When we bring together people in our leadership programs, incredible things can happen.
Not only do people make life-long connections and go deep on issues facing the community, but they channel that knowledge and network into actions that make the region stronger in the form of community impact projects taken on by Leadership Denver, Impact Denver and Leadership Exchange.

Find out what they’ve all been up to:
Just a few weeks ago, members of our Leadership Denver 2018 class returned to report out on their projects, which they have one year to complete following their graduation. Since 2017, the mayor’s office has partnered with us to challenge this group of engaged leaders to take on some of the greatest challenges Denver faces – affordable housing, homelessness, mobility and workforce development among them. No simple task, each project team has worked to better understand these complex issues and the role they can play in moving the needle: from promoting a mobile app that helps provide necessities to those in need, to a contest to encourage safe driving; building a guide for families of men and women who are being released from prison, to building better recycling programs in apartments.

Meanwhile, our current Impact Denver class is partnering with 10 nonprofits from across the region: Access Housing, Central City Opera, CSR Solutions of Colorado, Denver Public Schools’ Career Connect, Denver Public Schools Foundation, Food Bank of the Rockies, Maria Droste Services of Colorado, Special Olympics Colorado, Write on Sports Denver and YouthRoots. And, for the first time, we’ll provide a grant of $3,000 to support one of those community organizations after these projects are completed. Selected by the Impact Denver class, the decision will be based on what the teams accomplished, learned and how they connected with Colorado’s Civic DNA.

Finally, students from The Other Side Academy: Denver moved in last week. Bringing this innovative peer-based mentoring model that serves as an alternative to incarceration to our region has been a project of 9NEWS Leader of the Year finalist Andrew Schmidt and a group of Leadership Exchange: Salt Lake City alumni since they saw the program in person in 2017. Our alumni have worked diligently to fundraise, partner with organizations who lead on this work and securing a location. Learn more at tosadenver.com.

As an alumni, we need your help to spread the word about these programs – all of which are open to apply to now – or tap the shoulder of a colleague or friend who wants to increase their impact in the community or at the office.

Dan Lewis is the executive director of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation.