The El Pomar Foundation Internship program offers valuable professional experience to continuing undergraduate students interested in the nonprofit sector. However, this summer’s Interns had a somewhat unusual experience. After a work week filled with meetings, projects and professional development trainings, the Interns prepared to leave Penrose House for some well-deserved rest. However, Friday-evening drowsiness set over them, and instead of clocking out, they accidentally pressed the “travel back in time 82 years” button. Suddenly, the Interns found themselves sharing a table with Mr. and Mrs. Spencer and Julie Penrose, who were about to delight in a delicious 1930s Depression-era meal. Naturally, Spencer and Julie asked the Interns to update them on the evolved state of El Pomar Foundation some 80 years in the future. Here is what Jordan said:
Recognizing Rural Colorado Alongside the Penroses
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Penrose,
El Pomar Foundation is a legacy the two of you built that has grown and seen significant change over the years. Nevertheless, after more than 80 years it continues to uphold your original mission: to enhance, encourage and promote the current and future well-being of the people of Colorado. The Regional Partnerships program exemplifies how the Foundation prioritizes your mission while still adapting to fit the needs of the people of this beautiful state. Regional Partnerships has enabled El Pomar to extend its grant making across the Front Range, down to the Western Slope, throughout the Eastern Plains, and everywhere in between.
Regional Partnerships was developed in 2003 to help communities throughout the entire state identify and address local needs through convening community leaders into 11 regional councils that recommend multi-year grants to El Pomar’s Trustees. As the Regional Partnerships Intern, I manage various logistics of the program, like ensuring the program’s webpage is up-to-date and completing various data analysis projects.
I am thrilled to support this program as it has had a tremendous impact on my hometown in rural Colorado. Growing up in the San Luis Valley, I had a passion to make a difference in my hometown and region even before joining El Pomar’s team. Rural communities across the state face similar challenges though often receive less support than the Front Range. I want to be a catalyst that sparks change and bridges this gap. Thankfully, El Pomar and the Regional Partnerships program have granted me the insight and the tools to accomplish this and much more.
Mr. and Mrs. Penrose, I have a good feeling that you would appreciate the Foundation’s current operation, especially with regards to new programs like Regional Partnerships. You may be surprised by some of the changes it has undergone in these 82 long years, but I can assure you the core of what makes this Foundation and this state so incredible - the amazing people that live here - is still very much a priority. As El Pomar continues to evolve, you and I can rest assured it will always function to serve and assist the citizens of Colorado.