Author: Kristi Arellano

Long before becoming the first in his family to attend college, 2016 Boettcher Scholar Cesar Caraveo was learning to thrive in whatever circumstances came his way. At just one week old, Cesar faced major surgery for spina bifida, a condition with serious health and mobility risks. Not only did he surpass his prognosis by walking at the age of one, by age three, he was playing soccer. Less than a decade later, severe scoliosis put Cesar in a body cast for three months and sidelined him from soccer for more than a year. Instead of being discouraged, Cesar used the experience to study, recover and develop a sense of unconventional optimism, a philosophy that has shaped his life and led to his rapid return to the soccer field and school. “Whatever obstacles that come my way, I strive to overcome by learning from them,” Cesar said. “I let them make me better.” Cesar’s optimism opened doors for leadership with his soccer team and within his high school. His parents encouraged him to take advantage of every opportunity that came along. That led him to volunteer with the Spina Bifida Association of Colorado and to travel to Europe with a youth exchange program – both experiences he believes contributed to his earning a Boettcher Scholarship. “When I got the letter, the first words that caught my attention were ‘Reach new heights as a Boettcher Scholar,’” he recalled. “In that moment I realized that what I’d been working for—what my parents had worked for—could actually happen. And I knew that the Boettcher Scholarship was the community I wanted to be a part of.” Now in his third year at the University of Denver, Cesar is pursuing a degree in computer science along with minors in business administration, mathematics, leadership and Spanish. While he is involved with the DU club soccer team, Pioneer Leadership Program and 1GenU, a program for first generation DU students, Cesar has perhaps been most challenged and inspired by the summers he’s spent interacting with high schoolers in Brazil. Cesar recently completed his second summer as a teaching fellow with US-Brazil Connect, a Denver-based organization that builds cultural connections and leadership through English-language instruction. After traveling to Brazil in 2017 with a Boettcher Educational Enrichment Grant, Cesar was recruited as a senior fellow to teach English online and onsite in the Brazilian Amazon. The program honed his leadership skills and inspired a love for teaching that has convinced him to apply his computer science degree as a teacher. “US-Brazil Connect was life-changing. Not only is it the reason I want to one day teach, it gave me a more grounded perspective that time spent with people and in relationships is what matters,” he said. Cesar is once again expanding his cultural horizons, currently spending his fall quarter in Barcelona, a city where another one of his passions – soccer – can run wild. “Soccer is basically another religion in Spain. To be somewhere where I can partake in that culture will be amazing.” When Cesar thinks about the Boettcher Scholarship, he doesn’t dwell on the accomplishment, but sees how it has prepared him for something greater. “Because of Boettcher I could go to DU, travel the world and develop a love for teaching. My trajectory is so different and so exciting,” he said. “The Boettcher Scholarship is a turning point, but it’s only the beginning.”...

