The Gift of Giving Back
By Elizabeth Hoffner
In these times of uncertainty, I am grateful for the opportunity to work remotely as it provided me with more than fifty days home in Center, Colorado and the San Luis Valley. During that time, I realized that much of who I am is because of the place I grew up and the people that raised me. The Valley instilled a moral and ethical compass in me that I still have today. I fostered a strong sense of work ethic and compassion by watching farmers work from sunup to sundown and still find time to help a neighbor in need. I learned that keeping your promises is incredibly important because in a small community, it hurts the people around you when you do not.
For these values and the joy of being welcomed home each time I return, I will always be thankful for the San Luis Valley. I can therefore think of no better way to express my gratitude than to work with El Pomar staff who also care deeply about this area, learn from Regional Council members I have come to call friends and partner with boots-on-the-ground organizations that continually better these communities. I am thankful for the opportunity to connect the people and places I care about to the resources they deserve.
While I may be transitioning off the regional program, there is no transition taking place in my heart. If anything, after years of living in new places, from the Netherlands to Colorado Springs, I have solidified that the San Luis Valley will always be home. When I drive on Highway 285, descend off of Poncha Pass, see the Sangre de Cristos mountain range on the left and the Valley floor expand to the right, I know I am home. I will always be thankful for this home and will take its lessons with me wherever I go.
Elizabeth Hoffner joined El Pomar Foundation as a member of the 2018 Fellowship class. Upon completing her two-year Fellowship, she remained at the Foundation as Senior Program Associate and Deputy Director of the Fellowship. Her role is to facilitate 1st Year meetings and help with their professional and leadership development. She also supports regular Fellowship activities such as Alumni Relations, New Fellow Orientation and Fellowship Recruiting. Read more about Elizabeth here.