Author: Marisa Pooley

Boettcher Foundation Press Release

15 Mar Seattle-area Boettcher Scholars help local community

In an effort to connect Boettcher Scholars across the country, both with each other and their communities, we've started organizing scholar service days in a variety of U.S. cities outside Colorado. Most recently, a small but mighty crew of alumni volunteered at a "community build" with Sawhorse Revolution, a Seattle-based nonprofit that provides free, yearlong carpentry and design programs for diverse youth. McKenna Asakawa, a 2012 scholar,  now works for Sawhorse Revolution and helped to organize the service project. "Despite heavy rain, our community build on Saturday was a big success! Volunteers helped us make progress on the 'Parabay Homes,' a tiny house duplex designed for a homeless family," said McKenna. "In mid-April, we'll deliver it to a new, city-sanctioned tiny house village in Georgetown. The Parabay Homes are generating significant excitement, since they are the only homes designed specifically for a family experiencing homelessness." Volunteers spent the day measuring, cutting, and installing interior and exterior paneling.  Michael Estrada, a 2010 scholar, drove all the way  from Bellingham (near the Canadian border) to participate in the service day. "His building prowess, collaboration, and commitment really helped us move forward with the interior of the duplex half designed for kids," McKenna noted. "I was blown away by his dedication and so enjoyed connecting with him!"    ...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

09 Mar Boettcher Investigator’s clinical trial is saving lives

For 2011 Boettcher Investigator Dr. Robert Doebele, the satisfying part of medicine is researching an idea in his lab, and then seeing that idea come to fruition in treating his patients. And that’s exactly what is happening in the first-of-its-kind clinical trial that he is currently leading. Dr. Doebele holds both an M.D. and a Ph.D., which allows him to spend part of his time in the lab and part with his patients, which is also what guided him to specialize in lung cancer.  “I like the patient relationship. Some doctors like healthier patients, and while I don’t like having sick patients, I don’t mind it,” Dr. Doebele explained. “I get to see my patients often, from diagnosis through treatment.” It’s that same patient interaction that helped Dr. Doebele to make a huge breakthrough in his lab. Dr. Doebele researches oncogene targeted therapy, or precision medicine, where he identifies the dominant genes that are critical for developing cancer. When those genes are specifically targeted in treatment, doctors are able to shrink tumors. “When I started working in lung cancer in 2005, the treatment for lung cancer was pretty much all the same,” Dr. Doebele said. “The treatment is now very different based on the genetic abnormalities present in each patient.” Because of this genetic research, lung cancer now has identifiable mutations that make gene-targeted therapy possible. But what happens when a patient has none of the identified mutations, is a non-smoker in her forties, and presents with stage-four lung cancer? Around that same time, Dr. Doebele realized there must be other targetable genes that can become cancer-driving cells. Thus, his most-recent research was born. His lab did not discover a new gene, but using modern techniques, they were able to identify that this specific gene was truly cancer-driving and, beyond that, they developed a method for targeting that gene in treatment. Working with Array Biopharma out of Boulder, Dr. Doebele helped develop a drug to test in these cancers. Unfortunately, Dr. Doebele’s inspiring patient passed away, but thanks to the tissue that she donated, Dr. Doebele was able to directly advance his research, initiate a clinical trial and literally save lives. The first patient to participate in his clinical trial was much like Dr. Doebele’s patient who donated tissue. She was incredibly ill with widely metastatic sarcoma in her lungs, and even moved to Denver with her family for a month to participate in phase one of the study. “I was nervous because this was the first test of my research to see if it actually does anything,” remembers Dr. Doebele. “You feel like you are laying your chips on the table, and it was my idea combined with a real patient.” Week by week during the clinical trial, his new patient improved. Now, almost two years later, she is still taking the drug he developed and has no measurable tumor in her lungs. And she’s not alone. All of the trial patients have had tumor shrinkage and most have had a highly measurable response. “This is not going to cure millions of cancer patients, but if we test patients and identify these mutations, it’s a very good start. It’s a bedside-to-bench-to-bedside approach,” said Dr. Doebele. Two companies are now developing drugs to specifically treat what Dr. Doebele identified, and are awaiting FDA approval. “It’s rare but satisfying when you get to come full-circle and see your research directly affect patients.” Dr. Doebele said. Looking back, he credits his scientific success with both luck and preparedness, plus a boost from the Boettcher Foundation. “The luck was finding a patient that had this mutation, but the Webb-Waring Biomedical research funding allowed me to prepare my lab to take on this project very quickly,” said Dr. Doebele. This combination allowed Dr. Doebele to publish his findings in approximately a year, which meant getting this treatment to clinical trial, and ultimately, to patients sooner. Since then, he has received more funding, including an R01 grant from the National Institute of Health. Looking ahead, Dr. Doebele is very interested in bringing increasingly better drugs to patients, and plans to continue testing new drugs and new ideas with the ultimate goal of saving lives.  ...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