A 2007 Boettcher Scholar, Cristina Gonzales entered the University of Denver as a business major. However, she soon realized her true passion was in art history. Rather than continuing to take art classes “on the sneaks,” Cristina made a bold move and declared an art history major at the height of the recession. She then went on to complete a MBA in museum studies and nonprofit management. “It was the best, ‘bad’ decision I could have made,” she said. Cristina’s decision to pursue her passion in art history paid off when she found a trajectory to positions at cultural nonprofits such as History Colorado, Museo de las Americas and the Latino Chamber of Commerce, as well as with the media giant Comcast-NBC. She was recruited to Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation’s development team during the final phase of the hospital’s $100 million capital campaign. Cristina is currently the development manager for Saint Joseph Hospital Foundation. In her role, she coordinates donor engagement for Denver's oldest private teaching hospital, which occupies a newly constructed campus just east of Downtown Denver. Cristina describes her position as “one of the hospital’s faces of community good” and enjoys working closely with donors to identify opportunities to support Saint Joseph’s mission, as well as attending community outreach events. At just 29 years old, Cristina’s résumé has more diverse experience than many mid-career professionals, an accomplishment she attributed to following her interests and receiving support from those who believed in her potential, a message she received when she opened her letter from the Boettcher Foundation. After opening her letter in the Pueblo Central High School parking lot, Cristina remembers jumping up and down and soon being surrounding by other staff and friends at the school who heard she had been offered a Boettcher Scholarship. “My whole village was celebrating, and they deserved to. My accomplishment was theirs as well, because they supported me. That’s why I will always believe in giving back.” As a first-generation college student, the journey to receive a scholarship was not always easy. She remembers classmates telling her to drop out of the Boettcher process: “They’re never going to pick someone from Central,” she was told. However, Cristina persisted in serving her community and following her passions – a theme that has defined her journey. In the broader community, Cristina seeks to create the same life-changing opportunities for others as her “village” and the Boettcher Foundation did for her. Her service on the boards of DU Art at the University of Denver and CultureHaus at the Denver Art Museum provide an ideal mix of her professional expertise and passion and inspire her to live a “creative life.” When she’s not creating innovative fundraising strategies or traveling to see unique art exhibits, Cristina enjoys “hosting ridiculously themed dinner parties for friends.” Cristina hasn’t built the resume that she or others initially expected when she entered the University of Denver as a business major. Instead, she says she ended up with something much richer. Her advice for those hoping to do good through their profession is to pursue opportunities that they truly enjoy. While that may seem like a risk, the reward is almost guaranteed. “If you really love what you do, you’ll be the best at it and your contributions will be greater than thought possible. Find that niche, embrace it. You can’t go wrong with following your heart.”...

By Seth Bodine Denver Business Journal As the head of a philanthropic organization with a $300 million endowment, Katie Kramer believes successful philanthropy is about investing in people and creating partnerships to support the community. The Boettcher Foundation president and CEO works toward the foundation’s stated goal of “investing in the promise and potential of Colorado and people." Each year, the Boettcher foundation gives $15 million toward projects and higher education scholarships meant to bolster the community. It also invests in biomedical research and teacher residencies.      ...

DENVER, July 3, 2018 — The Boettcher Foundation has awarded a total of $650,000 to five organizations that are advancing education and cultural enrichment in the State of Colorado. “The Boettcher Foundation invests in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans, and this group of grantees exemplifies these values by contributing to the cultural fabric of our communities and to the educational opportunities of our students,” said Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. The grantees include: Denver-based Clayton Early Learning, which was awarded $75,000 toward a facility renovation that will create additional programming space and allow the organization to make space on its campus available to nonprofit tenants; Denver Botanic Gardens, which was awarded $200,000 toward construction of the Freyer-Newman Center for Science, Art and Education; Denver Art Museum, which was awarded $150,000 toward the renovation of the Gio Ponti-designed North Building; Qualistar Colorado Capital Fund, a statewide fund that received a $150,000 grant to support capital improvements at early childhood learning centers throughout Colorado; and The University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business, which was awarded $75,000 for an expansion that will connect the buildings housing the business and engineering colleges on the Boulder campus. “We are proud to contribute to these projects, which ensure that Colorado students enter the world prepared and that all Coloradans can remain lifelong learners thanks to our community’s important cultural institutions,” Kramer said. The five organizations awarded grant funding applied as part of the foundation’s 2017 funding cycle. The foundation is currently conducting a strategic review of its capital grant program and is not accepting applications for 2018. Contact: Kristi Arellano, 303.285.6208, kristi@boettcherfoundation.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....

By Ray Mark Rinaldi Confluence Denver Colorado’s Space to Create program is a bet on the power of creatives, not just a gamble on the hard-to-define way that painters, poets, chefs and brewers can make a community more interesting, but an investment in the quantifiable idea that having artists and makers on the ground can spark development, bring jobs, lure tourists and help educate children. From New York’s SoHo to Denver’s RiNo, artists have proven themselves dependable gentrifiers, moving into urban neighborhoods that need a lift, upping the amenities, and acting as a magnet for development. Space to Create hopes to harness that economic might and apply it to rural and mountain areas of the state. Plans call to back nine live/work projects that will draw creatives to less populated cities and towns and, at the same time, make it possible for those already there to stay as the surroundings evolve.    ...

