Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1998 Scholar Carolyn Callis

Alumni Board Scholar Profile: Q&A with 1998 Scholar Carolyn Callis

Boettcher Scholar Year: 1998

Hometown: Aurora

University & Degrees: University of Denver — BAs in Graphic Design & Spanish; Denver Seminary — MA in Youth & Family Ministry



Tell us about your current work and how long you’ve been doing it. What is your favorite aspect of your current occupation? 

Currently, I’m a stay-at-home mom with two boys, ages 4 and 6-next-month. I have lots of favorite things in this work – especially the frequent, sparkling joys of watching my boys discovering or experiencing something brand new. They often surprise me with how much they’ve learned. I occasionally experienced some of this delightful joy in my previous work as a teacher and youth pastor.


How has being a Boettcher Scholar affected what you are doing now?  

There has been a long chain reaction catalyzed by not having school debt. I made job and life choices I may not have made otherwise. Now, that choice is staying home with my children. I’m so thankful to be free to make the choice to be home with my family. One’s path can go multiple ways.


Tell us about your involvement in activities, organizations, or groups outside of work.

Each summer, I coach Boettcher scholars working at Mission Spark and the Boettcher Foundation.

I run a local Mothers of Pre-Schoolers (MOPS) group to support moms and more. This group focuses on community service and education on social justice and family issues. Of course, we also connect on parenting.

I work with middle school and high school students at my church. Right now, my small group is on a pause for the Covid-19 pandemic.

This year, I’m on the PTCO executive board for our elementary school. In this capacity, I support projects that help the school’s educators, including providing mini grants for teachers. As a result of the board’s work, we are now are starting a community garden for the school and have more specific curriculum for special needs students.

I’m part of Moms Demand Action, a political action group working to end gun violence.

I never thought I would be so busy as a stay-at-home mom!


What advice do you have for current graduates entering your career field?

My advice is applicable to virtually every field, including parenting: embrace the ‘&’. It is ok to be something and, at the same time, something else. Passionate & practical. Mom & person with ambitions that reach beyond motherhood. This is a movement away from dualistic thinking and into wholistic thinking. I’m an ‘&’; I have multiple sides and facets.


If you could have dinner with one person or a few people from history, whom would you choose and why?

I would like to share dinner with Jesus; my Grandmother, who I’m named after; and Tina Fey, because nobody makes me laugh like her. Each of these dinners would be full of laughter and compassion.


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