01 Mar Starbucks director and Boettcher Scholar pays forward the college experience through new program

How does an economics major from Littleton, Colorado become the director of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan? In her own words, “by continually taking on new challenges and pushing myself to try new things.” Mary Dixon has spent two decades working for the largest coffee chain in the world, but before that, she was a 1986 Boettcher Scholar who attended Colorado College. “I remember that moment of opening the envelope—it was so thin I thought it must be bad news—but when I saw that I’d received the scholarship, it was such a moment of pride,” Mary recalls. “It was in my nature to be involved in academics and in my community, and Boettcher validating those attributes strengthened my resolve to continue being of service to others.”  Serving others is what led Mary to her current role, directing Starbucks’ college reimbursement program for any employee who works at least 20 hours a week. Committed to its community, Starbucks aims to graduate 25,000 employees by the year 2025. “We’re constantly thinking about how we can make this program better, or what’s the next thing we can offer to our partners that grows both the organization and each of them individually,” Mary explained. Over the years, Mary has held several positions at Starbucks, ranging from retail to global responsibility, and though it may not seem like a traditional path, Mary credits her liberal arts education for the career she has today. “The jobs of tomorrow don’t even exist yet today, so it’s more about teaching critical thinking,” Mary said. “My liberal arts education gave me that base, and I’ve felt comfortable taking on new challenges because of that. It also gave me communication skills that are useful in any job.” After graduating from CC, Mary worked with foreign exchange students in Boston and Australia. From there, Mary realized she was ready for a new challenge and wanted to be back on the west coast working in the food industry. “A friend told me about this little company called ‘Starbucks’ that had a few hundred stores,” Mary remembers. She researched the company and liked the fact that it was centered around a mission and a set of core values. Shortly after Starbucks became a publicly traded company, Mary was hired into the manager training program in retail in San Francisco. In fact, Mary was part of the team that helped Starbucks expand into Colorado and several other states for the first time. She then became the director of global operations and helped Starbucks expand internationally, opening stores in 17 new markets, throughout Asia and Europe. “There are amazing people that work here, and we get to do amazing work—we are always pushing forward, giving back and thinking about what is the role and responsibility of a public company,” Mary said. After living in Amsterdam, opening stores throughout Europe, Mary returned to Seattle with her husband and infant son, transitioning into a role focused on corporate social responsibility. She helped to connect partners on a global scale and emphasized community service around the time of Starbucks’ 40th anniversary. “Helping others and connecting people to opportunities just seemed to be the way I’ve approached life” said Mary. That “way of life” has been present throughout Mary’s journey. Serving others helped her to earn her Boettcher Scholarship, and it’s also a large part of her current role where she gets to pay it forward to the next generation of students, and help them attend college debt-free. After 23 years with Starbucks, Mary continues to seek out new challenges, and is ever-appreciative to be in a place that remains driven by a mission and values that align with her own....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

