Rose Community Foundation invests $2.2 million in organizations advancing equitable futures for children and youth

Photo courtesy Urban Peak

Rose Community Foundation recently awarded $2,230,000 in support of 56 organizations providing youth- and child-focused services to increase educational achievement and post-secondary work options for youth that are furthest from opportunity. By centering youth voices and experiences, these grantee organizations are helping to create more equitable outcomes for young people and champion their career and life goals.

“As a community foundation, we are uniquely equipped to be responsive to the regional needs we are hearing about from our nonprofit partners,” says Christiano Sosa, the Foundation’s vice president of community impact. “This grant opportunity was crafted to address some of those immediate needs and also create long-lasting opportunities for individuals and families.”

In 2022, Rose Community Foundation encouraged grant applicants to share about pressing needs that they were seeing in the communities they serve. Data received from the Foundation’s grant cycles last year revealed housing affordability, mental health in schools, safety and belonging for students and families, and attraction and retention of employees – particularly in the education space – to be front and center.

One grantee organization, New Legacy Charter School, offers an educational experience tailored to the unique needs of teen parents, serving pregnant and parenting high school students and their children ages 0-5. “With this support, we are able to provide a two-generation education model to support early childhood development and post-secondary and employment pathways,” says Steven Bartholomew, executive director of New Legacy Charter School. “This approach will lead to positive outcomes across generations.”

As data has shown that economic prosperity is not evenly distributed across our region, these grant dollars were specifically directed toward organizations supporting children and their families who are furthest from opportunity. Eighty-seven percent (87%) of grant funding went to organizations serving BIPOC communities and 86% went to organizations serving individuals living on low incomes. Additionally, 24% of funded organizations are working closely with opportunity youth – young people who are not in school or the workforce.

Another grantee, Urban Peak, provides a full continuum of wraparound services for 900+ youth experiencing homelessness in the Greater Denver metro area. Their staff works with youth to identify their goals in areas such as education, employment, mental health, personal identity and empowerment through use of their own voice. “This support allows us to do critical work with some of the most vulnerable young people in our community,” says Christina Carlson, CEO of Urban Peak. “We are igniting the potential in youth to exit homelessness and create self-determined, fulfilled lives.”

Details about all the grant recipients and their work is outlined below:

Belonging and safety

Cobbled Streets
Supporting 1,500 children in foster care by providing transformative experiences to mitigate the harms of adverse childhood experiences and create access to positive activities, career paths and relationships.

Denver Healing Generations
Training additional facilitators for the Girasol Program, a comprehensive healing-centered, Indigenous-based youth leadership program for young women and femme-identified youth.

Denver Justice Project via Alliance for Global Justice
Supporting a community-based youth diversion program at Adams City Middle School, providing students with the tools and skills to recognize and implement changes based on social connections, concrete supports, knowledge of development, resilience, and social-emotional competence.

Fortaleza Familiar via Cultivando
Providing LGBTQ+ young people of color and their families with ongoing intergenerational educational programming to increase mental health, wellness, safety and belonging in community.

People of the Sacred Land
Creating a specially developed curriculum and providing resources for supplemental instruction for 100 American Indian Students in Greater Metro Denver.

Stand for Children Colorado
Providing parents and educators with advocacy tools tailored to schools and communities and furthering policies to advance educational equity and racial justice.

Street Fraternity
Creating brotherhood, belonging, and personal growth for urban young men and their families, mostly from the East Colfax corridor of Denver.

Struggle of Love Foundation
Youth-centered group programming for students at four Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST) schools focused on social and emotional wellness, resilience and social-skill building.

Employer pipeline

Mile High Youth Corps
Empowering opportunity youth in the Greater Metro Denver region to complete their education and gain valuable workforce skills that translate into real careers in construction or healthcare.

In and out-of-school programs (ECE)

The Family Learning Center
Literacy-based multicultural preschool and school-age programs with a goal of improving academic achievement for 100 low-income youth and 100+ families.

Mile High Early Learning
Supporting ongoing work in children’s social-emotional development by embedding trauma-informed care and culturally-responsive practices with an equity lens across the agency and into all programs.

