As a student teacher in Denver Public Schools, Cat Flynn (elementary licensure, 2019) fell in love with the community at the historic Denver elementary, Dora Moore Elementary. She also recognized many of her students’ challenges.

“I learned so much about the biggest issues that students face both in and outside the classroom that impact their learning,” she said. “Some of the main challenges my students persevered through were food access, homelessness, abuse, and inadequate representation.

Cat FlynnStore front
“I saw myself in these students trying their best to be present, and I felt so inspired to support them in the ways that I had not been (supported) as a student.”
Growing up in a large Honduran-Irish family, first in New York and later in Littleton, Colorado, Flynn became aware of the importance of diet and the systemic obstacles that prevent many from having a sufficient diet. 
Flynn was looking forward to starting a long-term substitute teaching position after student teaching when her dream job, lead education facilitator at GrowHaus, became available marrying her interests in education and food justice issues — the perfect recipe to continue addressing the food scarcity concerns she witnessed in the classroom.
GrowHaus is a food justice nonprofit indoor farm, sliding scale marketplace, and educational center that serves the diverse Elyria Swansea and Globeville communities in Denver. Its vision is a world where all communities have the means to nourish themselves, and its mission is to create a community-driven, neighborhood-based food system by serving as a hub for food distribution, production, education, and economic opportunity, she said.
Flynn leads the education program which encompasses adult wellness classes, multi-generational wellness and gardening classes, after school classes for Denver partner schools, summer programs with community partners for 3-year-olds to seniors in high school, and service learning opportunities. 
“We work hard to create experiential learning spaces where everyone feels empowered to advocate for their rights, especially their basic right to access to healthy and affordable food,” she said.

“I am thrilled to have found a position that combines my passions for education and social justice and allows me to be so hands-on in creating change.”


This story is part of an Alumni Connections series featuring alumni who are putting their education background to work in meaningful ways and on the fringes of the field. 

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