Author: Boettcher Foundation

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2022: A Milestone Year of Growth & Impact as Foundation Celebrates 85th Year   DENVER, December 23, 2022 — The year 2022 was a milestone year for the Boettcher Foundation. Not only did 2022 mark the 85th year since the organization’s founding, and 70 years of the Boettcher Scholarship Program, the Foundation also increased its impact in multiple areas. “For 85 years, the Boettcher community has acted as stewards of our great state,” said Katie Kramer, president & CEO of the Boettcher Foundation, who celebrated her 25th year anniversary as a staff member earlier this year. “Our annual investments in transformational leadership and community building compounds the legacy of the investments that came before, and we know that the ripple effect of supporting our state’s doers and difference makers will be felt for generations to come.” In May, for the first time, Boettcher Foundation awarded 50 comprehensive Scholarships to an accomplished and diverse cohort of high school seniors from across Colorado. In total, Boettcher provided over $4 million to current Scholars studying throughout the state. Moving forward, the Foundation will award 50 scholarships annually after awarding 42 every year since the mid-2010s.   In 2022 the Foundation also increased the number of Fellows in its Doers & Difference Makers Fellowship Program from six to 10. The Boettcher Fellows represent communities throughout Colorado and are known as community champions for their impact, passion for service, and leadership potential.   This year, the Foundation piloted a Catalyst Grant Program for participants in our Rural Leaders Collaborative who are tackling key issues like access to child care, workforce development, affordable housing, and diversifying the leadership pipeline. We are thrilled with the interest in these grants and were honored to award 14 organizations from across the state. We are eager to continue to pilot the Catalyst Grant Program in 2023.   Additionally, around $1.8 million was issued to support the Foundation’s Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards. These awards support promising, early career researchers, allowing them to advance their research and compete for major grants. In 2022, Boettcher Investigators were awarded $25.6 million in federal grants, received 16 patents, and published 156 articles. Since 2020, half of the investigators have been women researchers, compared to 35 percent during the program’s first nine years. RESPONSIVE GRANTMAKING The Boettcher Foundation also provided approximately $2.1 million in grants throughout the Colorado. Highlights of our grantmaking this year are as follows: Community College of Aurora Foundation - Center for STEM, Power Mechanics, and Applied Technologies ($70,000) This new state-of-the-art facility will more than double the college’s annual number of skilled associate degree graduates in STEM, diesel-tech, and homebuilding trades, creating pathways to high-demand and high-paying careers in Colorado. Full Circle of Lake County – Community Hub ($25,000) Support will help this one-stop hub for youth and families to connect with resources and opportunities. The newly renovated space will provide much needed room for youth programming, adult education, cooking classes, and leadership training. Grand Mesa Arts & Event Center ($25,000) After successfully operating for four years in downtown Cedaredge, the Center had a timely opportunity to purchase a facility. The newly acquired home – complete with art galleries and a 175-seat theater – will ensure a long-term home for arts and community gatherings in rural Cedaredge. Gunnison Food Hub ($50,000) A joint project by Mountain Roots and Gunnison Country Food Pantry, the Hub improves access to food and food production. The 7,000 square-foot former bowling alley is being refurbished into a space that includes the county’s largest food bank, a community kitchen, and produce-processing equipment available to local farmers. Latino Leadership Institute (LLI) – Ignite Program Expansion ($40,000) With support from Boettcher, LLI will continue to expand the footprint of its burgeoning Ignite Program – a virtual professional development course for emerging Latino leaders – and scale-up its model to ensure long-term sustainability. Ouray Ice Park – Sustainable Water Infrastructure ($40,000) Since 1997, the Ouray Ice Park has been an off-season economic driver for Ouray County. Grant support from the Boettcher Foundation helped protect Ouray’s spring-fed water supply and build improved infrastructure to ensure that the town and the ice park have access to sustainable water sources for decades to come. Town of Hayden – Coworking and Entrepreneurship Center ($50,000) The Center will function as a coworking space, business incubator, and community gathering spot for local entrepreneurs, replete with resources of a Small Business Development Center. As area coal mines and power plants are scheduled to close in the coming years, this space will support workers and a transitioning regional economy. About the Boettcher Foundation At the Boettcher Foundation, we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans because courageous leadership benefits every community in our state. By investing in people, programs, and organizations, we provide a foundation for transformational impact and community building.  ...

