Malcolm Marshall Alumni Spotlight


Alumni Spotlight: Malcolm Marshall

We recently caught up with Cottonwood Institute alum Malcolm Marshall, who was involved with CI at New Vista High School until he graduated in 2012. It’s incredible to hear about the longterm impact of our programs, and what our former students are up to! You can read more Alumni Spotlights here. What CI program(s) did… Read more »

Coral Elise Amayi


Alumni Spotlight: Coral Elise Amayi

Written by Program Relationships Manager Teagan Papke. “Almost 20 years later, I have been getting hit hard with the deep realization of how important the lessons that I learned through the Community Adventure Program (CAP) really were. I realize now how so many humans really don’t understand the ideas of basic survival, Leave No Trace,… Read more »

Kira Changemakers


Alumni Spotlight: Kira Gilliland and the Impact of CAP Class

Escrito en español más abajo. Written by Cottonwood Institute alum Kira Gilliland. Cottonwood Institute’s flagship program, the Community Adventure Program (CAP), has been at Centaurus High School in Lafayette, CO since 2017. More recently, Cottonwood created Changemakers, a high school leadership program for alumni of our Boulder County programs. The Changemakers program gives about ten… Read more »

Jacob Smith


Alumni Spotlight: Jacob Smith

Cottonwood Institute’s community partnerships allow us to meet thriving young professionals doing inspiring work in the fields of education, conservation, and equity. We recently caught up with Jacob Smith (he/she), a social justice community organizer, fundraiser, and international speaker. Jacob Smith is a diehard black queer feminist and abolitionist organizer fighting for a joyful and… Read more »

Aleyna Porreca In the News


CI Alumni + Partners in the News!

We love to see the Cottonwood Institute community getting recognized for the great work that they do, and we had two great examples this month! Read on for two recent news items spotlighting friends of CI, and be sure to get in touch if you have a story to share! “From a Bad Ass Teen… Read more »

Tess Eckert


Alumni Spotlight: Tess Eckert

How about this for a Cottonwood Institute connection? Tess Eckert took CAP at New Vista High School three times between 2007 and 2010 (tied for the all-time record, not that we’re counting). She got to learn from CI celebrities Ford Church and Paige Doughty. And after seven years in Australia, pursuing art, work, and exploration,… Read more »

Ivan Goldberg


Alumni Spotlight: Ivan Goldberg

One of the quintessential Cottonwood Institute experiences is learning to build a quinzhee, a simple snow shelter that can be useful in winter survival scenarios. It’s a technique Executive Director Ford Church brings from his survival school days, and one that endures as a winter field day staple (see pictures from our recent Instructor Training… Read more »

Eric Wesolowski


Alumni Spotlight: Eric Wesolowski

Over fifteen years, the Cottonwood Institute community has grown and spread all over the world. You never know where you’ll bump into an alum, instructor, or other friendly face. Denver, of course, is a pretty good bet—and so it was when Executive Director Ford Church bumped in to CI alum Eric Wesolowski while out and… Read more »

Jeremy Dougherty Maroon Bell


Partner Spotlight: Jeremy Dougherty of Maroon Bell

Usually we use this space to check in with Cottonwood Institute alumni, to hear about all of the amazing things they’ve been up to since completing CAP. But we can’t forget about the other important folks who make up the CI community! So this time we’re speaking to Jeremy Dougherty, fourth generation Coloradan, Founder of… Read more »