Boulder — A new initiative will help Boulder County cultivate future leaders who reflect the region’s changing demographics and are prepared to address its evolving needs.
The Boulder County Leadership Fellows Program will deepen individuals’ leadership skills, while broadening their professional networks to build trust between communities. The fellows, a diverse, cross-sector group, will explore Boulder County challenges and learn from established community leaders and each other.
Launched by The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County, the effort is funded by a $375,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
“The Fellowship Program is an inspiring opportunity for people to participate in creating a more connected community,” said Carly Hare, director of programs for The Community Foundation.
Residents interested in applying to participate can attend an informational meeting at 3:30 p.m. June 4 at The Community Foundation’s offices, 1123 Spruce St., Boulder. Applications will be accepted until June 22nd via email and can be found at CommFound.org/leadershipfellows.php.
Boulder County’s population has grown 40 percent over two decades — now eclipsing 300,000 — bringing increasing demands on housing, transportation and natural resources. The region has also grown more diverse, with more than one in ten residents speaking a language other than English at home. The new program aims to ensure that new leaders are versed in these issues and prepared to find solutions.
The initiative also will help bolster other local leadership programs by giving them grants to help cultivate and retain diverse participants, and by offering scholarships to emerging leaders to attend local and national programs.
The Fellows Program grew out of a 2008 survey, also funded by Knight Foundation, which found that enrollment costs prohibited many diverse candidates from participating in and completing existing programs. The study also found that while mentoring relationships were key to cultivating leaders, Boulder County lacked opportunities for it.
“This effort will help ensure that all sectors have a voice in making the decisions critical to Boulder's future,” said Dave Mills, Knight Foundation’s Boulder program director.
Purpose of The Community Foundation
The Community Foundation exists to improve the quality of life in Boulder County, now and forever, and to build a culture of giving. The Foundation is the place where giving is informed and inspired to have the greatest impact on the vision of a better Boulder County. We are committed to intimately understanding needs and connecting to the nonprofits that address those needs. Purpose and passion are the inspiration for everything we do. Together, Boulder County residents and The Community Foundation can make a meaningful impact on our fellow residents’ quality of life today and in the future. To learn more, please visit www.commfound.org or call 303-442-0436.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of the U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects with the potential to create transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.