Author: Boettcher Foundation

By TEDxMileHigh Staff We hope that you and your friends and family are doing okay in these stressful times. Your health and the well-being of our community is our primary concern, and we are thinking of you. This week we are sharing content that we hope will provide educational resources and inspiration to take action both at home and in our community. Our new blog series, Heroes of COVID-19, highlights essential workers' lives during the pandemic. This week, read about Zeppelin Station General Manager Marika Evanger and the project she co-founded to help feed hospitality workers who have lost their jobs. ...

By Jon Pompia The Pueblo Chieftain Although he boasts a 4.8 weighted and 4.0 unweighted GPA, is second in his class, and earned a coveted Boettcher Scholarship, East High School’s Ryan Bayer cites his most notable high school accomplishments as the little things in life. “I made friends and relationships I will cherish for my life,” he said. “Some of my most memorable relationships are the ones I made within my community involvement. I attempted to involve myself in every volunteering activity I could.” Bayer plans to use his Boettcher endowment — a full ride, four-year scholarship awarded to the state’s top graduating seniors — to attend Colorado State University: the first step to his goal of a career in cardiology. ...

By Kelly Brough Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce What’s most impressive to me right now is how much you – our members – are working for each other to ensure our regional economy rebounds from this pandemic. You are showing how Colorado businesses rally around each other – why we had the strongest economy before COVID-19 and how resilient we’ll be as our doors begin opening again. We know there are many challenges facing our employers and companies. We are advocating for additional resources for our smallest businesses, and we are hearing that Congress is close to a new deal to renew funding. A lot of other positive things are happening right now, too. ...

By Tracy Wahl The hospital lobby in Trinidad has an incredible mural designed by a nun. It shows the history of the town of 10,000 people where I have been living for the last two years. One day, when I was waiting in the lobby for something routine, I noticed the huge mosaic of tiles spreading from one side of the wall to the other. I started Googling away and found that it was hung in 1979. The artist was a nun, Sister Augusta Zimmer, from the Sisters of Charity in Cincinnati. It's a 2,000-pound ceramic mural, constructed in pieces. It's so heavy that the wall was reinforced so it could hold the weight of the ceramic tiles. I posted a picture on one of the Trinidad Facebook groups and next thing I know someone has responded, “I helped to hang that mural!” I messaged him and said let’s connect. When I first moved here after leaving Phoenix, Arizona, I had left a job that just didn’t fit. And the weather didn’t fit either. The weather in the summer was, as I have now said over and over again, well, it was just unlivable. So when I prepared to move back home to Colorado, I was drawn to Trinidad for the combination of arts community with deep sense of history tied back to the coal miners who once filled these streets. I started writing for the local paper — writing dozens of profiles, essays, and news pieces in the months before COVID struck. I started reporting for the local public radio station. It turned out the guy who responded to my query about the mural on Facebook had been head of the art department at Trinidad State Junior College decades ago when he got a call that Sister Zimmer needed some help to hang the dozens of ceramic blocks that made up the mural. Inspired, he decided to teach his students how to do similar mosaic projects. Those murals now grace the campus of the college. That same day I was walking down Main Street and was looking at a picture window display at one of the local galleries. A man whom I recognized from the school board meeting I had covered for the paper was standing next to me. His wife and he also own the local Hallmark card store next to the picture window where we stood. We were looking at a wonderful sculpture made of nuts and bolts and other metal parts. "The guy who did that sculpture is a police officer," he told me. Cool, I replied, saying that I had always wanted to learn to weld. Well, he said, there is a welding class at the local community college and, in fact, the person you need to call to find out more is married to the police officer who made that sculpture. Small world. Actually, small Trinidad world. About the time I moved here, a friend gave me a piece of pottery. It was curvy and undulating, a bowl but also a cloud shape. A few months later I took a pottery class. The teacher had taught the woman who made the bowl. That's just the way it works here. The fabric of the place is interwoven with art. Two years later, I have completed dozens of paintings, many of which hang in the co-op downtown. Before moving here, while working at NPR in Washington D.C.,  I had taken several continuing education art classes while I worked the overnight. I’d go to class from 6 pm to 10 pm and then drive to work at midnight.  Even though I had taken several of these classes, I had never had one of my paintings professionally framed and displayed in a gallery — that is, until I moved to Trinidad. Now, I had. It was in no small part thanks to my amazing painting teacher, and my high school boyfriend whom I had reconnected with. But it is also partly thanks to this place that is so layered with artists. One day I was working at the art co-op (as part of our membership we all agree to work a few hours a month) and a fellow artist came in and walked up to one of my paintings. They are mostly of local geologic landmarks and scenic views. "My grandparents live right behind this hill, and I grew up seeing that," he told me. I got a little thrill....

Boettcher Scholar Year: 1987  Hometown: Colorado Springs  College(s), Degree(s): Colorado College, 1991; Princeton University, 1995  Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation?   Starting in 2013, my professional work has gradually phased into cleaning up oil and gas wells and well pads where companies have filed for bankruptcy and don't restore the land to its original condition. I'm part of a small team of finance, engineering, and environmental professionals who contract for oilfield maintenance and reclamation services year-round in dozens of Colorado counties. It's very rewarding from a public service point of view and has grown tremendously (about ten times in budget terms) since 2018.  What role has being a Boettcher Scholar played into where you are and what you are doing now?   The Boettcher Scholar community has helped me to keep a focus on Colorado and where I fit in its unique set of government, business, and environmental traditions. I've been in more than nine U.S. states in my life, coast to coast, while I worked or studied, and the Foundation's drive to add continuity to the Scholar community has been invaluable to me. I came back to Colorado in 2011 for the next chapter of my career after being away for 20 years, and the Boettcher Scholarship was perhaps the greatest reminder to me to be part of Colorado tradition of giving back. I would also have the chance to be grateful for being a recipient of this state's generosity and its investment in its people.  Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work.   I've enjoyed a series of volunteer positions in my community, in particular for youth sports and religious nonprofit organizations. The positions often need the same level of dedication and skill on a per hour basis that my paid job demands. Since 2014, I've been a Treasurer on a couple of executive teams, a member of a Board of Directors and a Board of Management, and a member of an investment management committee. Each position is something I'd do all over again, none of them were effortless or thankless, and I can say that without these basic nonprofit functions covered by a competent volunteer team, the whole social mission of these organizations would suffer.  What’s the best advice you’ve received and what advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field?   I adore the messages given to me about taking risks. Some Boettcher Scholar programs have repeated this refrain. Why does it matter? We can "play it safe" in our lives, but our world needs bold action that embraces risk more than ever. To my fellow Coloradans who aspire to public service of any kind or who choose a public finance career, I'd say that it pays to be picky about your organization as you advance. Sometimes there will be a disconnect between new leadership goals and the processes that line staff built over a decade or more. You may be on either end of that tension. How your leadership supports you in that tension will make or break your experience. So keep your antenna out and carefully listening for the kind of support that you just might need during a difficult period of change.  If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?   I guess MLK has been on my mind a lot since the spring of 2020. I've been lucky to be in a group that meets every Friday at midday to discuss the painful topics of racial justice, mental health, and other matters of our American legacy. I'd like to fill a dinner table with both historical and contemporary legends: Reverend Dr. Otis Moss III, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II, and Reverend Traci Blackmon. They'd have a lot to say about the underbelly of our American story, the 400 years of wounds that are most in need of healing, and the courage needed for the privileged among us to build a better community in which everyone can live up to her potential. ...

By Greeley Schools Staff Greeley Schools Two Greeley-Evans School District 6 high school seniors are eligible for the prestigious Boettcher Scholarship this year. Mikyla Bowen of Northridge High School was selected to receive the scholarship and Gracejit Chahal of Greeley West High School was chosen as an alternate recipient. The Boettcher Foundation awards 40 scholarships per year that pay the full cost of tuition at any four-year college or university in Colorado, as well as fees, a book allowance and an annual stipend for living expenses. Thousands of students undergo a rigorous application and interview process to compete for this prestigious award. Students are selected based on their superior scholastic abilities, evidence of leadership and involvement, service to the community and their school, and outstanding character. ...

By Kati Weis CBS4 Denver DENVER (CBS4) – Gov. Jared Polis talked about the significance of coronavirus and staying at home during the upcoming Easter and Passover holidays. Wednesday afternoon, Polis talked about getting spiritual fulfillment while staying isolated. He said that it’s important to observe those events that are important to you even though those festivities may look a little different than years past. “We’ll do our best and that’s what is important,” said Polis. “What so many faith leaders are doing is providing services online.” There are now 5,655 positive cases in Colorado, although the actual number is more than likely far greater. The number of deaths reported jumped to 193 on Wednesday, up from 150 on Monday. ...

By CU Connections Staff CU Connections The Boettcher Foundation on Wednesday announced the creation of a $1 million biomedical research fund to fight COVID-19 and potentially curtail future pandemic outbreaks. Called the COVID Biomedical Research Innovation Fund, the Fund’s Request for Proposals (RFP) asks Colorado-based researchers and investigators to complete grant applications by the close of business on Friday, April 17. The rapid response strategy is both a short- and long-term approach. “We wanted to be strategic in our COVID-19 response by supporting scientific innovation to fight the pandemic immediately and help impact Coloradans in the future,” said Board of Trustee Chair Kenzo Kawanabe. “We know the good work being done in Colorado’s biomedical research and this represents an effort to accelerate support and prioritize public health.” ...

By the Leadville Herald Staff The Leadville Herald Samuel Frykholm, a senior at Lake County High School, has been selected as a recipient of the Boettcher Foundation Scholarship. Boettcher scholarships recognize Colorado’s top students by providing them with the funds to attain an excellent in-state education and access to additional opportunities to enrich their time in college and beyond. Boettcher Scholars become part of a network of Alumni and community leaders who are meant to support and engage them throughout their lifetimes. ...

By Jon Pompia The Pueblo Chieftain Ranked first in her East High School senior class with a GPA of 4.898, International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate and high achieving DECA and 4-H standout Caitlin Johnston can now add another achievement to her already packed resume. Boettcher Scholar. Boettcher Scholarships recognize Colorado’s top graduating seniors with a full-ride, four-year endowment to any institution in the state. The award covers tuition and fees, and offers an allowance for books and living expenses. Johnston plans to use her scholarship to attend the University of Colorado to study elementary education. ...