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Boettcher Foundation Announces Awardees for 2022 Pilot Grant Program Catalyst Grants to Serve Rural Nonprofit Organizations and Communities   DENVER, December 22, 2022 —  The Boettcher Foundation is excited to announce the initial grantees of a pilot program designed to support nonprofit organizations tackling some of the top issues facing rural Coloradans. The capacity building grants, awarded to 14 organizations, were created for nonprofits to request a strategic injection of funding to impact one of the following issue areas -- housing, childcare, rural workforce, or leadership pipeline challenges. One of the grant recipients is Montezuma Leadership Network (MLN), a grassroots effort to create leadership training and professional development opportunities for business, nonprofit, and government professionals in Cortez and the surrounding areas. With its Catalyst Grant support, MLN will expand its course offerings and develop a five-year strategic plan. “In May of 2022, a handful of emerging leaders in Montezuma County came together to discuss the almost total disappearance of leadership training opportunities and programs in this small rural community,” said Nancy Schaufele, founder of MLN. “With the help of the Boettcher Foundation, (MLN) is poised to become a foundational part of this community in providing leadership pathways and opportunities for our business, nonprofit and governing leaders.” Those eligible for the Catalyst Grants were participants in Boettcher’s Rural Leaders Collaborative, a network of cross sector leaders from across Colorado who convene quarterly to advance the leadership in their organizations, communities, and regions. Launched in 2021, the collaborative includes rural superintendents, college presidents, elected officials, and nonprofit community leaders, among others. “We are thrilled to be able to offer this innovative grant to our rural communities,” said Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boetcher Foundation. “The capacity-building nature of these grants helps to address a short-term need that can have long-term impacts.” Another organization receiving a Catalyst Grant is Hugo Main Street, an economic development nonprofit with a mission to engage Lincoln County in the creation of a vibrant main street. With its support, Hugo Main Street will develop and launch a new Junior Main Street Program to involve youth at Genoa-Hugo School through entrepreneurial training and civic revitalization efforts. “We are so excited that this grant award will support our junior Hugo Main Street programming,” said Gillian Laycock, manager of Hugo Main Street. “The goal of Junior Main Street is to provide a platform for the youth in our community to learn new leadership and economic development skills and abilities that will equip and inspire them to stay living locally, grow to become community leaders, understand local, small-town economics and entrepreneurship, and how each of these components contribute to our towns economic revitalization.” The Boettcher Foundation received 65 eligible inquiries for the Catalyst Grant Program. In 2023, the program will continue across two grant cycles. Here is the full list of organizations funded this year, the counties where they are located, and the respective grant amounts. Hugo Main Street (Lincoln), $7,500 Integrated Community (Routt), $7,500 Holyoke Community Childcare Initiative (Phillips), $7,500 Boys & Girls Club SLV (Alamosa), $7,500 CSU Foundation (Larimer and Logan), $7,500 Community Foundation of Gunnison Valley (Gunnison), $7,500 Valley Housing Fund (Gunnison), $7,500 Early Childhood Council of Archuleta County (Archuleta), $7,500 Ignacio Creative District (La Plata), $10,000 La Plata Family Centers Coalition (La Plata), $7,500 Kids at Their Best (Morgan), $7,500 Montezuma Leadership Network (Montezuma), $7,500 Paradox Community Trust aka Telluride Rural Homes (San Miguel), $7,500 Roaring Fork Leadership (Pitkin), $7,500 About the Boettcher Foundation At the Boettcher Foundation, we believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans because courageous leadership benefits every community in our state. By investing in people, programs, and organizations, we provide a foundation for transformational impact and community building.    ...

