Author: Boettcher Foundation

By Mark Stevens YourHub, Denver Post Sheridan High School is celebrating the accomplishments of four students, including two who have been named finalists for prestigious scholarships and two who finished in the top three in a statewide essay-writing contest. Senior Amanda Dinh has been named a Daniels Scholarship finalist and senior Gabrielle Marcojos as a semi-finalist for a Boettcher Scholarship. Daniels Scholarship recipients are selected for their strength of character, leadership potential, commitment to serving their communities, academic performance or promise, well-rounded personality, and emotional maturity and stability. Daniels Scholars are supported financially in attending any four-year college in the United States. Boettcher Scholarship recipients are provided with full-ride tuition to any accredited four-year college in the state. ...

By the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation Colorado State University (CSU) junior Carmyn Ginnetti was named Colorado Leadership Alliance’s (CLA) 2020 Student Leader of the Year at the CLA Summit on Saturday, Jan. 25. The annual award is given by the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation and the Boettcher Foundation. Get to know Student Leader of the Year Carmyn Ginnetti: Majoring in psychology and communications studies with a minor in leadership studies. Ginnetti has helped students navigate life at CSU Fort Collins as a resident assistant, learning assistant and public achievement coach. She plans to pursue that passion for working with students through a career focused on student affairs in higher education.     ...

By The Endocrine Society EurekAlert! Science News Teens with obesity and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have more "unhealthy" gut bacteria, suggesting the microbiome may play a role in the disorder, according to new research published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. "We found that in adolescents with PCOS and obesity, the bacterial profile (microbiome) from stool has more 'unhealthy' bacteria compared to teens without PCOS," said the study's corresponding author, Melanie Cree Green, M.D., Ph.D., of Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora, Colo. "The unhealthy bacteria related to higher testosterone concentrations and markers of metabolic complications." ...

DENVER, April 13, 2021 — The Boettcher Foundation is pleased to announce that Justice Rebecca Love Kourlis has been appointed to the Board of Trustees. A Colorado Springs native, Justice Kourlis’ accomplished legal career spans more than 40 years in both rural and urban Colorado. Comprised of Colorado’s most dynamic business and community leaders, Boettcher Foundation Trustees are responsible for supporting and guiding the Foundation in its mission to support the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. “Throughout her career, civic, and personal life, Justice Kourlis has demonstrated exceptional commitment to service and leadership,” said President & CEO Katie Kramer. “She has a passion for Colorado and understands the opportunities and challenges we face in communities of all sizes across our state.” Kourlis said she chose to join the Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees because of the organization’s mission and history of impacting communities and individuals in Colorado. “The Boettcher Foundation exemplifies a commitment to Colorado’s past, present, and future in deep and meaningful ways,” said Kourlis.  “I am proud to be part of that team.” Justice Kourlis is the founder and former executive director of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) at the University of Denver, a national, nonpartisan ‘think-do’ tank, as she describes it, dedicated to improving the legal system. In addition, Justice Kourlis was one of only five lawyers in the northwestern Colorado town of Craig before working as a trial court judge and eventually becoming the third woman to serve on the Colorado State Supreme Court. She valued her time on the bench for giving her the opportunity to improve the efficacy and fairness of the American legal system. Justice Kourlis earned a BA in English Literature with distinction from Stanford University, graduating in 1973. She attended the Stanford School of Law and received her JD in 1976. She has also received an honorary LL.D. from the University of Denver College of Law. Justice Kourlis has received many accolades for her work, including the American College of Trial Lawyers’ Samuel E. Gates award in 2016; the American Bar Association Justice Center’s John Marshall award in 2012; and the Leader of Democracy award from the League of Women Voters in Colorado in 2015. In 2011, she published her book Rebuilding Justice: Civil Courts in Jeopardy and Why You Should Care. Kourlis and her husband, Tom – a businessman and cattle and sheep rancher – have three children. She is the daughter of former Colorado Gov. John A. Love. 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....

