For the DPS Office of Literacy, reading and writing about the Italian Renaissance is a natural expectation for DPS students. To study the Renaissance era, and then have an opportunity to visit Italy and see first- hand the impact of the period on today’s world, is only a dream for most students. That dream has become reality for four DPS students who will travel to Italy this summer as Palazzo Strozzi contest winners.

Najma Muhammad and Kayla Byrd of Renaissance High School, and Fabiola Orozco and Malik Ochoa of Western International High School, were selected to participate in this extraordinary experience, along with contest winners from New York and Los Angeles. The Palazzo Strozzi Foundation initiated this award program in these cities, with financial assistance from the Fiat Chrysler Corporation, to ensure that the Renaissance remained relevant for today’s students. Eleventh grade students at Renaissance and Western International High Schools participated in classroom study, and wrote essays, which were judged by the Palazzo Strozzi Foundation, for the chance to spend a month in Florence, Italy.

The DPS Foundation is pleased to be a supporter of this program, and we wish all of the contest participants well as they continue their education. We know that everyone who was engaged in the study of this period in history, and wrote an essay gained much from the experience. Everyone is a winner, because everyone gained insight into themselves and the history that has had such a significant impact on the world.