| Andrew Miller

Top 10 Inspiring Stories from 2019!

We’ve reached the end of another year at Cottonwood Institute! 2019 was a big one for us (our fifteenth!), and we’re so proud of everything our students, instructors, volunteers, alumni, partners, and community members accomplished this year. Check out ten of our most inspiring stories from 2019 — we think you’ll be amazed!

KSPA CAP Action Project: Inspiring


10. Casa de la Esperanza students go Snow Camping on the Summer Solstice

Sometimes our best adventures are our most unexpected ones, like when our group of students from Casa de la Esperanza in Longmont found themselves caught in a snowstorm while camping in late June! But a little inclement weather didn’t keep them from enjoying a gorgeous overnight in Rocky Mountain National Park.

9. Cottonwood Institute Received 2019 ColoradoBiz Magazine Top Company Award

We were so honored to be recognized as the Top Company in the nonprofit category at this year’s ColoradoBiz Top Company Awards! Our appreciation goes out to ColoradoBiz Magazine and the other incredible nonprofit nominees, Youthroots, Rocky Mountain Microfinance Institute, and the Better Business Bureau.

8. Alumni Spotlight: 2014 Ripple Effect Award Winners

We’re always inspired by our alumni, and we love catching up with them to hear about what they’ve been up to since finishing CAP. To that end, we spoke to our two Ripple Effect award winners from 2014, Estrella Damian and Robert Harding, to hear how they’ve been putting what they learned with CI into practice.

7. Vlog: Re:Vision Field Day with KSPA CAP

An eager group of students from KIPP: Sunshine Peak Academy spent their Saturday volunteering at the Re:Vision urban farming co-op in Westwood, learning about their work to strengthen their community and helping prepare their fields for the next growing season. They even got to sample some of the fruits and vegetables of their labor with a lunch feast prepared by the co-op’s Promotoras.

6. “Mission: Fun” — Angevine Middle School Students Practice Winter Skills at Caribou Ranch

“Being outdoors made me feel great. I felt happy the whole time, even when I was freezing. I felt more alive than I have in a while. I already love being outside, but being with friends made it so much better. I was so happy. I laughed so much and had a ton of fun.” Helping students feel comfortable in the outdoors is a difficult process. On this day though, it was mission accomplished.

5. Alumni Spotlight: Lindsey Machado

One of our newest CAP alumni, New Vista High School’s Lindsey Machado, is already putting her skills to work making change in her community. Lindsey chose New Vista in part because of the opportunity to take CAP, has completed the class twice in her three years there, and is getting ready to launch an online store to sell upcycled clothing!

4. Centaurus High School CAP Students Fight the Emerald Ash Borer

Students from Centaurus High School CAP brought it all together in their Action Project, using the trees that they thinned on their program service project to support the diversification of Boulder’s tree canopy, helping the city fight an infestation of emerald ash borers. Their work was even featured in the Boulder Daily Camera!

3. Nature Kids Program Year 2 Results: Increased Numbers and Higher Impact

2019 marked the second year of our participation in the Nature Kids/Jóvenes de la Naturaleza Program with our partners in Lafayette, and the results have been amazing! This year, Nature Kids partners helped change the lives of 1,698 participants, and our impact continues to grow.

2. NVHS CAP Action Project: The World Is Changing

New Vista High School’s 50th CAP class raised the bar with their Action Project, educating their community on how teenage activists can take on the climate crisis and building a greenhouse for their school! The Spring CAP class also inspired us with educational events, a recycling sculpture, and not one but two books about environmental action.

1. Cottonwood Institute’s Ripple Effect Award Celebrates Students

At our 14th annual Base Camp Bash, we recognized two of our inspiring student leaders—Osiel Gomez from KIPP Sunshine Peak Academy and Pedro Guerra, a Brazilian exchange student from New Vista High School—with the Ripple Effect Award. We’re so impressed with their hard work, and we can’t wait to see what they’ll do next!

Feeling inspired? Find more great stories on the Cottonwood Institute Blog and consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us increase our impact in 2020!

Until Colorado Gives Day on December 10th, you can donate here to help us unlock a $20,000 match!

Categories: Program News

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