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 Katie said:
Celebrating Local Leaders Over Lunch
Good afternoon Mr. and Mrs. Penrose,
I am currently working as the El Pomar Foundation Outreach Summer Intern, focusing primarily on the Emerging Leaders Development (ELD) program. My duties include updating the program participant databases and online civic engagement profiles, attending Advisory Council and committee meetings and providing planning and logistical support for the upcoming ELD events.
As the Outreach Intern, I have witnessed El Pomar’s impressive ability to convene and empower individuals through grant making, meetings hosted at your beloved Penrose House, the Fellowship and Internship programs, and Regional Council meetings. Most notable is El Pomar’s dedication to convening local developing leaders. I am truly amazed at how El Pomar invests in individuals through empowering them to grow both professionally and civically. I am sure you would agree that a community is shaped by its people; investing in these people’s leadership development has proven to be a worthy cause, Mr. and Mrs. Penrose.
Working with Emerging Leaders Development program, I interact daily with minority leaders from Colorado Springs and Pueblo who have been empowered by El Pomar Foundation through scholarships to complete leadership development trainings or workshops. The strong correlation between the completion of trainings and an increase in participation on nonprofit boards or commissions is obvious in looking at these individuals’ community involvement. Furthermore, I see the benefit of convening these individuals and thought-leaders during program meetings that introduce the community to ELD’s resources and honor the legacy of deceased minority leaders who made an impact on Colorado.
Altogether, El Pomar Foundation has expanded beyond grant making and into programs that benefit communities by investing in local leaders. I believe, Mr. and Mrs. Penrose, that this is one of the greatest successes of the Foundation today. Generations of leaders both past and present have been and will be impacted by El Pomar. You can sleep soundly knowing that these leaders are working to carry out your legacy.
It was wonderful to meet you both,