20 Jan Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 2013 scholar Chandler Price

Members of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board are interviewing their fellow Boettcher Scholars to help the community get to know one another better. The following Q&A was compiled by Boettcher Scholar Gergana Kostadinova. Name: Chandler Price Scholar Year: 2013 Hometown: Pueblo College(s), Degree(s) and Graduation Year(s):University of Northern Colorado, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, 2017 What are you currently interested in pursuing after graduating? After graduation, I am interested in pursuing a new graduate position in medical-surgical nursing. I would love to stay in Northern Colorado, but I am leaving my options completely open. I’m always up for a new adventure! I am also looking into returning to the University of Northern Colorado within a year after graduation to apply for the School of Nursing’s Post Bachelor's to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program with an Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) Emphasis. I have fallen in love with traveling, so I am hoping to pursue nursing-related trips abroad as well. Tell us about what activities, groups and/or organizations you have joined in college and why you joined them. While at UNC, I joined three incredible organizations. I joined Christian Challenge because I wanted to build a strong, supportive community. I met all of my dearest friends there - it takes real friendship to support a nursing student! I joined the National Society of Collegiate Scholars where I served as Vice President of Community Service. I wanted to connect deeply with the Greeley community, and I became a huge fan of Habitat for Humanity. Lastly, I served as President of the Student Nurses Association for two years. I wanted to welcome, lead, and network with current and future nurses. Tell us about an important mentor you have had. I am four months from graduation because of many fine individuals, but Deb Rojas, a professor in the UNC School of Nursing, is one mentor I would not be here without. Deb is the definition of a mentor – an experienced and trusted adviser. She allows students to see her heart. She emphasizes holistic, patient-centered care. She teaches the importance of self-care. Deb coordinates the nursing simulation labs and the 9Health Fair at UNC. She has taught me the importance of leading, organizing, and networking, and has given me the opportunity to work and learn alongside her. I am forever thankful. What's the best advice you've ever received? The best advice I’ve ever received came from a picture I found while scrolling on Pinterest. It was written by Gretchen Saffles and the original sources was a website called Life Lived Beautifully. The lovely words said, “Dream your dreams, then ask God to shape them, scrub them, and steward them for His glory.” My jaw dropped as my eyes skimmed over the words again and again. I cherish the freedom I have to dream my dreams, but ultimately I want to glorify God with my life. I’ll be thriving off of this advice the rest of my life. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why? If I could have dinner with one person from history, I would choose Mother Teresa. I love the authentic life she embodied. She lived with the servant heart I long for. She was quiet, kind, and compassionate, but she also showed a unique strength. She was passionate about helping others. She lived a quiet life but the impact she made was loud. I’d like to ask her how she handled conflict. I’d love for her to teach me her “Do it, Anyway” approach to life. If I was cooking dinner, I think her forgiving nature would also come in handy....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

01 Jan Katie Kramer named CEO of Boettcher Foundation

DENVER, January 1, 2017— As part of a transition plan announced in 2016, Katie Kramer has assumed the role of chief executive officer of the Boettcher Foundation. Tim Schultz will retain the title of president until his retirement in July of 2017. “This is a step in the ongoing leadership transition that the foundation trustees set in place over a year ago,” said Russ George, chairman of the Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees. “Katie’s understanding of our foundation’s history, business structure, community relationships and her depth of experience makes her the perfect person to lead us into the future.” A Colorado native and Boettcher Scholar, Katie Kramer has spent almost 20 years in multiple roles at the Boettcher Foundation, including 15 years as vice president and assistant executive director. She has led nearly all of the foundation’s programming areas and played a key role both in directing the foundation’s day-to-day operations and establishing its long-term strategic vision. “I am very excited to guide the foundation as we build upon the legacy and impact that the Boettcher family had on Colorado,” said Katie Kramer. Kramer attended the University of Colorado Boulder, where she was a Presidents Leadership Scholar and honors graduate at the Leeds School of Business. In 2009, she completed her Executive MBA at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business. Kramer was named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce in 2016. She was also recognized as one of The Denver Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” in 2014. She has served as the board chair for the National Scholarship Providers Association and the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation. About the Boettcher Foundation: At Boettcher, we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kristi Arellano 303.285.6208 kristi@boettcherfoundation.org...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

