Archive for January, 2014

Stories of Impact: La Veta Fire Protection District

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

During the spring of 2013, La Veta Fire Protection Chief David DeTray asked the district’s board of directors for permission to pursue an El Pomar Foundation Wild Land Fire Fund grant. Before his organization could apply for funding, the volunteer fire district 15 miles west of Walsenburg caught fire. (more…)

Did he know?

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Elly Alexander

Spending my days in Penrose House often leads me to wonder if Spencer Penrose knew what his house, community, and legacy would look like now. When he and Julie formed the Foundation, they asked that the money be used to better the state of Colorado. The vision to build and support the non-profit organizations in the state is the easier piece to envision, but I cannot help but think he would be pleasantly surprised by the state of his mansion. Julie donated the Penrose House to the Sisters of Charity, but, today, he would not find the sisters here. (more…)

From 1,000 Ft to the Boardroom: Lessons Learned

Friday, January 24th, 2014


Ben Haughton

It may have been 4:30 or 5:00 am when I groggily rolled out of my tent. I found myself amidst the harsh windy terrain of Nevada. It is amazing to me that the landscape is able to support any sort of life or vegetation. If, in the anticipatory light, the cactus and desert shrubbery couldn’t prove me wrong enough, the gnawed holes in the lazily packed bag of crackers from last nights dinner and the crumbs that remain, certainly can. Despite the unforgiving landscape and the less than ideal conditions, this place and this situation is one I crave, and there is nowhere I would rather be.  (more…)

Stories of Impact: Centro de la Familia

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014


Joanna French

Moving to a new community can be overwhelming for any individual. For those who are simultaneously struggling to learn English, adapt to the cultural norms of the United States, perhaps escape domestic violence, and become better parents, Centro de la Familia is there to help. (more…)

The Diction of Service

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014


Zoe Goodman

I spent New Years and the few days preceding it in Washington DC with a few of the people I love most in the world. We visited the White House, the Holocaust Museum and the Newseum We stopped by the FDR and Jefferson Memorials, and I saw the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial for the first time. While wandering through these spaces created to honor the heroes who walked before us, I took the time to study the words etched into the stone.


The Penrose Legacy: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Tourists flock to the much-loved Cheyenne Mountain Zoo year round to learn more about the wild animals, ride the historic Herschell carousel, and enjoy the spectacular views of Colorado Springs and beyond. The Zoo shares a special place in our childhood memories, but many do not realize Spencer Penrose founded the nationally-renowned zoo in 1926. (more…)

What We’re Looking For

Monday, January 13th, 2014

The Fellowship Recruiting Team

The deadline to apply for The El Pomar Fellowship is quickly approaching.  Applications are due on Monday, January 20.  For those of you who have not started your application, there is still time.

We are often asked about the traits of an ideal Fellow. Each year we strive to build a diverse team with broad interests, backgrounds and career objectives.  That said, the following represent some general characteristics that most, if not all, Fellows possess:

1. A Positive Attitude and a Willingness to Learn

El Pomar takes the responsibility of personal and leadership development seriously.  In order to develop, improve and grow, Fellows must be open-minded and have a willingness to be coached by supervisors, peers, and staff members.  Not everything goes according to plan and that is where a positive attitude can make the difference between personal development and stagnation. (more…)

Sunrise to Sunset

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Ryan Patterson

On the morning of July 15, 2012, eight recent college graduates woke, overwhelmed by excitement and apprehension of beginning a two-year Fellowship at one of Colorado’s largest and most revered private foundations.  On this morning we woke up to a sunrise of shared significance and anticipation that we would soon foster something great. (more…)

Stories of Impact: Angel Baskets

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Joanna French

For many outsiders, Telluride brings to mind luxurious ski homes and five star restaurants.  Yet, the reality for many people is far less glamorous.  For many families struggling with poverty, Angel Baskets can provide a helping hand and a step towards self-sufficiency.


Passion for the Game

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Justin Coughlin

The game of basketball has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I will always have memories of opening my Space Jam basketball for Christmas when I was 6 years old, or sitting in front of the television with my dad as he explained why Michael Jordan was the greatest of all time.  I grew up in rural Colorado, and my passion for the game was nurtured by the community. In high school I played for the Yuma Indians, and the support of the entire town made for a cherished and memorable childhood.  Northeast Colorado holds a special place in my heart for this reason.  There is something special about a packed gym where every person in the community puts their life on hold to support the local basketball team.  People who show this type of support to young men and women can make them feel a little more important than they are, and give them the creative license and confidence to pursue whatever their dream may be.  I was truly lucky to have experienced this growing up in a small town, and I would not change that for anything. (more…)