By Amelia Atencio For those reading this blog, I have the distinct pleasure of being the first of many guest authors to share my story. The first piece of financial advice I received was a snippet I overheard from a Youtube video, “Aim to save a year’s worth of your salary at any given point in your life. This way, if anything were to happen, you could secure your livelihood while you re-gain your footing.” For those I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, I am Amelia Atencio, a 2014 Scholar and ’18 Colorado College Alumna. Growing up, money was tight in my household and I was always aware of the cost of living. Years like 2008 were challenging and others like 2014 were filled with promise. If, like me, you’re shifting in your seat because this is a slightly uncomfortable topic, that’s because talking about money is taboo. Korrena Bailie, a consumer finance editor at Forbes Advisor says, “Not talking about money can have sweeping social effects, like stopping women from getting equal pay for equal work in the workplace.” March is Women’s History Month - a time to celebrate the achievements of woman across the world and a time to have conversations that carry the torch forward for equal rights, equal pay, and equal representation. I should share that I do not work in finance, I am just a young woman who wants to be able to better manage my money and be financially secure. I want the same for all women. So, how do we help women better manage their money? First, we can begin by being candid and not being embarrassed by financial conversations. Secondly, we can share resources, tips, and empower women to be champions of their own financial security. Most importantly of all, we can make banking and investing more accessible to women. I recently attended an event with History of Colorado to learn more about The Women’s Bank. One of Colorado's and Boettcher’s own champions, Judi Wagner helped found the Women’s Bank in Denver, CO. in 1978. At the time, banks were not favorable to women and until 1974 women still needed a male co-signer to open a bank account or line of credit. This law prevented many female settlers and widowed businesswomen from using a bank to manage their assets. Unlike other female-chartered banks in the U.S., this bank was intended for women. On opening day, they took in over $1 million dollars from women in the community. The success of the bank was so profitable that the annual return averaged ~14%. This success continued for 16 years until 1994 when the bank was acquired by the Colorado Business Bank. During the virtual event, I had the pleasure of asking Judi Wagner, “What advice would you share with women managing their money?” and she said, “To invest.” Not only should women learn to invest, but they should also create portfolios that will allow them to “sleep well at night” and are resilient to market bubbles. A great place to start is ElleVest, but she also stressed the importance of interviewing several brokers to ensure you trust the person managing your investments. I also asked Judi if she thought banking was more welcoming today. She said, “Yes, of course. There are many women in banking and investment roles today.” She also pointed to Jane Fraser saying, “We have come a long way, but there is still much work to be done.” Jane Fraser is a poignant example because she was appointed the CEO of Citigroup this past year — the first female CEO of a large financial institution. While her accomplishment marks an incredible achievement for women, it is also a reminder that appointing women in high-ranking positions is long overdue. Though March is coming to a close, it is important that the work continues. How can you empower the women in your life to play an active role in their finances? Perhaps you can start having conversations with your children at a young age or help them set up their first bank account. Or, if you are well versed in financial planning or investing, you can share your resources with women you mentor at work. At the end of the day, what matters most is dismantling the stigma around money and we can all do that by having candid conversations. Money doesn’t have to be so mysterious....

DENVER, February 9, 2021 — University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) senior Sara Khammash was named Colorado Leadership Alliance’s (CLA) 2021 Student Leader of the Year at the CLA summit on Feb. 13. The annual award is given by the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation and the Boettcher Foundation. “Sara’s commitment to service was strong in both quality and quantity,” said Tiffany Anderson, director of programs at the Boettcher Foundation. “It was clear that she valued helping others not for her own benefit or self-fulfillment, but out of a genuine desire to serve others in the UCCS and Colorado Springs communities." Sara is a member of the Chancellor’s Leadership Class (CLC) at UCCS. As the CLC’s service coordinator, she hosted their first CLC Alumni and Scholar Day of Service. She is also the president of the university’s first Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) club. Outside of school, Sara has, among other service projects, collected and distributed supplies to Jordanian refugees, volunteered as a tutor at Bear Creek Elementary School, and volunteered in the Emergency Department of Penrose St. Francis hospital. As a biology major with emphasis on biomedical science, Sara will be graduating UCCS in the summer of 2021 with summa cum laude honors. The Colorado Leadership Alliance works to bring together leadership programs, directors, and students from college campuses across Colorado, in order to define and address community needs. Find out more at denverleadership.org/colorado-leadership-alliance....