By Alasyn Zimmerman KOAA.com A multi-million dollar project from private and public funds is focusing on revitalizing a section of Trinidad's Main Street. The 'Space to Create' is the 1st of 9 projects in Colorado. Through a state-funded program aimed at bringing creative work spaces and affordable housing to rural Colorado, Trinidad is leading the charge. In 2015, the state announced the program would begin in Southern Colorado. Among the funding partners: Corazón de Trinidad Creative District, City of Trinidad, Space to Create, Boettcher Foundation, History Colorado, Colorado Creative Industries, Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Colorado Housing Finance Authority, and the Gates Family Foundation.    ...

DENVER, June 7, 2018 — Seven biomedical researchers at Colorado’s top research institutions have been selected to receive $1.41 million in total funding from the Boettcher Foundation’s Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards program. The awards support promising, early-career scientific researchers, allowing them to establish their independent research and compete for major federal and private awards in the future. Recipients are awarded $235,000 in grant funding to sustain up to three years of biomedical research. They also receive the title of Boettcher Investigator. “The 2018 class of Boettcher Investigators represents Colorado’s most dynamic emerging scientists, leaders who are committed to improving human health,” said Katie Kramer, president and CEO of the Boettcher Foundation. “The Boettcher Foundation is honored to support their research at this critical juncture in their careers and to elevate scientific innovation across our state.” In its ninth year, the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards honor the commitments that the Webb and Waring families made to scientific research. Including the class of 2018, 61 Boettcher Investigators have received funding through the Webb-Waring program. Since 2010, Boettcher Investigators have gone on to earn a collective $34 million in subsequent independent research funding. Ninety-five percent of award recipients still reside at Colorado research institutions, advancing the foundation’s mission of keeping Colorado’s top scientific minds in the state. “We are continually impressed by the caliber of the community of Boettcher Investigators and the promise of their research to build better lives” said April Giles, president and CEO of the Colorado BioScience Association. “The research supported by the Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Awards undoubtedly improves the health of the bioscience industry and the residents of Colorado.” The 2018 Class of Boettcher Investigators and their research topics are: Colorado State University Jesse W. Wilson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Biomedical Engineering – Advanced biomedical imaging and microspectroscopy University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Kathleen M. Gavin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine – Cellular composition of adipose tissue Jean M. Mulcahy Levy, M.D., Assistant Professor, Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders – New therapy development for pediatric brain tumors Matthew Taliaferro, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics – Regulation of subcellular RNA localization Eszter K. Vladar, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine and Cell & Developmental Biology – Airway epithelial development, homeostasis and dysfunction  University of Colorado Boulder Edward Chuong, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology – Evolution of gene regulatory networks David H. Root, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience – Neurobiology of drug addiction High-resolution photos of individual recipients and the entire group available by request. 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. Contact: Kristi Arellano 303.285.6208 kristi@boettcherfoundation.org...

