By Anica Padilla

DENVER (CBS4/AP) – Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has announced the first five winners of $50,000 scholarships in a program designed to encourage students to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

“Congratulations to our very first winners of the Colorado Comeback Cash Scholarship drawing!” said Gov. Polis. “This lifesaving vaccine is our ticket for students to return to the classroom, and an opportunity to win a $50,000 scholarship.”

The winners of this week’s scholarship drawing are Natalie M. of Centennial, Arianna Garcia of Longmont, Liam Atkins of Boulder, Brett Cheney of Mesa County, and Gabriella Sleight of Littleton.

Thomas M. of Steamboat Springs additionally won the scholarship but gave it to another Coloradan as he has already secured a full-ride scholarship to college.

Vaccinated Coloradans ages 12-17 are eligible for the $50,000 scholarship and will be randomly selected over the next few weeks.

Four additional drawings for the Comeback Cash Scholarship will occur on Mondays and winners will be announced on Thursdays, June 17, June 24, July 1, and July 8.

(credit: CBS)

The funds will be placed in a CollegeInvest account for the student to use when they pursue postsecondary education, including higher and technical education or credential programs. The funds can be left in the interest-bearing account for future educational use.

A total of 25 scholarships are being offered by the state, along with a $1 million lottery program for five adults who get at least one shot.

To learn more about the Comeback Cash Scholarship drawing, visit:

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)  


Anica Padilla