The 2-Year INVST Program prepares CU undergraduates to be leaders who work for social and environmental justice.
Each year, we admit up to 16 CU students who want to make a positive difference in the world.
This life-altering academic program exposes students to what is, and cultivates them as skillful leaders to work for what could be.
INVST students take two theory classes; four skills-training classes; and participate on two Justice Summers.
On the Climate Justice Summer, students learn first-hand about energy, power, extraction and environmental sustainability in the US Southwest; and on the Economic Justice Summer, students have the opportunity to learn about immigration, Sanctuary cities and Sanctuary churches, labor justice and economic justice. The Justice Summers are unique opportunities to learn in person, off campus with visionary leaders who are shaping progressive change.
During the school year, INVST students serve 4-6 hours per week as volunteers with community-based organizations in meaningful internships. This offers students the chance to experience a mutual aid organization or non-profit from the inside, and make a positive difference for our local community. Organizations that have hosted INVST interns include Thorne Nature Experience, the Women's Wilderness Institute, the Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (SPAN), Natural Capitalism Solutions, New Era Colorado, the Philanthropiece Foundation, Attention Homes, the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless and the Community Foundation of Boulder County. More than 150 Boulder and Denver agencies have offered community-based learning opportunities to INVST students.
In their second year of our two-year program, INVST students collectively research, design, implement and evaluate their own community leadership projects. Recent successes by small groups of INVST students have involved the development of a local urban farm, the writing of a people's history of Valmont Butte, an organizational growth campaign for Boulder Food Rescue, a pathway program from high school to college for local youth, and the launch of an annual food justice conference.
Throughout The INVST Program, students learn about social justice, democracy, approaches to leadership, nonviolence and community transformation. Students also practice skills such as meeting facilitation, collaborative decision making, conflict resolution, fundraising, grassroots organizing and public speaking.
Students participate with INVST staff in policy-making for the program through a consensus-based Directors' Committee that is unique in higher education. Together, students and staff determine curriculum design, hire staff, and help fundraise and steward relationships with donors. INVST offers CU Boulder students the unique opportunity to learn by doing in a non-hierarchical organization.
Upon completion, students receive either the Leadership Studies Minor or a certificate. They are also eligible to receive scholarships from INVST, toward their college tuition, as well as stipends to compensate them for time spent in the community as volunteers.
When they complete our rigorous training program, young people are skilled and inspired to transform their communities and our world! Apply Now!!!