DENVER, May 30, 2018 — Forty-two Colorado teachers have been selected as recipients of the Boettcher Foundation’s Teacher Recognition Award. The annual award honors the educators who have had the greatest influence on the 2018 class of Boettcher Scholars. “The 42 teachers selected by our newest Boettcher Scholars have championed excellence in their classrooms, and we are proud to recognize them for helping our scholars get to where they are today,” said Tiffany Anderson, the Boettcher Foundation’s scholarship program director. As part of the Boettcher Scholarship program, which provides Colorado’s most talented students with scholarships to attend a Colorado college or university, recipients are asked to select the teacher who has impacted him or her the most. Each teacher honoree is recognized with a personalized plaque, a special tribute from the Boettcher Scholar who selected them, and a $1,000 grant to be used for a project or activity to benefit students at their school. “We know that the success of our Boettcher Scholars is a direct result of the commitment made by their teachers, and this is a small but meaningful way of expressing our gratitude for their dedication to Colorado’s students,” Anderson said. Award recipients are: District Teacher School Teacher Name Nominating Scholar Academy 20 Pine Creek High School Kate Margrave Austin Spafford Adams 12 Five Star Schools Legacy High School Jennifer French-Jurgens Rae Winker Adams 12 Five Star Schools Mountain Range High School Ian Simpson Jessie Hiatt Adams-Arapahoe 28J Hinkley High School Susan Hartley Josue Estrada Murillo Alamosa RE-11J Alamosa High School Katie Montague Lexi Wright Aspen 1 Aspen High School Greg Roark Will Pryor Boulder Valley RE 2 Monarch High School Kristin Kerr Gannon Zoe Woods Boulder Valley RE 2 Peak to Peak Charter School Allen Hankla Gia Tran Cherry Creek 5 Cherokee Trail High School Kevin Wills-Keely Taylor Heap Cherry Creek 5 Cherry Creek High School Jocelyn Nguyen-Reed Kylie Hunter Cherry Creek 5 Cherry Creek High School Jodi Best Ana Mayordomo Cheyenne Mountain 12 Cheyenne Mountain High School Meg Fredrick Elizabeth LaJoie Colorado Springs 11 Andrew Jackson Elementary Elizabeth Blanco* Alexis Harris Colorado Springs 11 Coronado High School Sarah Jacobs Josh Sun Denver County 1 Denver School of Science & Technology Lewis McAll Bella Horton Denver County 1 Denver South High School Eric Punkay Sophie Cardin Denver County 1 John F. Kennedy High School Paul Mahoney Theresa Nguyen Denver County 1 Thomas Jefferson High School Jonathon Poole** Molly Jordan Little Dolores RE-4A Dolores High School Dave Hopcia Cameron Elder Douglas County RE 1 Highlands Ranch High School Deborah Lynch Andres Pulido Douglas County RE 1 Highlands Ranch High School David Wexler Megan Koch Douglas County RE 1 Rock Canyon High School Anna Tesdahl Shreya Nallapati Douglas County RE 1 ThunderRidge High School Olivia Holland Océane Mauffrey Englewood 1 Englewood High School Mark Fornnarino Maria Alsubhi Granada RE-1 Granada High School John Hopper Tarin Kemp Holyoke RE-1J Holyoke High School Josh Schroetlin Luke Krogmeier Jefferson County R-1 Columbine High School Tracy Schwartz Jackson Garske Jefferson County R-1 Wheat Ridge High School Kendra Gothard Joe Whitney Las Animas RE-1 Las Animas High School David Armstrong Makayla Huffman Littleton 6 Arapahoe High School Kristin Leclaire** Griffin Hampton Mapleton 1 Academy High School Robert Rodewald* Rafael Figueroa Platte Valley RE-7 Platte Valley High School Kirby Moore Dustin Horn Platte Valley RE-7 Platte Valley High School Jennifer Flummerfelt Hunter Thorn Poudre R-1 Fort Collins High School Christine Matthie** Anuja Gore Poudre R-1 Poudre High School Joe Fontana** Maddi Schink Pueblo City 60 Pueblo Central High School Joanne Griego Peyton Roth Pueblo County Rural 70 Pueblo County High School Flo Downs Elena Trujillo Rocky Ford R-2 Rocky Ford Jr./Sr. High School Keri Robinson Jacklynn Snyder St Vrain Valley RE 1J Silver Creek High School Juliette Forbes Jayson Brubaker Yuma School District 1 Yuma Middle School Brenda Kloberdanz* Riley Meisner n/a – Private School Mullen High School Tim DeNezza Gaby Brown n/a – Private School Alexander Dawson School Nate Lord Ben Deitsch Contact: Kristi Arellano, 303.285.6208, kristi@boettcherfoundation.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....