  Growing Up in the San Luis Valley I went to junior high and high school in Center, CO. At 18 years old, I knew that I liked science, but getting into it was a shot in the dark. I didn’t have a benefit of an accelerated science courses. My high school had 200 people. It didn’t even have physics. In order to get into Colorado School of Mines, I had to take physics by correspondence through a CU extension. I received a workbook in the mail, I used my study hall at school and worked at home. I also had to do my fourth year of English by correspondence through a CU extension. I applied for the Boettcher Scholarship in high school but was not selected as a Scholar. Attending The Colorado School of Mines Once I was accepted into Mines, I just showed up. This was around 1961. The friends I knew from Center and the new ones I made once I arrived at Mines quickly became a group of mangey engineers-- running around in Levi's and engineering boots, and plaid shirts, and Stetsons and beards. My decision on what to study once I arrived at Mines was not well founded. I don’t regret it, but I ended up studying geophysics basically as the result of a coinflip. Geophysics is the study of the earth using indirect physical measurements. The gravity of the earth varies if you go over large metallurgic deposits. The same goes for the magnetic fields. You can take measurements of the magnetic field and changes in it can determine subsurface deposits of certain materials.  As geophysicists we can also use explosive seismic waves to see how they flow through surface areas and then we can visualize the type of structure that lies beneath the surface.The NASA Fellowship at CU Boulder When I got out of undergrad, I graduated with high honors. I was second or third in the class of several hundred in 1963. I knew I wanted to go to graduate school and thought at that time that I should study space. So I applied to the NASA Fellowship. Once accepted to the fellowship, I chose to attend the astrogeophyscis department at CU Boulder. I was studying space, which was appropriate because I felt that I had found myself on a different planet. First of all, I went from a high school of 200, to Mines where there was around 1,000 students, to CU Boulder where there were 30,000 students. Also, the type of work we were completing in the astrogeophysics department wasn’t what I envisioned when I started. They were more interested in the composition of stars but had they been talking about lunar or Martian landings that required geophysical measurements, that would have really turned my crank. The NASA Fellowship was good for three years. My one year at Boulder was good because it cemented my knowledge and facility with both classical physics and modern physics. And I got really good in math. But I decided I wasn’t happy in Boulder, so I decided to act on that feeling and so something about it. Sputnik Doctorates So I enrolled back at Mines in their geophysics graduate program. After the fellowship ended, I had 2 years left of my grad school. And into the story appears the Boettcher Foundation.  The Boettcher Foundation provided a graduate-level scholarship to finish my PhD in the late 1960s.  It was a nice fellowship. I was happy in Golden. It paid my living expenses and tuition, and at that time I had two children and a wife. Graduating in 1968, I was the first generation of what we then called the "Sputnik Doctorates." The Career I was fortunate that my career allowed me to travel all over the world, from the DMZ in South Korea, to Saudi Arabia, and beyond. It also afforded me the chance to develop a sophisticated metal detector to find buried unexploded ordinance. The Department of Energy group in Grand Junction I was with had a contract with the Army to oversee the tunnel exploration, and we did a lot of geophysics under the DMZ in Korea in an effort to find tunnels. Between 1976 and 1980 I had to become a resident of Saudi Arabia to help them refine their seismic data related to subsurface oil exploration. But my most proud accomplishment was related to developing geophysical electromagnetic methods to identify unexploded ordinance. It took my partner and I from 2003 to 2013 to get this instrument that somewhat appears as a lawn commercialized, and now it is a product sold by a company called geometrics. It is mainly used for unexploded ordinance all over the world. It works by assembling a map that denotes the size and shape of items that are buried. Looking Back, and Ahead This is an exciting time for our new scholars. There are so many problems in all so many scientific fields including, mineral exploration, archeology , engineering, etc. The miniaturization of scientific sensors is opening up all kinds of opportunities and possibilities, and it is just getting started. I can thank Boettcher for my whole career and life. The fellowship really propelled me forward. I want to see Boettcher continue to support Colorado students, and the Boettcher community continue to give back.   We thank Skip for his time spent on this interview, and Boettcher Foundation would like to express our sincere appreciation for his plans to bequest a gift to Boettcher through his will. ...

