11 Dec 2018 Reflection: Lori Prok, Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board Chair
As I reflect on 2018 and our work together as a network of engaged and active scholars, one word sums up my experience on the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board: gratitude. Thank you for a wonderful year of learning, serving, building relationships, sharing experiences and growing our Boettcher Scholar community and its impact on Colorado and beyond. I am continually amazed by how much a small group of committed people can do together, and I am very grateful to be part of such a unique and amazing crew!
I would like to sincerely thank our outgoing board members: Angelique Diaz, Tony Navarro, Edie Sonn and Carly Stafford. Thank you for your time, energy, great ideas and dedication to the Boettcher Foundation and the mission of the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board.
I am very happy to welcome four new members to our alumni board: Theo Chapman, Lori Marchando, Jason Wheeler and Hannah DeKay (current scholar representative), who will be profiled in upcoming scholar newsletters. We are so excited to work with all of you!
I would also like to introduce Tommy George as our incoming alumni board chair. Tommy has been an active and dedicated member of our board, and we are thrilled to have him lead us for the upcoming year.
2018 was a busy and productive year for the Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board and the alumni community. We focused on several areas of growth and impact, including:
Staying connected. We continue to expand our network through our “Class Champion” initiative. You have likely been contacted by your scholar year Class Champion, a fellow scholar acting as your class contact point. We hope this will continue to be an efficient and useful way to keep you connected to the alumni network. The Boettcher Foundation is also preparing to roll out a new scholar portal that will facilitate communication, mentorship, service and networking opportunities for alumni. Look for updates on the new alumni portal in 2019. Our Alumni Ambassador program also continues to expand, connecting alumni with middle and high school students in underrepresented schools and communities, and raising awareness about the scholarship program.
Building our alumni network. New scholars were welcomed at Scholars Weekend in August, and members of the alumni board hosted undergraduate scholars at various informal welcome barbecues at their homes. Graduating seniors were formally welcomed into the alumni network during spring president’s/chancellor’s events on each campus as well as at the alumni board’s annual spring Colorado Rockies baseball game. We hope to continue these traditions, so that our newest scholars and youngest alumni are an active part of the community, are inspired to maintain their connections and opportunities for impact through the alumni network and “pay forward” the Boettcher Foundation’s investment in them.
Offering educational and service opportunities. Members of the alumni network helped organize service events in various cities, a “Beer and Blue Books” discussion regarding Colorado ballot issues and an online book club. Our biggest project this year, the first Boettcher Scholar alumni summit, was held in June at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and was a wonderful opportunity for both education and service. This year’s theme, “Make Your Mark,” allowed scholars and alumni to connect, hear inspiring and diverse TED-style talks from fellow alumni, engage in service opportunities, explore Denver and get inspired to become more engaged on a variety of levels.
So…THANK YOU for a powerful year! I am thankful for the opportunities the Boettcher Foundation and the alumni network continue to give me and all of us. And I am very excited for the year ahead, and all the creative ways we, the scholar alumni community, can use our collective energy to make meaningful impact in our communities. Here’s to 2019!
Lori Prok, MD
Outgoing Boettcher Scholar Alumni Board Chair