Initiative components to invest in leaders, connect organizations and communities DENVER, February 9, 2021 — Today, the Boettcher Foundation is announcing a new initiative that will connect individuals, organizations, and communities as part of the organization’s vision to invest in courageous leadership and community-building across Colorado. Called COLead, the initiative is the outcome of the Foundation’s year-long effort to discern how it can build a connected, inclusive, and accessible leadership ecosystem that serves all of Colorado. “This work is a continuation of our 84 year history of investing in human capital,” said Katie Kramer, president & CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. “COLead represents our strategic approach to elevate community champions, strengthen leadership networks, and convene stakeholders in a unique way that will propel Colorado forward.” The initiative will feature a portfolio of programming, communications, and grantmaking investments (outlined below) beginning in 2021 with other components phased in over time. The name of COLead was designed to mean a group of Colorado individuals who collaborate to advance community leadership. Beginning in late 2019, the Foundation began convening community leaders from throughout Colorado to better understand the assets, needs, and opportunities of the leadership landscape. From talking with nearly 180 individuals from nearly 139 organizations, Kramer noted several themes emerged from those conversations. Stakeholders agreed that several core areas could strengthen the leadership ecosystem in Colorado – elimination of barriers to access leadership opportunities, more diversification of participants within leadership programs, stronger collaboration among organizations and individuals, and more emphasis on leadership development. “The Foundation is uniquely positioned to champion leadership and strengthen the ecosystem,” Kramer said. “We have a long-standing and deep history with the organizations, community issues, and people in rural, urban, and suburban Colorado. And there is so much for us to learn as we embark on this journey.” COLead will launch in 2021 with four components: Fellowship: The Fellowship will identify, celebrate, elevate, and connect the community champions from across Colorado who serve as both informal and formal leaders. The Foundation will announce the first cohort in the fall. Leadership Collaborative: The collaborative will create a space for stakeholders to come together to advance leadership in their organizations, communities, and regions. The intent is to share knowledge, access resources, and amplify impact. Leadership Stories: The story project will help define what leadership means to Coloradans, telling the stories of community champions who are both formal and informal leaders. Leaders of all ages, backgrounds, industries, and geographies are impactful in our state’s leadership ecosystem – and the Foundation will celebrate them and share their narratives. Ecosystem Map: To best support leadership in Colorado, the Foundation aims to understand the leadership ecosystem and how it functions. To that end, it will develop a leadership ecosystem map that identifies and visually represents the individuals, organizations, communities, and/or institutions who are part of the leadership landscape and the connections that exist between them. “To fulfill the promise of Colorado and potential of Coloradans means we need to focus on leadership and leverage the power of connection and collaboration,” Kramer said. “We operate under the belief that investment in leadership pays off for decades, far after the philanthropic contribution has been spent.” For more information on the COLead Initiative, visit boettcherfoundation.org About the Boettcher Foundation At the Boettcher Foundation, 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....

DENVER, January 29, 2021 — The Boettcher Foundation Board of Trustees is delighted to announce its new slate of officers for the year. Officers for 2021 are: Chair – Sharon Linhart, founder of Linhart Public Relations; Chair-elect – Tony Frank, chancellor of the Colorado State University system; Secretary – Michelle Lucero, chief administrative officer and general counsel for Children's Hospital Colorado; Treasurer – Judith Buck Wagner, founder of Wagner Investment Management; and Past-chair – Kenzo Kawanabe, partner with Davis Graham & Stubbs.   “The Boettcher Foundation relies on the wisdom and diverse perspectives of these community leaders,” said Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. “Our incredible Trustees help shape and guide our mission to ensure that the Foundation’s resources are aligned with Colorado’s opportunities and needs.” The Board of Trustees have also approved David Miller, CEO of Barton Institute for Community Action, and Rick Pederson, a principal at Bow River Capital Partners, for their second three-year terms. About the Boettcher Foundation At the Boettcher Foundation, 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....

Boettcher Scholar Year: 2004 Hometown: Aurora, CO College/Degree: Colorado School of Mines for BS in Petroleum Engineering; Rice University for MBA Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? I am currently a director of reservoir engineering and analytics at a small private equity backed oil and gas company that produces mostly natural gas. I live at the intersection of subsurface understanding and finance. I love that I get to deploy machine learning regularly to help make business decisions and that I get to help people in the organization develop. What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now? Boettcher has been a great support infrastructure throughout my academic and professional career. Support started with funding of undergraduate research and a more recent example is through personal development coaching. Throughout my career Boettcher has provided substantial support beyond the scholarship that I have found helpful. Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work. Outside of work I am most active through a startup nonprofit focused on early childhood education for at-risk children, where I am the president: Harbor School, Inc. I also participate in a few professional organizations around the topics of oil and gas, energy, engineering, and business. What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field? "A wise man can learn from a fool, but a fool can learn from no-one." It's a riff on a quote from Bruce Lee. I think these are wise words to live by whether professional or personal, and I try. If you are entering my career path today or you are starting out as a STEM professional I would recommend focusing in on people and soft skills. Both will matter as much as your technical skills. If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, who would you choose and why? Right now the person I wish I could talk to most is James Baldwin. James Baldwin seemed to have understood a lot of things that would help us understand and fix many issues we deal with today as they relate to race (and class and sexuality) in America....

