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A New Place to Call Home

By Abigail Hernandez

Colorado has always made a bigger impact on me than I felt I was making on it. As a child living in Illinois, my family would often spend summers camping in Manitou Springs with my grandfather, who grew up here. The landscape, activities, people and memories built with family in this special place left a lasting imprint on me. When it came to deciding where to go to college, my connection to Colorado led me to select Colorado College. During my time there I fell in love with my surroundings and engaged with the local community. Through my sorority, I built strong connections through volunteering and working with local organizations such as CASA of the Pikes Peak Region and Kids on Bikes.

As graduation grew near and I thought about my next chapter, I weighed the pros and cons of staying in Colorado versus going home to Illinois. I was interested in giving back to my newfound home in Colorado Springs. Though there were many interesting job opportunities in Chicago, I did not find many organizations focused on both professional development and community engagement.

Once I was introduced to El Pomar Foundation, there was no looking back. I knew El Pomar supported Colorado and El Pomar was committed to the professional development of Fellows. I was excited about the opportunity to effectively facilitate change in the local communities I had actively engaged with for the last four years, and quickly decided I had found the perfect opportunity to apply my past experiences to the real world.

Looking forward to my next two years at El Pomar, I am very excited to continue engaging with Colorado’s communities as I figure out what “making an impact” means to me. I am eager to support southern Colorado’s leaders of color through Elevating Leadership Development, engage with place-based grant making through the Pikes Peak Regional Council, learn more about rural parts of Colorado through the Northwest Regional Council and deepen relationships with Fellowship Alumni through Alumni Relations. I will continue to strive to make a difference in a community that welcomed me with open arms and feels like home away from home.

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