VIDA Vida is Spanish for life. The name Vida was selected to represent the building’s intent to showcase the relationship between human and animal health and to honor the connections between CSU and the Latin X communities in the surrounding neighborhoods of Globeville and Elyria-Swansea. Vida is made up largely of glass in order to create as much visibility, both literally and figuratively, into the world of veterinary science, equine rehabilitation, and equine therapy programs. Vida hosts a donor subsidized Dumb Friends League animal hospital where pet owners who are facing financial challenges can receive high quality veterinary care at a reduced cost. Visitors to Vida can observe surgical procedures, talk with veterinarians, observe equine rehabilitation, including underwater treadmills, human therapy sessions on horseback, and interact with virtual reality exhibits designed to teach about human and animal health. Vida is home to CSU’s second Temple Grandin’s Equine Center which provides services to individuals with a wide range of disabilities and challenges while conducting research. Vida utilizes a 113-kilowatt, 255 panel voltaic solar energy system which will provide 8% Annual Building Energy Offset. HYDRO Hydro is Greek for water. The name of the building highlights Colorado’s key role as a headwaters state. The architecture of the Hydro building is inspired by the flowing nature water. The outside of the building includes a metal scrim sunshade which originates at the front doors and flows along the entryway. The inside includes a spiral staircase inspired by a swirling river eddy. The Hydro building will be the fourth building on the CSU Spur campus to join the largest sewer-heat recovery project in North America. This means that the building will be primarily heated and cooled by transferring heat from dirty water into the heating system and transferring heat from the building to the dirty water in the winter. The Hydro building includes a greywater catchment system which will provide greywater to flush all of the toilets in the building. Greywater is water which has been used in sinks, showers, or washing machines but never come in contact with feces. This is usually considered wastewater, but systems like those at CSU repurpose the water and increase sustainability efforts. The Hydro building will host Denver Water’s new water quality lab, enabling the number of annual tests to increase from 70,000 to 200,000. TERRA Terra is Latin for earth. The Terra building is dedicated to teaching and connecting individuals to food and agriculture and encouraging collaboration between rural and urban communities. Terra features a “living wall” which is made up of more than 1,600 plants. The architectural palette of the Terra building was selected to represent Colorado’s agricultural landscape. The lower portions of the building features colors and textures drawn from Colorado soils and crops. To provide hands-on educational opportunities to the public and conduct cutting-edge research, Terra is home to kitchens, labs, and gardens that provide space for community cooking and gardening classes, market research, soil, water, and plant analysis, and urban grow spaces. Terra includes an exhibit called CSU Impact which is an interactive digital map displaying the numerous teaching, research, and service sites sponsored by CSU around the world. Terra includes an exhibit called CSU Impact which is an interactive digital map displaying the numerous teaching, research, and service sites sponsored by CSU around the world. The Boettcher Foundation was established on December 22, 1937 by Charles and Claude Boettcher. The Boettcher Scholarship was started in 1952 when 12 students were selected to receive the scholarship. Currently, the Boettcher Foundation awards 50 scholarships each year. In 1959, the Boettcher Foundation donated the Boettcher Mansion to the State of Colorado to serve as the Governor’s Residence. The Boettcher Foundation continues to contribute to the upkeep and preservation of the beautiful, historic mansion. By 1981, the Boettcher Foundation had awarded 1,000 Boettcher Scholarships. Today, the Foundation has awarded over $110 million in undergraduate scholarships to Colorado students. In 2003, the Boettcher Foundation celebrated the milestone of giving $200 million in grants and scholarships designed to invest in the potential of Colorado and Coloradans. By 2011, this number reached $300 million. Tony Frank, the former president, and current Chancellor of CSU, also serves a Trustee for the Boettcher Foundation and currently chairs the board.  $410M+ of total grants and scholarships awarded since 1937   $152,000 in assets in 1937 Since 1952, we have awarded $110M+ in Scholarships   2,763 Boettcher Scholars ...