As a journalism major at the University of Colorado Boulder, Kelly Graziadei didn’t know she would one day build and lead critical functions from sales to product marketing for the world’s largest media company. “If you had asked me then about doing work in tech (or what I thought of as working with computers back then), I would have replied ‘absolutely not,’” she said. The 1993 Boettcher Scholar, however, always felt drawn to places with abundant opportunity where she could create and define her own path. Such was the feeling she encountered as a recipient of the Boettcher Scholarship. “I knew I had the foundation behind me, believing in me and my ideas. That pushed me to work hard and gave me a vote of confidence to go and do big things,” she said. After graduating and starting in a leadership development program at a phone company in San Francisco, Kelly saw the opportunity to be a pioneer in the digital sector and made the leap. She worked at numerous companies, including Yahoo, before embarking on a seven-year career at Facebook, where she successfully led monetization strategy and go-to-market functions as the director of global marketing solutions. Today, Kelly is an entrepreneur-in-residence at Foundation Capital, a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. She’s taking the time to explore opportunities in start-ups and venture capital, a season the fast-paced technology executive called “a true gift.” For Kelly, making thoughtful decisions and taking action are fundamental to entrepreneurship and leadership. While all people have the potential to be entrepreneurs, Kelly notes it’s not just good ideas that lead to success. “We all have good ideas. What sets an entrepreneur apart is they are driven to build. They cannot not act. There’s no plan B or option of sitting back.” In her own right Kelly is a builder and successful entrepreneur, working in companies from three people to 20,000; In her tenure at Facebook, global advertising revenue grew from $3 billion in 2011 to more than $39 billion in 2017. Grounded in her experience, Kelly shared the key qualities she encounters among thriving entrepreneurs, and advice for would-be entrepreneurs: Grit: “Know that if you’re going through something difficult, it will help you later.” Commitment and passion: “Lean into what you love. You can learn a lot of skills but you can’t manufacture passion.” Hustle: “Work really hard and creatively solve problems that others won’t.” Leadership: “Communicate a clear and bold vision to enroll the right people.” Authenticity: “Truthfully answer the question of which issue you are uniquely positioned to solve.”   For Kelly, part of authenticity is also knowing what opportunities to pass up: “It’s just as important to know when to say no. You need to understand your values and let those inform your decisions and priorities. The opportunity cost for entrepreneurs is really high.” Knowing how to spend her own time is critical for the relationships she maintains as a mother of two and a mentor. Mentoring young people, especially women in the tech and entrepreneurial sectors, is something she is deeply committed to. “I love spending time with people looking how they can step up as a leader and take their impact or organization to the next level. Anytime I can be a coach or a sounding board, I do,” she said. “But it’s hard to classify this as giving back, because I gain so much myself.” In addition to mentoring, Kelly gives talks to groups across the world on numerous topics surrounding leadership and innovation. She was also the speaker at CU Boulder’s 2016 spring commencement, where she live-streamed grads singing the university’s fight song. In daily life, social media is ubiquitous. Like television in the 1950s, it fundamentally changed the way we connect with each other and consume information. And while social media has opened new doors to participate in each other’s lives and the market, it has also produced troubling isolation and misinformation, especially among young people, she noted. “My hope is with this mobile transformation, the pendulum swings back a bit towards deeper connection,” said Kelly. “People are hungry for meaningful connection. My wish is we’ll see more entrepreneurs willing to build spaces that better span and connect the physical and digital world from health and wellness to shopping and entertainment and more.” From building the social media advertising world to paving inroads for her mentees, Kelly is a builder and a thought leader who continues to pay forward the investment of the Boettcher Scholarship. When asked to share advice for scholars building their own paths, Kelly shared a final bit of advice. ”Don’t live someone else’s dream. There’s no replacement for passion – you can’t fake it. Pursue the thing that makes you so excited you can’t imagine doing anything else.”  ...

By Valerie Strauss Washington Post A recent report by the nonprofit Learning Policy Institute in California found that longstanding teacher shortages were becoming more acute in some states, and that teacher education enrollment has been dropping significantly in recent years.  Colorado is one of those states with a big problem — especially in its rural areas. In fact, the state government earlier this year allocated $300,000 for programs designed to attack this problem in rural areas.    ...