CU Boulder students who take classes with INVST Community Studies have the chance to develop and articulate their values, while also learning the practical skills to succeed as community leaders.
INVST students learn first-hand how a non-profit functions by working with local groups across Boulder and Denver. In meaningful internships, students do campaign work, volunteer recruitment, coalition building, fundraising, translation, tutoring, outreach, social media and sometimes case work and workshop instruction.
Ginger Tayler, Former Volunteer Coordinator at the Emergency Family Assistance Association, stated, "By far the most successful student volunteers have come from INVST. I believe the program's superior design results in students who are remarkably capable and mature.”
Other host organizations that have provided life-changing, hands-on learning opportunities to our students have included Boulder Food Rescue, the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, El Centro Amistad, Intercambio: Uniting Communities, the Center for Inclusion & Social Change, ODECE, the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center, New Era Colorado, KGNU Community Radio, and the Immigrant Legal Center of Boulder County, just to name a few. Students from INVST have supported the success of more than 150 local non-profit organizations.
What really sets INVST students apart from other idealistic young people is the expertise they develop. In our program, they learn practical skills such as meeting facilitation, consensus decision-making, conflict resolution, fundraising, grant proposal writing, grassroots organizing, lobbying and public speaking. By the time they complete the two-year program, INVST students are skilled and experienced community leaders who have been exposed to challenging and timely issues and are equipped to address them effectively and responsibly.
After graduation, they continue to have positive influences in the communities where they live and work. Our graduates are engaged in meaningful community leadership in the state of Colorado, across the United States, and all over the world.
We are proud to say that after completing our program, INVST graduates demonstrate compassion, integrity, and personal and social responsibility in their life choices. Our alumni work in art, community mediation, education, farming, grassroots organizing, law, alternative healing and medicine, politics, social work and some of them run socially-responsible businesses.
Here are just a few alumni who participated in our two-year INVST program, who we are very proud of:
- Christine Ahn is the Founder and Executive Director of Korea Policy Institute, an independent research and educational institute providing timely analysis of U.S. policies toward Korea.
- Allison Glass coordinated the annual Gandhi-King Conference on Peacemaking with the Mid South Peace and Justice Center in Memphis, TN; now she works for labour justice with 9 to 5.
- Scott Gorsky helps provide tutoring to students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, communicates with parents and facilitates migrant education for a school district in Denver. He served as the President of the Englewood Board of Education.
- Nick Hedlund-de Witt is adjunct professor in the Integral Theory and Integral Psychology departments at John F. Kennedy University. He is a researcher at the Integral Research Center, and associate director at the Integral Ecology Center. At the California Institute of Integral Studies, he researched psycho-spiritual development and eco-social well-being.
- Jeff Schwartz is an organic farmer who owns Big B’s Fresh Apple Cider company in Paionia, CO.
- Beth Schwarting is a nurse midwife.
We celebrate all the different ways our alumni have chosen to make a positive, progressive difference.
We acknowledge that we live in the unceded territory of Hinóno'éí (Arapaho) and Cheyenne nations, according to the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie, and that Colorado's Front Range is home to the Núu-agha-tʉvʉ-pʉ̱ (Ute), Hinóno’éí (Arapahoe), Cheyenne, and many other Native peoples.