20 Dec Boettcher Foundation awards grant funding to 13 Colorado nonprofits

DENVER, December 20, 2016 — The Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees has awarded $860,000 in capital grants to 13 nonprofit organizations in Colorado. The grants will help support projects that provide social services throughout the state. “The services that each of these organizations provide help to improve our communities right here at home,” said Tim Schultz, president and executive director of the Boettcher Foundation. “From creating outdoor recreation programs for people with disabilities to providing services for individuals and families experiencing homelessness, we’re happy to support organizations that are positively impacting our state and its diverse residents each day.” This year’s grant recipients in the Boettcher Foundation’s social services category are: Blue Sky Bridge Child and Family Advocacy Center – Boulder, $60,000: Toward renovation and expansion of the facility to allow for additional capacity Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center – Breckenridge, $40,000: Toward renovation and expansion of facility to increase programming capacity Centennial Mental Health Center – Fort Morgan, $125,000: Toward construction of a new facility in Fort Morgan to provide regional mental health services Chanda Plan Foundation – Lakewood, $75,000: Toward purchase and renovation of a new facility for centralized care Colorado Discover Ability – Grand Junction, $25,000: Toward construction of a new headquarters and programming facility Community Options – Montrose, $75,000: Toward construction of a comprehensive regional administrative and programing campus Denver Housing Authority – Denver, $125,000: Toward construction of the Sun Valley Multi-Use Business and Community Center, which will house nonprofits serving residents in the new mixed-income community Greccio Housing – Colorado Springs, $50,000: Toward the purchase and renovation of a facility for the Resident Resource & Opportunity Center Habitat for Humanity of the Roaring Fork Valley – Glenwood Springs, $50,000: Toward construction of a permanent location for the ReStore, which helps fund the organization’s operations Mile High Ministries – Denver, $35,000: Toward renovations at Joshua Station to expand its programming and administrative space Senior Resources Development Agency – Pueblo, $20,000: Toward renovation of programming space Special Kids Special Families – Colorado Springs, $30,000: Toward purchase and renovation of the facility which houses Zach’s Place Springs Rescue Mission – Colorado Springs, $150,000: Toward renovation and construction of facilities serving the homeless About the Boettcher Foundation: At Boettcher, we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day we champion excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations, because supporting their hard work and leadership will enable them to give back for years to come. Contact: Kristi Arellano 303.285.6208 kristi@boettcherfoundation.org...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

12 Dec Boettcher Scholar returns home to improve her community in the San Luis Valley

Andréa Benton Mestas, a 1989 Boettcher Scholar, has given back to her home community of Alamosa for more than two decades in various roles at Adams State University. Currently the Title V activities director, Andréa focuses on Hispanic student success by using her own story of overcoming challenges as a Hispanic scholar. Andréa was a first-generation college student who grew up in a very low-income area. In fact, the two counties where she has spent the majority of her life are among the two poorest in Colorado. The full-ride to any Colorado university was appealing, but it was more than just the financial incentive that motivated Andréa to apply for the Boettcher Scholarship. “I remember looking over the application and how it mentioned looking for students who were giving back to the community, or ‘paying it forward,’” recalls Andréa. “I liked that the Boettcher Foundation really wanted to encourage young people to help grow Colorado.” Receiving the Boettcher Scholarship expanded opportunities for Andréa and allowed her to attend the University of Northern Colorado—an opportunity she would not otherwise have had. Beyond that, it allowed her to be a “part of something bigger.” “I honestly feel a swell of pride when I walk into the history museum and see a Boettcher Foundation plaque, or meet another scholar,” she said. Andréa was motivated to move forward and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in mathematics, despite numerous challenges, including having her son during her junior year of college. She soon returned to the San Luis Valley, where she was hired in the computing services department at Adams State University. Happy to have returned home, to be giving back to her community and to be close to her family, Andréa continued moving up at Adams State. She was soon hired as the Institutional Research Director, and was encouraged by the provost to enroll in the higher education administration and leadership master’s degree program. Andréa graduated with her master’s in 2012, again at the top of her class with a 4.0. “I loved that I was modeling how great it is to continue your education for my daughter,” Andréa said. “I started my master’s as she was finishing her senior year in high school.” Andréa realized that she loved teaching and developing curriculum, and she also loved serving Hispanic students, which led her to her current role in equity work and working with Adams State’s Title V grant. After attending a cultural workshop at the Hilos Institute, which teaches leadership skills to Hispanic communities, Andréa and some of her colleagues decided to pool their resources and bring that same type of curriculum to their students. Together they developed the curriculum and received grant funding to start teaching students. The course was incredibly successful, but soon the grant funding had run out. Around that time, Andréa happened to be at a Boettcher Foundation event where she connected with Kenzo Kawanabe, a 1990 Boettcher Scholar, a Boettcher Foundation Trustee and a fellow Alamosa native. Interested in giving back to his home community too, Kenzo provided the matching funds, which enabled Adams State to secure a National Heritage Area Grant and allowed the course to continue. Not only is this impacting students on a daily basis, but it has raised awareness statewide about the cultural richness in the valley. “I have a passion for education and for being able to help people out through a career in public service,” Andréa explained.      ...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

