So much to learn

If you’re seeking options and opportunities for successful self-employment, the May 30 “Un-Job Fair” is an event not to be missed! Colorado Free University is hosting its sixth annual, workshops and speaker-driven presentation complete with national presenters and authors who specialize in self-employment and entrepreneurial startups.

As a new teacher to CFU myself, and curious about this affordable adult learning facility, I recently had the pleasure of meeting with its President, Dr. Helen Hand. What is CFU? It’s a very unique surviving descendant of the Berkeley “Free Speech Movement” of the late 1960’s. 

The ‘Free’ actually comes from the idea that there should not be barriers to learning or sharing knowledge and that students should have the freedom to choose what they want to learn. Dr. Hand’s entrepreneurial brother and Denver native, John, strongly believed the city needed a place where adults could learn a variety of business-related skills as well as explore personal growth classes that offered no long term commitment, but focused on the value of small class, community interaction led by successful industry leaders for pennies on the dollar.

 That was in 1987. Tragically, John Hand was killed in 2004, leaving the school without its guiding light. His only sibling, Helen, a practicing (to this day) psychologist, stepped-in. 

With little background in business herself, the past 11 years has come with its own growing pains. The school receives no state funding or outside support, and still offers classes for as little as $19 and up, including certification programs in Nonprofit Leadership and Administration, Social Media Manager and Digital Marketing for Business/Entrepreneur.

On the lighter side, one can also enjoy exploring their artistic or metaphysical interests for a variety of mind/body wellness offerings or discover new career possibilities for a total life change. Where as many as 300 of these schools once stood, today, there are fewer than 10 nationally. Internet and other competition closed the doors on the majority.  But, this Colorado landmark, now in its 28th year stands tall with numerous, small classrooms and a community theater all packed into a historic firehouse building on what was once the Lowry Air Force Base. 

“A constant beacon of inspiration, this school represents my brother’s passion for bringing people together in ways that allow adults to get the value of one’s expertise for a fraction of their normal fee, in a fun, empowering and engaging environment,” says Dr. Hand. About 200 teachers comprise the staff list. 

On Saturday, April 18, I’ll be teaching “Insider Tips on Media and Customer Relations.”  In two and a half hours, students will gain a much greater understanding of how to uphold a company or organization’s most important public image, learn what to say, what not to say, and how to say it,  and avoid getting trapped into a costly downward spiral of negative attacks by customers, reporters, or the general public.  

So for those seeking personal or professional growth, a new and different cooking class, to learn how to build your financial portfolio on $50 a month, or conversational French, Spanish, or Italian for travelers and match it with their “Fly Cheap, Stay Cheap, Travel Cheap” class or so many other interesting and life-enriching offerings, all you need to do is checkout the current Spring catalog: