Author: Kristi Arellano

This past summer, the Boettcher Foundation launched a “collaboration grant” program that paired 12 Boettcher Scholars with Boettcher Investigators at Colorado institutions. The students had the opportunity to assist with research, while the Boettcher Investigators benefitted from having highly skilled and dedicated students in their labs. For 2011 scholar Lucas Suazo, a student at Colorado State University, it meant studying damaged lung cells and shadowing patient visits with Dr. Rachel Zemans at National Jewish Health. “In the lab, he would take lung cells and expose them to cigarette smoke. You put them in a chamber, light a cigarette, let them breathe and watch the damage,” Rachel said. “Then he did studies on the cells to see how they repaired themselves.” Lucas also joined Rachel on clinic visits and helped her review x-rays, CAT scans and breathing tests results.  Not only did he learn how to examine patients, but with Rachel’s help, he set up an entirely new technique for testing lung cells. For Rachel, the collaboration grant was a unique way to pass on her enthusiasm for the field of research. For Lucas, it was both an opportunity to transfer his classroom learnings into a real lab setting, as well as develop a relationship with a great mentor. “It was one of the most unique and remarkable experiences I’ve ever had,” said Lucas. “She took the extra time to explain every detail to me. It was incredible for my learning.” Meanwhile, 2014 scholar Maddie Walden collaborated with Boettcher Investigator and Boettcher Scholar alum Amy Dounay at Colorado College. Together, they worked on synthesizing new drug compounds that will hopefully treat African Sleeping Sickness. Because of her chemistry background, Amy was excited to invite CC chemistry major, Maddie, into her lab. “She’s very enthusiastic and skilled. Boettcher has already vetted these students as being ambitious, hardworking and having a lot of potential, and that was definitely reflected in Maddie,” Amy said. For Maddie, the collaboration grant experience was “fantastic. It was better than I ever expected.”...

Paige Claassen, a 2008 Boettcher Scholar and University of Colorado Boulder graduate, transformed her passion for rock climbing into a profession, an opportunity to support local communities and a way to give back to a Colorado nonprofit. As an athlete sponsored by outdoor brands like Marmot and The North Face, Paige realized she could use professional climbing as a way to serve international communities. She pitched a world climbing tour called “Lead Now” to Marmot. As part of the tour, Paige traveled for nine months to countries like South Africa, Russia, India, Ecuador and Chile, generating attention for local nonprofits that support women and children in each of the countries she climbed. Though she is frequently traveling, Paige’s love for the State of Colorado keeps her coming back in between trips. She uses it as a home-base, a way to visit family and even a place to do laundry. Most recently, she returned to Colorado to serve on the board of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, a local nonprofit and Boettcher Foundation grant recipient, whose mission is to motivate and enable people to become active stewards of Colorado’s natural resources. In light of their recent rebranding process and shifting focus to the younger residents of Colorado, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado was looking for a millennial voice on their board, as well as someone who shared their passion for protecting the state. They turned to Boettcher Foundation as a resource for finding the right candidate. Immediately, the foundation thought Paige Claassen seemed like an ideal choice. “When Boettcher originally asked, I was interested in joining the board because I thought, ‘this is me. This is what I do every day—I play outside in Colorado,’” Paige said. Paige is able to provide a millennial perspective, as well as utilize her background in marketing and her experience as a climber to play an important role in shaping Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado’s vision. “Colorado is one of the coolest places in the world—that’s why everyone wants to live here—but that’s also why we need to take care of it and protect it,” she said. During her term on the board, Paige hopes to work on outreach to Colorado high schools and to create some leadership opportunities for students to get involved with the nonprofit, and to begin giving back to the community. *To see Paige in the North Face commercial, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1z-36uCr9XI  ...

Downtown Denver transformed into a festival of cultures and ideas when delegates from the United States, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Chile and Cuba convened during the 2015 Biennial of the Americas in July. In 2007, Boettcher Foundation helped establish this festival of ideas as a signature event in Denver and helped to restore the McNichols Building as part of the lead-up to the Biennial. The event’s unique ability to connect a wide variety of leaders from across the world and bring them to Colorado to discuss solutions for current issues motivated the foundation to increase its partnership for the 2015 festival. Boettcher Scholars and alumni were invited to attend a variety of events, including international speakers, panel discussions, art exhibits and musical performances. Six Boettcher Scholars interned for the Biennial—bringing their talents to the coordination and execution of the busy week. Healthcare and research was a primary topic during the Biennial, providing a unique opportunity for Boettcher Investigators and their international peers to participate. “Bioscience is a highly collaborative field. Investigators regularly join forces—many of them with researchers from other countries. So the international forum that the Biennial provided was a great opportunity for them to share ideas,” said Julie Lerudis, grants program director for the Boettcher Foundation. Investigators from several Colorado institutions invited their colleagues from Canada, Uruguay and Brazil to attend the events with the Boettcher Foundation. Boettcher Investigator Shoadong Dai had been working with Gustavo Salinas from Uruguay remotely for five years, but they had never actually met until the Biennial of the Americas. Investigator Abigail Person invited her Canadian colleague and expert in the field, Kathleen Cullen. As a result, Kathleen learned about the many scientific advancements being made in Colorado and plans to initiate even more collaborations with the state’s researchers. As part of the Biennial week, investigators and their guests had the chance to meet with Boettcher community members, speak as part of an expert panel, tour the state’s research institutions and of course, experience the vibrant culture of Denver. During a brainstorming session to enhance Boettcher Foundation’s Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards, the investigators and their guests suggested ideas that could further advance the Colorado bioscience community. Additionally, the Boettcher Investigators and their colleagues were able to give back to the life science community at the various Colorado institutions, as many of them hosted presentations for fellow researchers. ...

Though the Boettcher Foundation primarily supports nonprofits through capital grants, it also values having its employees contribute to the community through service. Because of that shared service ethic, the staff rallied together to assist Project Angel Heart in its pursuit of making a difference in the lives of people in need. Project Angel Heart was founded in 1991 to deliver nutritious meals, at no cost, to Coloradans coping with life-threatening illnesses. Ever since, volunteers have delivered meals to clients in metro Denver and Colorado Springs. In 2011, Boettcher Foundation helped to fund Project Angel Heart’s new headquarters, allowing them to quadruple the number of clients they serve. The Boettcher Foundation staff recently had the opportunity to tour the new facility and gain a better understanding of the meaningful way in which Project Angel Heart serves its clients. The tour was led by Project Angel Heart’s volunteer resources assistant and 2010 Boettcher Scholar Hannah Koschnitzke. Hannah guided the staff through the innovative kitchen, the seasonal urban garden and the menu development process, which ensures each client is getting food tailored to his or her health and diet specifications. Next, the Boettcher Foundation staff took a turn in the client-service process, while also getting in touch with their creative sides, by decorating meal-delivery bags. This is one of the most popular volunteer options at Project Angel Heart, because people of all ages and abilities can contribute. “It’s a nice way for us to personalize the meal delivery, and let clients know we are thinking about them. By sending them a one-of-a-kind package, they know we care about them,” Hannah explained. Often, Project Angel Heart clients save their favorite bags, or even hang designs that have a special meaning in their homes as artwork, which served as inspiration for the Boettcher Foundation team as they decorated dozens of bags. ...

By Joe Vaccarelli YourHub Reporter Josh Hamlin lost everything to addiction. He gave up college football and saw a promising surfing career disappear. When Hamlin got sober in 2008, he still felt he needed an outlet for physical activity. He found it at Phoenix Multisport when he was in Boulder. "When I started getting sober, I didn't have that physical piece. As an athlete, I needed it," Hamlin said. "It really built back my self-confidence." ...

December 16, 2015 — The Boettcher Foundation has awarded capital grant funding to 16 Colorado nonprofits, for a total of more than $1 million. Each of the nonprofits benefits the state by providing at-risk community members with safe gathering places, housing, emergency assistance and other social services. “These organizations work hard every day to provide critical services to Coloradans in need,” said Tim Schultz, president and executive director of the Boettcher Foundation. “We are honored to help fund the facilities that will allow these nonprofits to continue improving our state.” This year’s Boettcher Foundation grant recipients in the category of social services are: All Points Transit (Montrose Sr. Citizens Transportation, Inc.)  – Montrose, $30,000 Toward construction of a transfer station Brent's Place  – Aurora, $90,000 Toward construction of an additional 21-units of temporary housing for immune compromised pediatric patients Colorado AIDS Project  – Denver, $100,000 Toward the purchase and renovation of a new facility which will serve as the headquarters, Denver service center and dental clinic Denver Center for Crime Victims  – Denver, $25,000 Toward the purchase and renovation of headquarters and programming facility Father Woody's Haven of Hope – Denver, $50,000 Toward expansion of headquarters and programming facility Haven House – Olathe, $40,000 Toward the purchase and renovation of the service center with 36 units of transitional housing Hope House – Arvada, $40,000 Toward construction of a new resource center Judi's House – Denver, $65,000 Toward the purchase and renovation of a second facility which will provide space for administration, research and training LiftUp of Routt County – Steamboat Springs, $50,000 Toward expansion of headquarters and programming facility Mi Casa Resource Center – Denver, $100,000 Toward the construction of a new headquarters and programming facility Outreach United Resource Center – Longmont, $75,000 Toward purchase and renovation of a new headquarters and programming facility Phoenix Multisport – Denver, $90,000 Toward expansion of headquarters and programming facility Providence Network – Denver, $50,000 Toward purchase and renovation of new facility to provide programming and transitional housing to homeless teens Sharing Ministries Food Bank – Montrose, $50,000 Toward the construction of a new facility Silver Key Senior Services – Colorado Springs, $100,000 Toward purchase and renovation of headquarters and programming facility which includes a commercial kitchen Westside Cares – Colorado Springs, $50,000 Toward purchase and renovation of headquarters and programming facility Download a PDF version of this news release here. 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 more information, visit www.boettcherfoundation.org. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Kristi Arellano 303.285.6208 kristi@boettcherfoundation.org...

Adam Buehler had just added a splash of white paint to the canvas at his feet when a woman in a black coat paused just feet away from him.“What direction is the top?” she asked, considering the giant canvas. Rather than answering, Adam turned the question back on her, causing her to sheepishly explain that that she was an accountant and not very familiar with art. Conversations like this have become more frequent in downtown Denver as accountants and other office workers have been able to watch Adam, a 2002 Boettcher Scholar from Centaurus High School, produce a commissioned piece for the office building at 1515 Arapahoe Street. He has set up a temporary studio in the building’s lobby, just steps away from Denver's 16th Street Mall. The effort to bring what is usually a solitary process into a highly trafficked venue has been a learning experience for both artist and observer. “It’s interesting; it’s so different from working in a studio where nobody is around,” he said, noting that he is getting instant feedback and commentary from passersby, rather than finishing a piece and possibly hearing feedback many months later. The feedback – both positive and negative – was interesting enough that Adam put up a posterboard, and eventually a whiteboard to capture people’s reactions. Contributors have noted that the piece reminds them of everything from “the movie Robots” to a city street and even “a boring office painting.” “I feel that way about some art too. It’s a legitimate reaction” Adam said. A graduate of the University of Denver, Adam recently returned to school to study architecture at the University of Colorado Denver’s College of Architecture and Planning. His proximity to the office helped turn what was originally a traditional commission through Denver-based Nine Dot Arts into a public process. Adam has been working on the piece between classes, painting on-site from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning in November, with plans to complete the project by December 7. He acknowledged that his desire to engage with passersby to talk about art has had an impact on the piece. “In order to make progress, I have to be a lot quicker,” he said. “I’ve had to jumpstart and not second guess myself so much.”    ...

The following article appeared in the October 8 issue of the National Scholarship Providers Association’s Scholarship Times newsletter. In it, Tiffany Anderson, our scholarship program director, explained the process the Boettcher Foundation engaged in when it opened its scholarship application process to students meeting the requirements for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival. The Boettcher Foundation marked a historic first this spring when we selected our first scholar who is not a United States Citizen or Permanent Resident. Veronica Fernandez-Diaz, a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) qualified student, is attending Colorado College, developing an individually structured major in the social sciences. She will undoubtedly be making an impact on her campus and in the Colorado community in the coming years. That impact will now be multiplied through the opportunities afforded to her through the Boettcher Scholarship. The Boettcher Foundation Scholarship has been in existence since 1952, helping to keep some of Colorado’s most talented students in the State of Colorado. We award essentially full-ride scholarships for Colorado high school students to attend Colorado collegiate institutions,allowing them to take advantage of a Colorado education, form their networks locally, and make their impact right here at home. With an incredible pool of high-caliber candidates, we choose the students we feel will have the biggest impact on their universities and communities. Those students come from all types of backgrounds, educational settings and family situations. Until this past year, however, our eligibility requirements excluded a subset of Colorado high school students from applying. Recognizing that Colorado’s demographics have shifted since the inception of the scholarship program, our board of trustees and foundation staff began working toward increasing access and opportunity for all students to apply. We increased recruitment to diverse populations and adjusted our academic eligibility requirements during our 2013-2014 selection cycle. In June of 2012, it was announced that individuals who came to the United States as children and meet several key guidelines may request consideration of deferred action (details on those requirements can be found here). This meant we had the opportunity to reexamine our previous eligibility requirements to now include these students who were no longer in the United States unlawfully. During the fall of 2013, we received multiple inquiries from high school students who wanted to apply for the Boettcher Scholarship and fell into this new qualification. This issue rose to the forefront when, in February of 2014, we had just named our finalists for that year and were preparing for interviews - a very exciting time of year for the scholarship program. As we were finalizing the interview schedule, we got a call from one of the finalists who, based on her accolades and experiences, we were anxiously anticipating meeting. With a tearful voice she told us she was withdrawing her application. Unlike other candidates who withdraw at this point in our process, she had not decided to go out of state or received another scholarship offer; this young lady had misunderstood our eligibility requirements and had just discovered she was not eligible to compete. She had come to the United States as a child and now met the requirement for Deferred Action; however, she was not a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident. Unfortunately, according to our established citizenship eligibility requirements (based on the recently outdated federal regulations), she was not eligible to compete for the Boettcher Scholarship. First, I want to say that we worked to find this young woman other resources, and she is currently in her second year of college. However, with the shift in this federal policy and our increased awareness of the Colorado student population that fell into these qualifications, it became apparent that we needed to revisit our eligibility requirements. This incident accelerated us along the process of making this change and adjusting our eligibility requirements to include  DACA students, giving them the opportunity to compete for our scholarship. Knowing we are a private foundation set up to exist in perpetuity, we wanted to ensure that any change we made to our long-established eligibility requirements was done so very thoughtfully. Over the course of 2014, we worked with other local scholarship providers who had already made this shift (the Denver Scholarship Foundation specifically) learning from their process, best practices and mistakes. We reached out to our partner collegiate institutions, many of which had already been working with this population of students or were in the process of figuring out how to support them. Finally, we sought out legal experts in both nonprofit tax and immigration law to ensure we made this change with all possible implications considered. We officially opened the Boettcher application to students meeting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival qualifications in our 2015 selection process and received 19 DACA applicants in our first year. In April of 2015, we awarded, Veronica, our first DACA Scholar, a 2015 Boettcher Scholarship. Veronica Fernandez-Diaz is an inspiring young woman. The Boettcher Foundation Scholarship will continue to be awarded to the Colorado high school students we feel will make the biggest impact on their universities and communities, and we are proud to say they now truly come from all types of backgrounds and experiences, including our Colorado Deferred Action students....

By Yesenia Robles The Denver Post Two of Colorado's longtime teacher residency programs are joining forces to expand their reach and prepare at least 50 more teachers each year to help fill a declining workforce. The Boettcher Teacher Residency, which has been around for 12 years, and the 24-year-old Stanley Teacher Prep program are making the announcement Wednesday. The joint residency program will take on the name of the Boettcher Teacher Residency and will continue to provide a year of in-classroom training for aspiring teachers while they work toward a degree. Preparing 180 new teachers every year, with possible expansion later, will make it Colorado's largest teacher residency program. ...