05 Dec Boettcher Scholar smiles his way through dental school

Matt Iritani has always wanted to be a dentist. In fact, before he could sign his own name, Matt used crayons to draw a picture of himself as a dentist—a picture that he has kept all these years as a reminder of his lifelong goal. A 2011 Boettcher Scholar, Matt attended Cherry Creek High School, just blocks from his parents’ dental practice. “People often don’t like going to the dentist, but they loved my parents,” recalls Matt. His parents valued being involved in the community where they practiced and getting to know their patients beyond the dentist’s chair. “Still, my parents go to patients’ swim meets, softball games, my mom even has patients fly in from Alaska to see her,” said Matt. “I like the idea of developing relationships with my own patients and being able to volunteer and be involved in the community the way my parents have.” Currently, Matt is in dental school at the University of Colorado Denver, where his dad teaches in the program. “One of the coolest aspects of dental school is actually getting to talk with my parents about the profession,” Matt said. Being able to talk to his dad, share techniques and talk about advances in dentistry is one of Matt’s favorite parts of his chosen path. With each semester of dental school that passes, despite challenging classes, he is reassured that this is the right profession for him. “I get this feeling that this is where I am supposed to be and this is what I am supposed to do,” said Matt. “It is a little surreal, kind of like a Hollywood movie.” After Matt earns his dental degree, he plans to continue his studies in an orthodontics residency, and to eventually open his own practice in Colorado, likely close to where he grew up. But in the meantime, when he is not mounting stone models of mouths, Matt volunteers at a student-run medical clinic in Aurora, as well as Children’s Hospital. He’s also active in the Japanese-American community, and on the UCD campus, where he values giving back. “I am an upperclassman, and it's now my turn to pass on some of what I've learned,” Matt said. “The Boettcher Foundation obviously provides us with a lot of opportunities [as scholars], and I am finally beginning to feel like I am in the position to pay it forward.” Matt makes sure to share both his time as a volunteer, as well as his ever-positive attitude. Perhaps that’s why his friends, fellow classmates and even his professors have nicknamed him “Smiley.” Even during the most difficult weeks of school, Matt never loses his smile, and aims to help brighten other people’s day. “You might have a really tough day, the procedure is not working out the way you want it to or a professor might be chewing you out, but don't get down on yourself,” Matt likes to remind his friends. “We all have those days.”  ...
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

