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From Hometown to Fellowship

By Hayes Witherow

Growing up in Colorado Springs, I saw the name “El Pomar” everywhere. From the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Pikes Peak Region, where my sister attended after-school programs, to working at Meadows Park Community Center in part due to an El Pomar grant, I have witnessed firsthand the impact the Foundation has had on my community. The mission of El Pomar resonates deeply within me, reminding me of the transformative power that dedicated organizations can have on local communities. These personal encounters with the Foundation’s positive influence fuel my drive to further connect with its initiatives and work collaboratively to uplift Colorado’s prosperity for generations to come.

During my time at Colorado University Boulder, where I studied microbiology and public health, I learned about the unique challenges facing the people of Colorado in access to affordable and equitable healthcare services. This is something I hope to pursue both in my time here at El Pomar as well as my plan to study medicine and public health in the future. A commitment to Colorado is not just a matter of geography; it’s a heartfelt dedication to the well-being of its people, its communities, and its future. As I tread the path towards a career in medicine, I am driven by the desire to enhance healthcare access and make a lasting impact on the lives of Coloradans. Returning home to Colorado Springs, bringing unique perspectives and experiences, I eagerly anticipate supporting various programs of El Pomar.

There is need here in Colorado, and the work of Spencer and Julie Penrose is forever ongoing. I am honored to be given the opportunity to support the mission of the Foundation. In the coming two years, I look forward to working alongside El Pomar staff and Trustees in continuing to foster positive change in the state of Colorado. In addition, I am excited to learn from my peers in the cohort model of the Fellowship and apply lessons and concepts I have gained thus far through my academics, into applications outside of the classroom. I am inspired by the state’s resilience and the Foundation’s impact, driven to further the well-being for all Coloradans.

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