September 23, 2015 — Two of the nation’s most highly regarded teacher-preparation programs have agreed to combine, creating a statewide pipeline of highly effective teachers as well as a new state and national model for teacher preparation. PEBC, a nonprofit that cultivates highly effective K-12 educators to increase student growth and success, announced it has reached an agreement to unite the Boettcher Teacher Residency and Stanley Teacher Prep programs. Combined, it will be Colorado’s largest and most effective residency-based teacher- preparation program, with a track record of teacher retention that is double the national average. The residency will be known as the Boettcher Teacher Residency. Nationwide, about half of new teachers quit the profession within one to three years. This exacerbates a widespread teacher shortage that leaves Colorado school districts struggling to fill thousands of open positions each year, especially in high-poverty schools where teachers are needed most. Graduates of the combined residencies are retained in the teaching profession—specifically in high-needs schools—at an average rate of 93 percent after more than eight years. “PEBC recognizes that the single most important factor in students’ growth and success is the quality of the teachers in their classrooms,” said Rosann Ward, president. “The Boettcher Teacher Residency prepares new teachers to effectively lead their classrooms, and supports them in developing the same confidence and mastery they cultivate in their students.” The Boettcher Teacher Residency elevates the teaching profession by dramatically increasing the quality of training and support that new teachers receive. Aspiring teachers spend a full year in the classroom with a mentor teacher while they earn their teaching license. As they take over leadership of their own classrooms, these new teachers continue to be supported with significant professional development, one- on-one coaching and resources for an additional four years—a level of support that is unmatched in any similar teacher-training program in the state of Colorado or the nation. In addition to helping teachers succeed during their most challenging years in the classroom, the Boettcher Teacher Residency contributes to elevated student growth and success. Independent evaluations show that children taught by Boettcher teachers consistently outperform their peers. In addition, principals report that resident teachers positively impact their classrooms from day one. Tollgate Elementary (Aurora Public Schools) was an early supporter of residency-based teacher preparation. Today, 40 percent of Tollgate teachers are graduates of one of the residencies. “Tollgate Elementary has partnered with Stanley Teacher Prep and the Boettcher Teacher Residency because they attract the best and brightest aspiring educators, prepare them rigorously and continuously hone their craft through meaningful professional learning,” said Laurie Godwin, Tollgate principal. Together with the Stanley Teacher Prep program, the Boettcher Teacher Residency will expand and deepen its service to aspiring teachers by increasing the number of resident teachers it accepts from around 130 to more than 180 in the first two years alone. It will also support new teachers in every school type and location—in urban, suburban and rural districts as well as public, private and charter schools. The organizations will also invest a full two years in synthesizing their approaches, combining best practices, expert staff, funding and other resources that will create a collective impact beyond what the organizations could achieve separately. As part of the Boettcher Teacher Residency, aspiring teachers spend a full year in the classroom with a mentor teacher as they earn a Colorado teaching license and a stipend, and work toward a Master’s degree from Adams State University or University of Colorado Denver. Residents also benefit from significantly reduced costs to obtain a Master’s degree, a culturally and linguistically diverse endorsement on their teaching license and job-placement assistance. Fully 100 percent of residency graduates obtain a professional teaching position upon earning their license. Candidates with a Bachelor’s degree and a commitment to supporting student growth in high-needs schools are eligible to apply to the residency. The Boettcher Teacher Residency is generously funded by the Boettcher Foundation, which has invested $15 million in the program to date. In addition, PEBC has been awarded a Federal grant exceeding $2.9 million and Colorado Department of Education grants totaling $2.5 million to expand the Boettcher Teacher Residency to rural school districts throughout Colorado. PEBC is additionally supported by corporate partners who believe in the organization’s ability to provide a well-educated workforce that is prepared for the careers of the 21st century and beyond. Download a PDF copy of this press release here. About PEBC PEBC (Public Education & Business Coalition) is a Colorado-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that works with teachers, school leaders and district superintendents throughout Colorado and nationwide to cultivate great teachers and advance education. PEBC provides professional development for practicing educators and operates the Boettcher Teacher Residency, which prepares individuals to have exceptional teaching careers through a hands-on master’s degree program. PEBC’s mission is to drive cutting-edge teaching practices, and inform and provoke the public to improve education for all. For more information, visit www.pebc.org. 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 more information, visit www.boettcherfoundation.org. ...