2017 Mandela Washington Fellow Ibrahim Conteh shares his experiences in the United States and with El Pomar Foundation.
Two miles up a dirt road from the small town of Chicaman, Guatemala lays the secluded community of Chitas, nestled between dense forest and coffee plantations that hug the surrounding cliffs. The community consists of a school, chapel and dirt floor huts which house up to eight people and are smaller than the average American living room. They are furnished with, modest kitchens and perhaps a cot. Rain and a wood-burning stove serve as the water source and furnace. Life in Chitas is not glamorous.
Center for Restorative Programs, Kit Carson Rural Development, and Project Angel Heart were honored at El Pomar's 2017 Awards for Excellence Ceremony in Black Hawk, CO.
On a mild November night in the suburbs of Denver, nine Botswanans, Namibians, and South Africans found themselves huddled around the warm glow of a backyard campfire, roasting marshmallows into tragically blackened sugar crisps. “So tell us, Garrett, why exactly are these sweets called s’mores?” asked Nangula, a public policy researcher from Namibia.
Horses are gentle beings that often incite powerful emotional reactions in humans; people seem to love them or fear them. Love and fear are two emotions at the heart of many of life’s greater issues. Herd animals are often considered naturally empathetic. Empathy helps create a relationship between horse and rider in which both become attuned and yield to the other. The Medicine Horse Center combines the psychological and therapeutic benefits of working with horses with a mental health staff of licensed therapists to offer Equine therapy.
The two of us were in our last semester of college and our conversation left me thinking about what a truly purposeful life might look like. How can I pursue this “purposeful life” post-graduation to avoid my fear of accepting monotonous jobs meant only to pay off student loans? I was suddenly asking myself a question this inexperienced 22 year old wasn’t ready to answer.
Lucas Huffman, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado-Pikes Peak
Jeff Bieri and Jake Brownell, KRCC
Every March, nearly 20,000 Sandhill Cranes descend on Monte Vista, Colorado, to spend six weeks resting before continuing their northward migration, a spectacle which draws tourists from across the globe and causes the population of Monte Vista to nearly double in size. So how did I find myself driving along a dirt road scouring the landscape for a single bird?
El Pomar Foundation wouldn’t just pick anyone to be curator of the Penrose Heritage Museum. The ideal curator would have a vast and personal knowledge of both the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and Spencer and the Penrose’s extensive collection. Having only missed a handful of races in the past 45 years, Jason Campbell, curator of the Penrose Heritage Museum, isn’t just anyone.
For a long time, I held the idea of a spectrum where corporate = bad and nonprofit = good. However earlier this year when I stumbled upon El Pomar Foundation, I was surprised to find an organization that seemed to do exactly what I had been looking for – the use of practical business principles of investment and wealth accumulation to make a tremendously positive social impact.
I don’t know anything about communications. In fact, I don’t even particularly love to write – as a freshman at Harvard University, I discovered I would much rather take an exam than spend hours creating, editing, and revising an essay. Yet somehow I found myself becoming the Communications Intern for El Pomar Foundation, a job which involves writing every single day.
After a visit to El Pomar Foundation, I realized an important truth. The modern city of Colorado Springs that I have come to know and love, the neighborhood I live in, and the high school that I attended—Fountain Valley School of Colorado—would likely not exist if it had not been for the entrepreneurial mind and philanthropic spirit of a single couple, Spencer and Julie Penrose.
John Russell, Steamboat Today
El Pomar Foundation partners with Colorado Springs Sports Corp. and other key community organizations to bring Colorado Classic bike race to town.