The year 2022 represents a milestone year for the Boettcher Foundation. Since 1937, we have believed in the promise of Colorado and potential of Coloradans. Through the people, programs, and organizations we have supported, the ripple effect of our investments has shaped Colorado.  On December 15, 2022, we celebrate with the Boettcher community as we reflect on our history and share our vision for a future of transformational impact in Colorado. We will also honor our longtime Trustees Cile Chavez, Kenzo Kawanabe, Sharon Linhart, and Judi Wagner for their dedication and lasting impact they have made on the Foundation. Explore Select Photos from Boettcher's Milestone Soirée Below. To view and download all of the photos from the evening, click here.  CILE CHAVEZ (Term: 2012-21) In recognition of Cile, an education thought leader and retired superintendent, the Boettcher Foundation partnered with Colorado Education Initiative to launch the Rural Superintendent Academy (RSA). The RSA advances the leadership skills of administrators in rural districts to include skilled systems expertise, economic and talent development, and an engaging, inclusive mindset. Additionally, underrepresented applicants selected to participate as Dr. Cile Chavez Fellows receive financial assistance for costs related to participation in the RSA program.KENZO KAWANABE (Term: 2014-22) In recognition of Kenzo, a 1990 Boetcher Scholar and one of only four Boettcher Scholar Alumni to serve as a Trustee, his Trustee Retirement Grant will go back into the Boettcher Scholar Program. Paying it forward is one of Kenzo’s life mottos and he has chosen to do just that with his award. Kenzo is a proud, fourth generation Coloradan from the San Luis Valley who is a partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP, one of Colorado’s oldest and largest law firms. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder and Georgetown Law School. SHARON LINHART (Term: 2012-21) In recognition of Sharon, a champion of entrepreneurship, financial acumen, and creative confidence, the Boettcher Foundation awarded a grant to support the construction of Junior Achievement’s Free Enterprise Center. The center aims to foster those skills in Colorado students through the construction of a state-of-the-art learning lab that will expand the organization’s influence by an additional 90,000 students by 2025. Spaces within the center, which will also be the future home of the Colorado Business Hall of Fame, will be available for community use.  JUDITH BUCK WAGNER (Term: 2014-22) In honor of Judi, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado will establish an endowment fund in Judith Buck Wagner’s name that will support nonprofit capacity building in Colorado. In addition, the Boettcher Foundation is awarding support for a comprehensive campaign feasibility study. Judi is the founder of an investment management firm, a national bank, a bank holding company, and a state bank, as well as a consultant to high-net-worth families and a community volunteer. She founded Wagner Investment Management in 1975, and the firm grew to managing over $1 billion in private assets. In 2010 she merged the company with Cobiz Investment Management LLC, and in 2012 she retired from the firm....

Boettcher Scholar Year: 1978 Hometown: Steamboat Springs College(s), Degree(s): University of Colorado Boulder, Bachelors Degree, Environmental Conservation; University of Colorado Boulder, Masters, Biology Cindy Gay is a 2022 recipient of the Boettcher Foundation’s Alumni Recognition Award. Boettcher’s Alumni Recognition Awards program aims to celebrate Boettcher Scholar Alumni who embody the Foundation’s ethos of service, leadership, and giving back to others. The Foundation gives the Outstanding Alumni Award to two individuals each year. Cindy's leadership in advancing post-secondary science education, promoting teacher professional development, and her commitment to embedding equity and inclusion into the pedagogy and lesson plans she has developed for others has so clearly demonstrated Boettcher’s commitment to giving back, community leadership, and service. Cindy Gay received the Boettcher Scholarship in 1978 and earned a B.S. cum laude in Biology and Environmental Conservation and Conservation Ecology from the University of Colorado, with a concentration in arctic and alpine vegetation ecology. Her M.A. in Biology, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, focused on photosynthetic measurements of C3 and C4 plants. Cindy served for 34 years as a National Board-certified science faculty member with several Colorado middle and high schools, most recently at Steamboat Springs High