Montessori on Wheels via The HadaNõu Collective
Expanding and scaling of the Montessori on Wheels model for BIPOC families in Denver by adding more teachers/storytellers to the staff and increasing programming with each school/community partnership.

You Be You Early Learning
Expanding free preschool to a third location in the Montbello neighborhood for children living in low-income housing.

In and out-of-school programs (K-12)

Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver
Providing high-quality, comprehensive after-school programming across 20 clubs to 23,000 youth annually.

Colorado Association of Black Professional Engineers and Scientists
Offering long-term out-of-school programming and behavioral health services at low or no cost to over 270 youth and their families from marginalized communities in Denver.

Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation
Providing out-of-school programming that includes small group and one-on-one mental health therapy, social-emotional development and support services for families.

Denver Kids, Inc.
Providing Denver Public Schools students who experience higher risk environments with the resources they need to succeed through Educational Counseling, a preventive approach dedicated to building character, academic achievement and positive development of the whole child.

Denver Public Schools Foundation
Supporting approximately 200 students enrolled in six of Denver Public School’s Pathway Schools with wraparound services including case management, mental health counseling and workforce development.

Generation Schools Network
Supporting key programs focused on justice-engaged students in Colorado and GSN’s Front Range Equity Network college and career readiness efforts.

Girls Inc. of Metro Denver
Supporting the Whole Girl program which provides over 250 girls from families with limited incomes with wraparound services and co-located mental health services to set girls up for post-secondary success.

“I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County
Expanding their program to include a two-generation approach that provides supports for the families of their Dreamer scholars in Boulder County.

Offering wraparound college access programming to approximately 600 students at Northglenn and Thornton High Schools.

Joy as Resistance
Expanding accessible, affordable, and affirming spaces for Colorado’s LGBTQ+ youth, creating more inclusive spaces in Greater Denver metro area schools, and supporting additional equity-centered counseling and youth leadership programs.

Project VOYCE
Implementing and evaluating the revised VOYCE Academy curriculum, a youth co-designed program anchored in the principles of healing justice.

Sun Valley Youth Center
Supporting free after-school and summer programs that provide positive youth development through trauma-informed programming for students living in the Sun Valley neighborhood.

YESS Institute
Empowering underserved youth through the development of social-emotional and leadership skills in addition to behavioral health supports, so they can achieve equitable success in their personal, academic and professional pursuits.

Integration or co-location programs that address childcare, mental health, and housing stability

Academy of Urban Learning
Providing trauma-informed and culturally-relevant mental health services, criminal justice advocacy, and positive academic outcomes for high school students ages 14 to 21.

Greater Denver CARES Circle of the National CARES Mentoring Movement Inc
Programming to increase access to mental health for 30-40 predominantly Black students and co-create equitable access to culturally-fluent academic resources for 500 BIPOC students across a variety of Denver Public Schools.

Mile High United Way
Programming which includes an ECE Center in the Mile High United Way building that will serve 60 young children with an emphasis on serving infants and toddlers from low- and moderate-income families.

Mountain Resource Center
Strengthening parenting skill sets, improving children’s social-emotional competence, and connecting families with additional resources, including mental health support, housing and food.

New Legacy Charter High School
Two-generation programming to increase post-secondary options for teen parents through the Real-World Learning program and access to early care and education for their children.

The Storytellers Project via The HadaNõu Collective
Supporting programming that builds increased emotional intelligence and healthy coping skills for justice-involved parents and their children as well as justice-involved youth and their families.

The Village Institute via Barton Institute for Community Action
Serving refugee and immigrant youth and families through programming that brings family advocacy, resource navigation, career-readiness training, mental health services and childcare all under one roof.


Apprentice of Peace Youth Organization
Supporting the expansion of multi-county programming, including the creation of additional out-of-school opportunities and access to career pathways for approximately 1,700 youth in Denver, Aurora, and Jefferson County.

Collaborative Healing Initiative Within Communities, Inc.
Promoting equitable health and economic futures for Black children through youth-serving programs that offer early intervention, social-emotional and mental health supports.

The Colorado Education Initiative
Helping to ensure that every student in Colorado is prepared and unafraid to succeed in school, work, and life through change management, youth activation, social-emotional development, leadership and DEI initiatives.