DENVER, December 23, 2020 — The Boettcher Foundation has awarded more than $10.6 million in grants and scholarships in 2020. The grantees include organizations leading transformational initiatives, connecting communities through infrastructure or programming, and others increasing leadership opportunities. A major focus of the Foundation’s grantmaking also emphasized rural depth and statewide breadth. “Our philanthropic support this past year reflects our mission to invest in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans,” said President & CEO Katie Kramer. “2020 was an unprecedented year in so many ways, and we remain as committed as ever to organizations and individuals who continue to lead transformational work in their respective communities.” The Foundation continued its longtime investment in biomedical research through its support of the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Program. In addition to announcing its 11th class of Boettcher Investigators, Boettcher created the COVID-19 Biomedical Research Innovation Fund and supported the Help Colorado Now statewide relief work in response to the pandemic. Meanwhile, the Boettcher Scholarship Program added 42 Scholars to its influential network. To date, the Foundation has invested more than $105 million in 2,672 Colorado students dating back to 1952. Below are additional details about some of our 2020 grant and scholarship recipients. FOCUS AREA: PROMISE OF COLORADO San Luis Valley Ski-Hi Event Center ($100,000): Located in Monte Vista, this new facility will feature a conference center and multiple indoor athletic courts. The complex has long served as an anchor for the community and the new, modern version is vital to the future health and prosperity of the region. Center for African American Health Hudson Street Facility ($75,000): The Center for African American Health is the preeminent organization focusing on the health of Colorado’s African American residents. Their new facility will increase the organization’s capacity to serve clients and collaborate with numerous onsite partners. Rural Theaters Support Fund ($50,000): Movie theaters are local hubs for entertainment, education, and civic life in rural Colorado. In partnership with other foundations and the State of Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, the fund will help ensure rural theaters can reopen their doors after the COVID-19 pandemic. RISE Planning and Design Support Grants ($25,000): In September 2020, Governor Jared Polis announced the $32.7 million Response, Innovation, and Student Equity (RISE) Education Fund to help Colorado address the learning challenges that students are facing due to COVID-19. Our assistance for RISE planning grants helps eligible educational organizations develop their initiatives and strengthen their applications to the fund. Prodigy Coffeehouse – Globeville Expansion ($25,000): Prodigy employs future community leaders through an intensive apprenticeship program that builds skills, mindsets, and economic capital for sustainable careers. The second location will double the number of apprentices employed and help unleash the talent of the Globeville neighborhood. FOCUS AREA: POTENTIAL OF COLORADANS Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation – Civic DNA Fellows ($25,000): In 2020 we continued to empower Colorado’s leaders through support of the Civic DNA Fellows program. The eight-month, cohort-based experience helps leaders with a demonstrated community commitment further develop their leadership skills so they can increase their civic impact. Latino Leadership Institute ($10,000): The Latino Leadership Institute (LLI) at the University of Denver advances Latino professionals to positions of influence and prepares organizations for a more diverse and equitable future. The fellowship program and leadership and inclusion trainings emphasize Latino leaders from across Colorado who work in different sectors and industries. Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Program ($1.8 million): This year’s awards supported eight promising, early career Investigators, allowi­ng them to establish their independent research and be more competitive for major federal and private awards. Each recipient is awarded $235,000 in grant funding to sustain up to three years of biomedical research. Including the class of 2020, 76 Boettcher Investigators have received funding through the Webb-Waring program. Since 2010, Investigators have gone on to earn a collective $100 million in subsequent independent research funding. For more information, please visit here. Boettcher Scholarship Program ($4.1 million): The 2020 Boettcher Scholar class include the founder of a nonprofit organization that provides cybersecurity services, a composer for ballet and jazz routines, and the founding board member of the Native American Youth Summit. The cohort of 42 Scholars mark the newest class of students who will be the next generation of Colorado’s dynamic thinkers and leaders. The Boettcher Scholar network includes more than 2,600 Alumni who have made their marks in business, government, the nonprofit sector, and academia, among other industries. The four-year scholarship, established in 1952, includes full tuition and fees, a book allowance, and an annual stipend for living expenses. For more information, please visit here. COVID-19 RESPONSE COVID Biomedical Research Innovation Fund (Approximately $1 million): In May, the Foundation awarded six grantees with a total of just under $1 million in biomedical research funding to fight COVID-19 and future pandemics. The grantees represent several of  Colorado’s top research hospitals, universities – and included several partnerships. The grantees were selected from a pool of 120 applicants; they are collectively leading research efforts around COVID-19 risk factors, treatment, testing, and vaccines. For more information, please visit here. Help Colorado Now COVID Relief Fund ($100,000): Hosted by the State of Colorado and Mile High United Way and administered by a committee of community leaders from across Colorado, the Help Colorado Now fund has provided more than $20 million to aid Colorado communities affected by COVID-19 and organizations working in prevention, impact, and recovery.   About the Boettcher Foundation At the Boettcher Foundation, 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....