School where she taught AP Biology, General Biology, Human Anatomy & Physiology, and Biology for Emerging Multilingual Learners. She also served as an adjunct biology professor at Colorado Mountain College. Throughout her teaching career, Cindy has consulted with educational and professional organizations including, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Center for Biomolecular Modeling, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Genetics Science Learning Center and the College Board. She has also served in leadership roles for the National Association of Biology Teachers, the National Science Teachers Association and their state affiliates. Cindy is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Cindy joined BSCS in July 2016. As a Senior Science Educator, she works in the areas of leadership development and teacher professional development, helping to design and lead projects that help teachers enhance their pedagogy and science content. Cindy is currently PI for a NOAA grant, developing a middle school unit that explores the intersection of traditional and scientific ways of knowing in the restoration of Hawaiian fishponds. She is leading the design and implementation of professional development for the new high school biology textbook, BSCS Biology: Understanding for Life. She lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado where she enjoys hiking, skiing, and biking. She’s happiest spending time with her husband, children Jeffrey and Jamie (2009 Boettcher Scholar), son-in-law Jonathan, and grandson Peter. How has being a Boettcher Scholar played into what you have done, where you are now, and what you hope to accomplish in the future? Being a Boettcher Scholar helped me learn about learning - and understand the difference between being a student and a Scholar. It introduced me to a network on incredible mentors and ignited my passion for education. I have worked in education for the past 40 years, primarily as a HS Biology teacher. Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? In 2016 I left the classroom and joined BSCS Science Learning to leave a larger footprint in science education. As a Senior Science Educator, I design and lead professional learning for teachers and education leaders and design instructional materials. I recently co-lead the development of a new HS Biology textbook. My greatest joy is helping teachers transform their teaching practice knowing that they will impact hundreds of their students. What does community service, leadership, and giving back to others mean for you? What is your advice on how folks can get more involved in their own communities?    These are the most important activities one can do in their lifetime. It is through service and leadership (and often leadership without a title or position) that one learns, grows, and makes connections. Getting involved in your community can be as simple as listening to neighbors, reading local publications, and asking questions. There is always work to be done and needs unmet. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for Boettcher Scholars who will graduate this year? Stay involved with the Boettcher Foundation and other powerful and forward thinking organizations that you've interacted with! These organizations are doing great work with incredible people - so many connections and opportunities to learn! Network and meet people, learn about them and their interests and passions!...

Boettcher Scholar Year: 1998 Hometown: Pueblo College(s), Degree(s): University of Denver (1998 - 2002) International Studies/Spanish; Carnegie Mellon University (2004 - 2006) Masters, Public Management; University of California-Berkeley (2006 - 2009) Juris Doctor (JD), Law. Justin Kidd is a 2022 recipient of the Boettcher Foundation’s Alumni Recognition Award. Boettcher’s Alumni Recognition Awards program aims to celebrate Boettcher Scholar Alumni who embody the Foundation’s ethos of service, leadership, and giving back to others. The Foundation gives the Outstanding Alumni Award to two individuals each year. Justin's leadership in ensuring equitable access to justice, and mentoring a new generation of talented, service-oriented individuals has gone above and beyond in demonstrating Boettcher’s commitment to giving back community leadership, and service. Justin used the Boettcher Scholarship to attend the University of Denver, where he majored in Spanish language and International Studies, with minors in French language and leadership.  While in undergrad, Justin studied or interned in France, Spain, Bosnia, and Washington DC.  