16 Nov Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board bids farewell, welcomes new members

By Jose Martinez III  Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board  Someone once told me that gratitude means nothing if we do not take the time to express it. With this sentiment, we on the alumni board would like to take a moment to say thank you to two very important groups of people. With the first group, our gratitude comes with an additional farewell as these individuals will not be returning to the alumni board this coming year.  These individuals have all served alongside us with grace and determination, and we are forever grateful for their contributions and their friendships. We wish them nothing but the best as they continue their personal and professional journeys, and we feel honored to have them be a part of our network of Boettcher Alumni. Thank you, Alex Ruehle, Kara Penn, Randy Clark, Kay Stafford and Blanca Trejo. With our second group, our gratitude comes with an additional welcome as these individuals have elected to join our 2017 Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board. We are ecstatic to work with these incredible individuals, and we want to say thank you ahead of time for your passion and energy which will help propel this board forward even further. Without further ado, please welcome our newest members. Alex Gordon, 1997, University of Denver; chief operating officer and chief compliance officer at Syntrinsic Bob Yandrofski, 1982, Colorado School of Mines; president of development and chairman of Fundamental Artists Carly Stafford, 2012, Colorado College; admissions counselor at Colorado College Emily Wolverton (2013 Scholar, DU) -- current scholar representative Jennifer Meyers, 1991, University of Denver; CFO and senior vice president of Westerra Credit Union Tony Navarro, 1989, University of Colorado Boulder; judge, Colorado Court of Appeals This board could not exist without the efforts of all of our members, and the staff at the Boettcher Foundation. We wish to extend one final thank you to all of our members and to all of the Boettcher alumni out there. Each and every day, you do incredible things that make our organization and network stronger and stronger....
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Boettcher Foundation Press Release

15 Aug The five truths of leadership coaching

By Katy Craig, Director of Strategic Initiatives From Little League to the Olympics, we all recognize the value of having a coach in sports. But we may not think about how valuable a coach can be in our daily lives, in helping us understand our values, in achieving our goals and in supporting us through our leadership development. And yet this type of coaching is an immensely successful method of integrating new skills and behaviors in adults – skills and behaviors that they themselves choose to develop. For that reason, Boettcher Foundation has decided to invest in coaching for the Boettcher community. We’ve supported a group of scholar alumni through professional coach training who can now give back to Boettcher Scholars via confidential coaching. Coaching has been proven to be one of the most effective means of solidifying growth and leadership development. In fact, companies around the world such as GE, Goldman Sachs and Google regularly invest in coaching for their employees due to its significant power in helping them clarify their goals and produce results. A recent Forbes article showed that the return on investment for coaching is seven times the initial investment. Personally, I’ve had the opportunity to become a certified professional coach as part of the Boettcher Foundation’s coaching corps. As a coach, I love to hold the ground and create the space for others to grow in their power. My coaching focuses on leadership development and enhancing existing strengths and passions. It's a focused relationship designed to serve the coachee and for them to get more of what they want, accomplish their goals and make the most positive impact on the world. I love coaching because it's empowering. It encourages continuous stretching and breaking down barriers that the coachee previously didn't see or didn't think were possible to overcome. As one of my fellow coaching corps members, Kara Penn says, "Coaching is dynamic, collaborative and engages one’s whole life—not just work or school. How refreshing and empowering not to be siloed into one area of our lives!" I've had my own coach for years, and what I love about her is that she helps me to really get clear on what I think and feel, as well as what I want to do and—more  importantly—who I want to be in the world. She calls me forth to be the best version of myself. So, what exactly is coaching? Coaching is not about misplaced optimism. It is about heightening your awareness of habitual behaviors and thoughts so you can bolster those that serve you and manage those that don't. It's about focusing on self-awareness and realizing that you control your thoughts and attitude. Coaching is also not an endless to do list. It’s an opportunity to make the most of what you’re already doing. The coach doesn't give advice or pass judgment, he or she asks powerful questions to help spur your own thinking as you clarify your most resonant desires and values. Coaching is an act of self-compassion, as it gives you focused time to reflect with someone who has no agenda for you, no stake in what you do or do not do. It is a space that is free of criticism, where you can rediscover your own passions and values. Topics for individual sessions can be anything. I've coached people around transitions such as starting a degree program or looking to change careers, the illness or death of a loved one, roommate issues, not knowing what they want to do with their lives, diffusing self-limiting beliefs, wanting more fun and recreation and all kinds of other things. Whatever the reason people have come to coaching, and whatever the individual topics are, the feedback we’ve received has been extremely positive. Being a small part of that kind of transformation is incredibly fulfilling, and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to extend this resource to scholars. If you'd like to learn more or are interested in confidential coaching by a Boettcher Scholar who is a member of our coaching corps, email Marisa@boettcherfoundation.org.  ...
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