Universal Education Supporters, Inc. (UES) is a non-profit organization that has the sole purpose to serve Catholic Education, Pre-K thru College, and help families meet their tuition obligations or other educational costs through scholarships.
UES contracts with Aramark and Centerplate to operate concession stands at multiple sports parks in the Denver metro area: Coors Field, Sports Authority, Dicks, Pepsi Center and Fiddler’s Green. We staff these stands with UES volunteers. Once you are a member, you and your family will have access to the UES scheduler and will be able to sign up for the events you are able to volunteer. Shifts range from 6-8 hours depending on the sport, event and venue. Aramark and Centerplate make contributions to UES, and UES makes these funds available for scholarships to Catholic schools. Scholarships are paid directly to students/parents and can be used to pay tuition and related education expenses (books, supplies, etc.)
For training requirements, scheduling responsibilities and uniforms: See UES Notes for New Volunteers
Meals: Each venue provides each volunteer with a meal. You will receive a 15-20 minute break to eat, typically before the event starts (after prep is complete).
16+ to volunteer at Coors Field, Pepsi Center, Sports Authority, Dick Sporting Goods Park and Fiddler’s Green
18+ can serve alcohol and cashier, but must take the TEAM/TIPS alcohol training (see Notes for New Volunteers)
When can I sign up? Each month an email will come out stating that the scheduler is open for the upcoming month. Make sure to check venue sites for events and have your dates ready so as soon as you get that email, you can go in and sign up for the events best for you.
Do I have to volunteer a minimum amount? As a UES volunteer, we ask that you commit to volunteering for two “hot dates” within one calendar year. Hot dates are dates in which UES staffs more than one venue on a single day.
How much can I volunteer? This is only limited by the number of spaces we have available to volunteer. Sometimes you may have to sign up as an alternate. It is highly recommended that you look up the venue or team schedule ahead of the scheduler being open so that you can be prepared to sign up as soon as the email is sent stating the scheduler is open for the next month. If you review your options with your family before the scheduler opens that month, you will be prepared to quickly put in your requests. Do not get discouraged if you find certain months with fewer opportunities. People request substitutes and venues add events or “buy” volunteers often enough that you should see plenty of opportunities to volunteer.
What does buying a volunteer mean? This works in two ways. The beneficial way is when a venue asks UES if we have any volunteers to “sell.” When this happens, you can volunteer to be sold to work in a stand or another part of the venue that is not run by UES. When we sell volunteers to the venues, we make more money – hence raising our scholarship share value at the end of the season. You will never be sold unless you volunteer for it. The opposite of our volunteers being sold is when we have to “buy” a venue employee to fill a spot when we do not have enough volunteers (see Scheduling Responsibilities in the Notes for New Volunteers). When this happens, it actually brings down our scholarship share value so our goal is to never need to buy a vendor employee.
Do I have to volunteer at all venues? No, you can pick and choose venues and events. Some people volunteer across all venues while others only volunteer at one or two.
Can the scholarships go to multiple schools? Yes, at the end of each venue’s season, your student(s) can apply for scholarship(s). Scholarship funds would be disbursed directly to you, and you would make payments directly to the school or schools.
Can the scholarship money be held for a future tuition need? Yes, UES can hold scholarship funds for up to one year.
Can the scholarship money go toward anything other than tuition? If you receive a scholarship, UES will send the scholarship funds directly to you, and you will make the payment directly to the Catholic Institution. Our by-laws state that the scholarship funds must go to a Catholic Institution and used for Educational purposes. Depending on the institution, this can cover more than tuition, like books, retreats, sports, etc. The best practice is to talk to your school/parish financial office. If there is any question about what UES allows, put them in touch with our director.
Do I have to claim the scholarship money on my taxes? No. Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code generally provides that qualified scholarship proceeds are not included in the taxpayer’s income. The term “qualified scholarship” means any amount received by an individual as a scholarship to the extent that the individual establishes that, in accordance with the conditions of the grant, such amount was used for qualified tuition and related expenses. The term “qualified tuition and related expenses” means tuition and fees required for the enrollment or attendance of a student at an educational organization (like a Catholic school), AND fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction at such educational organization.
How do I work with my school(s)? Talk to your school’s financial office about UES. Most of them already know about UES. If they don’t, you can put them in touch with our treasurer if necessary. Your school may make adjustments to your tuition payments based on your student’s anticipated scholarship.
Can someone volunteer and apply for these scholarships even if they don’t qualify for financial aid? Yes, anyone can do this regardless of financial status.
Can these scholarships go toward other people? Yes, you can encourage other Catholic students to apply for a UES scholarship. Scholarships are available for students at any Catholic institution (for education) or the seminaries at the John Paul II Center: St. John Vianney and Redemptoris Mater. We have a special family number for the seminaries and convents.
UES Website: www.uesdenver.org
UES Hotline: 303-573-7UES (303-573-7837)