Top Company 2020: Nonprofit
These three companies are shaking up the world of nonprofits
In its 33rd year, ColoradoBiz‘s Top Company honors the Colorado companies that have drive, determination, a vision and a plan and are ultimately making the state a better place to live and work. These three companies – one winner and two finalists –represent the 2020 Top Companies in Nonprofit.
Focus Points Family Resource Center is celebrating its 25th year empowering families through programs including early childhood education, economic opportunity, adult education and community development.
“Our commitment to meeting the evolving needs of our community has manifested in a two-generation approach, which means we are working with guardians and children simultaneously, providing each with relevant programming to enrich their lives,” Executive Director Jules Kelty says. “Our goal is to foster self-sufficiency and economic stability. Research indicates that if a child witnesses a parent successfully completing an education program, they are much more likely to pursue secondary education.”
Its Comal Heritage Food Incubator, a lunch restaurant and training program, provides skills in culinary arts and business to immigrants and refugees from countries such as Mexico, El Salvador, Syria, Iraq and Ethiopia. Participants honor their culinary traditions while learning about entrepreneurship and professional food services. The successful social enterprise has paid $650,000 into the community directly through earn-while-you-learn stipends, with a local economic impact of $2.5 million.
Focus Points offers award-winning PAT (Parents As Teachers) and HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) early education, as well as high-quality, curriculum-based child care to more than 200 children while parents participate in Focus Points programs. Adult education includes six levels of low-cost English Language Acquisition as well as GED support.
Focus Points recently launched Huerta — orchard, in Spanish — as a food-centered community space with greenhouses, retail and a commercial kitchen for classes. Huerta’s training program participants will earn wages as they learn and work toward such entrepreneurial endeavors as a florist shop or urban farming-centered business.
Over the past 15 years, Aspen Academy has become one of the fastest-growing independent schools in the nation.
Its Aspen Entrepreneurial Institute is a year-long program focused on personal financial literacy, business financial literacy and entrepreneurship for students pre-K through eighth-grade. The program establishes financial management habits and skills; develops an entrepreneurial mindset, vision and practice; and creates mastery of understanding for students and faculty. The Aspen Youth Leadership Institute is a comprehensive and sequenced leadership curriculum program designed to help re-establish a culture of effective personal and community leadership.
Bear’s Student Enterprises allows seventh- and eighth-grade students to operate a campus store, café and broadcast network that produces bi-weekly newscasts, infomercials and news magazine segments.
Aspen Academy supports more than 25 local, state, national and international organizations through a robust and integrated service learning program. Since 2008, the school’s 78,000-square-foot building has been renovated and expanded, adding 14 outdoor labs and classrooms and 10 teaching gardens.
YouthRoots guides high school students through a three-step philanthropic process, helping to build leadership skills and support charitable giving. One YouthBoard started in Denver a decade ago has grown to 11 in two states, serving 547 high school students who have raised more than $246,000 for 81 nonprofits, serving thousands of at-risk youth.
Participants build key non-cognitive skills including confidence, critical thinking, self-awareness and teamwork. Additionally, participants leave the program with awareness of community needs, business and fundraising skills, financial literacy and knowledge of how to invest in their strengths and passions.
YouthRoots partners with community foundations and schools to reach as many high school students as possible.