On graduation, Justin moved to Pittsburgh, where he completed a Coro Fellowship in Civic Leadership, and then a Netzer Fellowship for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, working on health workforce Issues.  While working on his fellowship, Justin went to night school at Carnegie Mellon University, where he earned a Masters in Public Management. Following that, Justin attended law school at the University of California, Berkeley.  Throughout his undergraduate and graduate career, Justin was honored to be selected as a Boettcher Scholar, a Truman Scholar, a Point Scholar, and a member of the USA Today All-American Academic First Team. After law school, Justin was selected as an Honors Attorney for the Oregon Department of Justice, where he served as an Assistant Attorney General for approximately 12 years.  There, he worked as a trial attorney representing the state in cases ranging from small claims to multimillion dollar jury trials and complex class action litigation.  In 2021, Governor Kate Brown appointed Justin as the Justice of the Peace (Justice Court Judge) for Marion County, Oregon, where he serves today.   In his free time, Justin has served as a foster and adoptive parent.  His passion is making life better for foster children, and he works with several Oregon-based organizations to make that happen.  He wants you to know he feels very corny writing this all down in a bio like he was an “important person.” How has being a Boettcher Scholar played into what you have done, where you are now, and what you hope to accomplish in the future? Boettcher gave me the freedom to figure out who I was. When I came out of high school, I enrolled in School of Mines because it was the "hardest" school, and I felt compelled to conquer "hard things."  I did great there academically, but I was flat-out miserable.  Mid-year I admitted to myself I wasn't having fun.  In fact, I decided I would rather stick a fork in my eye than spend the next 40 years deciphering differential equations. Also, I figured out I was gay -- a year full of revelations!  So I called Katie Kramer who was the scholar representative at the time. Almost in tears, I told her I needed to change schools, and also came out to her, half-expecting the scholarship to defund me for being gay.  (The '90s were a different time; a few years earlier, Colorado voters had just passed Amendment 2, which banned local governments from prohibiting anti-gay discrimination).  Katie couldn't have been kinder or more supportive.  She helped me transfer to DU where I decided I could study Spanish just because I loved it.  And now I use Spanish basically every day in court.  I love how it helps me make the courtroom accessible and non-scary to people who don't usually feel welcome. I am really thankful that Boettcher gave me freedom and support to figure myself out. What is your advice on how folks can get more involved in their own communities? I used to dread the Boettcher Scholar alumni survey every year.  I dreaded it because it would always ask how many hours I'm donating to this and to that.  And, well, I never felt like I measured up because Boettcher scholars are AMAZING and basically saving the world.  I'm just here going to work, raising my kids, and volunteering a little where I can -- but I gotta be honest, I'm also spending a good number of hours watching "Game of Thrones" and otherwise being unproductive.  So I guess my advice -- and I am still working on this -- is not to compare yourself to others.  Don't feel guilty going to work and raising your kids and volunteering a little on things that bring you joy.  And also it's a good thing to make some time for "GOT." What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for Boettcher Scholars who will graduate this year? My advice is that they do not have to do "the next hard thing" simply because they are capable of doing "the next hard thing."  A lot of high-achieving people like Boettcher Scholars are accustomed to doing the "next hard thing" simply out of habit, so they get stuck on this conveyor belt of prestigious, difficult (and joyless!) things.  And so a lot of high-achieving undergrads feel like they need to go directly to law school or medical school just because it's a difficult and prestigious thing to do -- not because they think the practice will bring them joy.  A few years later, and a couple hundred thousand dollars poorer, they discover they'd rather stick a fork in their eye than attend another deposition.  (Sound familiar?)  Reject the conveyor belt.  It's much smarter to take a gap year or two before graduate school.  The time and space will help you determine if you really want to enter the profession, or if you're just doing it because it's the next "hard thing."...

