • donate blood through the Vitalant (formerly Bonfils) nationwide network, or any donation center near you,
  • donate money,
  • join a bone marrow registry, or
  • spread the word and motivate your family and friends to donate.

How to participate:

  1. Make your appointment TODAY to donate blood anytime before July 8, 2020, by calling 303.363.2300 or clicking this link, make a financial donation, join the  marrow registry, or spread the word.
  2. Register HERE to record your participation and enter the drawing to win fabulous prizes!
  3. Optional: We would love to receive photos of our participants. Upload a selfie on Instagram while donating with the hashtag #MinesVanguardBloodDrive, or email photo to

Age Restriction
Must be 16 or older. 16 and 17-year-olds must have signed permission from parents or guardians.

Project Location

A Vitalant blood donation center in the United States, or a local blood donation center near you. Walk-ins are accepted, however, an appointment is highly recommended. (Link “Vitalant” to their locations page on their website.)

Date & Time:
June 13 through July 8, 2020

Mines Code

DEN0059. Share this code at your appointment.

BONUS: If you donate blood, you will also receive a COVID19 antibody test!

This project is sponsored by the Vanguard Scholars and the Mines Community Alliances.