Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Honoring Those Who Keep Our Community Safe

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Devanie Helman

On most days, I pass at least one police car on my morning commute to work. I don’t think much about it, other than pausing to wonder why they are out so early, or if they have been out all night. However, after attending the 29th annual Medal of Valor Luncheon earlier this week, I realize how fortunate I am to feel safe and free in my community.  In my daily life, I do not worry about my safety, or the safety of my neighbors. I do not think about my ability to rescue someone in trouble, or lay awake willing myself to remain steadfast and brave in the face of imminent danger. In my life, these activities seem outlandish and something only found on the 5 o’clock news. For some, this is their reality. (more…)

College Readiness and Success Program: A Fellow Perspective

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Each year, El Pomar Fellows support the College Readiness and Success Program. The program provides resources and support to help high school students, counselors, and families learn more about access to higher education. The two Fellows working on the program, Ashley Cornelius and Zoe Goodman, recently reflected on their time in the program.

Why did you get involved with College Readiness and Success Program (CRSP)?

Ashley: During my first year with El Pomar, Theo Gregory spoke with the new class of Fellows and described the work he did with high school students, and I was very impressed. Prior to the Fellowship I worked with SoColo Scholars at UCCS, a program that allowed high schools students to take college courses for credit and get a feel for what college could offer. I loved mentoring the students in the program and hoped to continue my passion for high school students and higher education later in life. CRSP presented a perfect opportunity to continue to work with high school students and to encourage them to reach their full potential. Many of the students will be first generation college students, and some didn’t think that college was a possibility until this program. The work is extremely rewarding and continues to surprise me each session, when more than 200 students and parents are in attendance. (more…)

La Puente Home

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

Founded in 1982, the mission of La Puente Home is to provide
emergency services to homeless and economically disadvantaged individuals
throughout the San Luis Valley, La Puente operates an emergency shelter with
over 50 beds, 13 food banks, and provides transitional housing and
self-sufficiency services, homelessness prevention and community outreach
services, and job training for clients.

In the San Luis Valley, 34% of kids live below the poverty
line. La Puente Home’s annual Backpack Drive provides much needed school
supplies to students in the San Luis Valley. Each backpack includes crayons, pens,
pencils, notebooks, binders, and much more. This year, La Puente supplied over
600 full backpacks to Valley students, primarily in Alamosa County.

La Puente Home cares about educating the public about
hunger, homelessness and poverty even as it provides great programs and
services. Every September, La Puente hosts Hope Week to educate the public
about homelessness and how it impacts the community. More than anything, La
Puente understands that it takes a caring community with dedicated inhabitants
to alleviate the impact of poverty and homelessness on those most in need. La
Puente has long been a focal point in the San Luis Valley, and will provide critical
services for years to come.

The Charge of Excellence: An Interview with Wayne Caudill, Veteran Fellow

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

How have your previous experiences as a veteran informed your experience at El Pomar?

When I look back at my experiences in the Army, I often reflect on the challenge and charge of excellence in all we do. The commitment to the mission, to those we supported, and ultimately to one another, was reflected in that excellence. Looking forward at my role with El Pomar I see the same alignment with excellence in what we do at the Foundation. Here we commit to enhance, encourage, and promote the current and future well-being of the people of Colorado. While 5:30 am formations are now substituted by 8:00 am meetings, and body armor has been exchanged for business suits, the same team building, creativity, and collaboration exist – and the coffee is certainly better.



Pressure is a Privilege

Friday, November 7th, 2014

By Molly Brown

With 22 overall Grand Slam titles and four Olympic gold medals, superstar Venus Williams proved to be an excellent keynote speaker for Peak Vista Community Health Center’s 10th annual Breakfast for Champions fundraiser. While audience members enjoyed a hearty breakfast of steak and eggs, Williams treated them to a lighthearted, yet poignant speech. During her address, Williams captured the attention of the audience with stories about her childhood, career, and her relationship with Serena Williams, her sister and competitor. Williams focused on three themes instrumental in shaping her experience as a professional athlete and her life after tennis: (more…)

When a Friend Becomes a Stranger

Monday, October 27th, 2014

By Zoe Goodman

I ran into a woman I knew in the grocery store last week.  I flashed her a careful smile, a smile two strangers might share in passing, and then I intentionally moved to the next aisle over. I would come back for my stir fry sauce once the woman moved on. Until then, I busied myself in the cereal aisle. Usually, when I run into someone I know at the grocery store, I say hello. I ask how they are doing and I make a comment about the weather.  Ordinarily, I can pick up my stir fry sauce without having to desert the aisle and come back later.  (more…)

Politics, Policies, and Eggplants

Friday, October 24th, 2014

By Samantha Barlow

“One, two, three – qiézi!” Shoulder to shoulder with rising Chinese political leaders outside Denver’s new Supreme Court Building, El Pomar Foundation staff discovered yet another point of connection with their foreign guests. Apparently, the practice of shouting a food item that forces the speaker to smile while taking photos crosses cultural boundaries – “cheese” in English, and “qiézi,” or eggplant, in Mandarin. (more…)

Colorado Springs Celebrates Arts Month

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

By Allie Romo

This October, the smell of pumpkin spice is not the only thing in the air. Art is in the air and on people’s minds thanks to an effort from Colorado Spring’s Cultural Office of the Pikes Peak Region (COPPeR.)  The month-long celebration of the arts is joining the national effort, National Arts and Humanities Month, to celebrate the arts locally. COPPeR hopes October Arts Month will become an annual effort to promote the arts in our community.
We are all familiar with the emotional reaction we get from art, but rarely do we remember the economic impact the arts have on our community. To bring this to light, here are a few fun facts… (more…)


Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Florence Ozor is a Government Relations officer for an oil and gas company in Nigeria by trade, but she is best known for her leadership in the international #BringBackOurGirls campaign. While attending a women’s leadership conference in the United States in April, Florence learned that the terrorist group Boko Haram had abducted 276 Nigerian school girls.  She leapt into action and immediately dedicated herself to bringing the girls home. Her unwavering determination and passion for the cause quickly made Florence the primary leader of the #BringBackOurGirls campaign. Her inspiring story, relentless commitment and admirable leadership have kept the story in global news, including Newsweek. Currently, Ms. Ozor is touring the United States with the Global Livingston Institute speaking about her experiences as an international leader. (more…)

Mandela Washington Fellow: My Leadership Journey

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

By Abdirisak Yusuf Ali

Beginning the Journey

I first came across the Mandela Washington Fellowship-Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) on social media. Then I started hearing conversations about the YALI program on the news and at social gatherings. Finally, a friend of mine at Oxford sent to me notice of the program. I studied the program closely and found that it matched my goals. Once I applied, I felt uncertain, and wondered where my application would fall among the millions of vibrant African youth. When I was accepted for the Fellowship, it refueled my dreams of building my leadership more. (more…)