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Following Your Values

By Erin Huggins

I grew up in Newark, New Jersey, in an environment that promoted and valued the importance of community and giving back to the people who have contributed to your upbringing and well-being. At every eighth grade and high school graduation, we would recite a call and response. In the call, students were asked, “and when you succeed, what will you do?” We responded, “change history and give back to others.”

We were always encouraged to support our peers, think about our futures, and help others along the way. Some were asked to return to the school after graduating to work as teachers, social workers, or principals, and continue to assist in the support of other Newark residents. As a community, we were dedicated to caring for each other and the people around us. We were taught that to be successful, everyone had to be on task and meet class expectations. Therefore, we were all participants in each other’s success.

El Pomar’s mission statement made me feel the way the call and response did. Not only could I be part of something that would care for me, but I was also a part of something that helped my greater community. El Pomar is dedicated to giving back to others and supporting the organizations that nurture and care for the residents of Colorado on a wide scale. The Foundation’s RITE Values of respect, integrity, teamwork, and excellence add further context to this mission, such as respecting and caring for your team to achieve common goals. I wanted to be a part of El Pomar due to the vast amount of people who can be impacted by our programs and grant making.

Colorado is now my home and has been for almost five years. This is my community, and I hold a responsibility to support it with perseverance and care. These values were ingrained in me at a young age, and El Pomar provides me with a wide variety of ways to apply them.

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