Denver Scholarship Foundation
Creating a comprehensive platform of continual support for 6,000 Denver Public Schools students and graduates so they may attend and complete college with a career pathway that builds sustainable wealth and ensures an equitable life of choice.

Generation Teach Inc.
Recruitment, selection and programming for 900 students, 168 teaching fellows and 41 professional teachers to help reverse summer slide, increase teacher diversity and develop future leaders, in partnership with Denver Public Schools.

Mile High 360
Addressing academic and mental health challenges facing first-generation college students and their parents/guardians during the transition from high school to a postsecondary tract in a multigenerational approach that engages students and family members.

Minds Matter Colorado
Mentoring and increasing college access to address systemic inequities for students through high school completion, summer programming and the removal of financial barriers for higher education.

Prodigy Ventures Inc
Supporting a social enterprise and apprenticeship for marginalized young adults to develop mindsets and skills for sustainable careers and economic mobility in northeast Denver.

Supports for educators

The Conflict Center
Supporting the Restorative Practices in Schools program for four schools, using restorative practice techniques and social-emotional approaches in response to student behavior.

DSST Public Schools Foundation
Providing all Denver School of Science and Technology staff with no-cost, co-located access to an experienced therapist of color to equip educators with the tools to care for themselves and their students.

Invest in Kids
Supporting high-quality, evidence-based services that are informed, led, and rooted in family voice, and successfully scaling proven programs that have the greatest long-term impact on young children and families.

Little Giants Learning Center
Offering an early childhood education program to families in the Derby neighborhood of Commerce City that don’t qualify for Colorado Childcare Assistance Program because their wages are slightly above the program income limits or their children do not meet the citizenship requirements.

Upstream Education Inc
Increasing access to Upstream’s Tier 1 Mental Health and social-emotional learning programs in 10 additional Metro Denver schools so that teachers feel confident as first responders to youth experiencing mental health crises.

Wraparound and navigation services

Center for African American Health
Providing families with culturally-relevant navigation services and helping them to access housing, healthcare, food and other resources, and also engaging participants in parent/caregiver education classes.

Child Advocates – Denver CASA
Enabling recruitment, training and support of 350 Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteers who will advocate on behalf of children and youth who have been victims of abuse and/or neglect and are in the child welfare system.

Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition
Providing mentorship and parent training to help promote positive youth and child development, socioeconomic competence and educational success.

El Centro Amistad
Providing mental wellness, social-emotional competence and emotional wellness for children/youth through after-school coaching, parent coaching and Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

La Cocina
Providing Spanish-speaking birthing parents and those with infants and/or young children who have suffered trauma with integrated Doula and mental health consultation support services, including home visitation.

La Piñata del Aprendizaje via Trailhead Institute

Supporting the holistic and culturally-welcoming Early Childhood Education program, where parents and caregivers learn alongside their children and are encouraged, valued, and supported as their child’s first teacher.

NAMI Colorado
Supporting Ending the Silence, NAMI on Campus and NAMI Basics, which are evidence-based programs to engage young adults and provide youth-centered behavioral and mental health supports.

Outreach United Resource Center, Inc.
Offering a two-generation kindergarten readiness program to close the achievement gap for young learners and providing wraparound supports to their families in the City of Longmont.

Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network
Supporting free legal representation and services to immigrant children and families through family and youth-focused litigation and advocacy efforts.

Urban Peak
Supporting a full continuum of wraparound services for youth experiencing homelessness in the Denver metro area with a focus on wellbeing, permanent connections, education/employment and stable housing.

Rose Community Foundation strives to advance inclusive, engaged and equitable Greater Denver communities through values-driven philanthropy. The Foundation envisions a thriving region strengthened by its diversity and generosity, and it utilizes the varied tools at its disposal – grantmaking, advocacy and philanthropic services – to advance this aspiration. Since its founding in 1995, the Foundation has granted more than $373 million to over 2,000 organizations and initiatives, including $60 million in facilitated grantmaking from donor-advised funds. The Foundation also supports 86 nonprofit organizations in creating and growing endowments to sustain their vital work into the future, currently stewarding $64 million in endowed assets. The Foundation has $366 million in total assets under management, with annual grantmaking of over $20 million.

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