DENVER, October 14, 2022 — The Boettcher Foundation is excited to announce the 2022 recipients of the Boettcher Foundation’s Alumni Recognition Award. Boettcher’s Alumni Recognition Awards program aims to celebrate Boettcher Scholar Alumni who embody the Foundation’s ethos of service, leadership, and giving back to others. The Foundation gives the Outstanding Alumni Award to two individuals each year. Members of the Boettcher Foundation Scholar Alumni Board reviewed the 2022 nomination submissions, and named the below winners. "We are so honored to have been a part of the lives and leadership journeys of these two incredible individuals," said Curtis Esquibel, Director of Communications and Community Engagement at the Boettcher Foundation. "Their impact has been felt in Colorado and far beyond our borders, and it is that type of transformational impact we hope our 70-year-old Scholarship program produces." To recognize their work, and in the spirit on continuing to give back, awardees are able to direct $1,000 to a Colorado nonprofit of their choice. Boettcher Foundation encourages all Alumni to continue to lead in your own communities and to nominate a fellow Alum next year for the 2023 Alumni Recognition Awards.   Cindy Gay, 1978 Boettcher Scholar Cindy's leadership in advancing post-secondary science education, promoting teacher professional development, and commitment to embedding equity and inclusion into the pedagogy and lesson plans she have developed for others has so clearly demonstrated Boettcher’s commitment to giving back, community leadership, and service. Cindy served for 34 years as a National Board-certified science faculty member at middle and high schools across Colorado. In 2016, Cindy joined BSCS Science Learning as a Senior Science Educator. She works in the areas of leadership development and teacher professional development, helping to design and lead projects that help teachers enhance their pedagogy and science content. Cindy is currently PI for a NOAA grant, developing a middle school unit that explores the intersection of traditional and scientific ways of knowing in the restoration of Hawaiian fishponds. She is leading the design and implementation of professional development for the new high school biology textbook, BSCS Biology: Understanding for Life. Read more about Cindy here.     Justin Kidd, 1998 Boettcher Scholar Justin's leadership in ensuring equitable access to justice, and mentoring a new generation of talented, service-oriented individuals has gone above and beyond in demonstrating Boettcher’s commitment to giving back community leadership, and service. In 2021, Oregon Governor Kate Brown appointed Justin as the Justice of the Peace (Justice Court Judge) for Marion County, Oregon, where he serves today.  In his free time, Justin has served as a foster and adoptive parent.  His passion is making life better for foster children, and he works with several Oregon-based organizations to make that happen. Read more about Justin here.   About the Boettcher Foundation:  We believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day, we build up and connect doers and difference makers from across the state, working to elevate people, programs, and organizations. Because by investing in Colorado leaders, we provide a foundation for transformational impact and community building across Colorado....

DENVER, July 21, 2022 — The Boettcher Foundation is excited to announce the second cohort of Fellows to participate in its Doers & Difference Makers Fellowship. The Fellowship, a component of the Foundation’s COLead Initiative, seeks to identify, celebrate, elevate, and connect community champions from across Colorado. The program elevates these individuals’ voices and amplifies their impact through structured opportunities to develop as individual leaders and members of Colorado’s ecosystem, including a financial investment, individualized coaching, and an emphasis on building connections. “I am honored that these 10 incredible Coloradans have chosen to take part in Boettcher’s Doers & Difference Makers Fellowship,” said Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. “Each one of these leaders impacts their communities through leadership and community building. We are excited to support them on their leadership journeys.” The 2022 Fellows, chosen from a competitive process, come from a variety of backgrounds, sectors, and geographic regions. They are local leaders engaged in economic development, youth development, civic engagement, and more. Though unique in their professional backgrounds and lived experiences, each Fellow is determined to serve Colorado and their community with courageous leadership. The Fellows are pictured below as follows (top row, left to right; bottom row, left to right): 2022 Boettcher Fellows Shelby Clark, Wray Esteban Salazar, Alamosa Gregory Kolomitz, La Junta Jennifer Holloway, Craig Chris Beasley, Colorado Springs   Gloria Perez, Leadville Dave Goe, Grand Junction Letitica Bancroft, Fort Morgan Gillian Laycock, Hugo Lupita Garcia, Alamosa   About the Boettcher Foundation:  We believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. Every day, we build up and connect doers and difference makers from across the state, working to elevate people, programs, and organizations. Because by investing in Colorado leaders, we provide a foundation for transformational impact and community building across Colorado....

1996 Boettcher Scholar Danny McDonnall is a bioengineering expert turned opera singer. He was recently interviewed by 1995 Boettcher Scholar Katy Craig. They discuss humanitarian biotechnology, finding passion and mission to fuel motivation, and of course, opera. Watch the video (and get a glimpse of Danny's vocal prowess) here....