On Saturday, April 8th, the second annual Thrive Conference was held at Front Range Community College. Foothills United Way collaborated with Boulder County Community Action Programs as well as community partners (Front Range Community College, Boulder County Housing & Human Services, Boulder Small Business Development Center, Workforce Boulder County, Boulder County Area Agency on Aging, and Boulder County Public Health) to pull off this action packed day of learning and workshopping. The Steering Committee did a tremendous job creating a wonderful environment for the participants. The speakers of Thrive were genuinely excited to teach and get to know the eager minds in their workshops.
The day included interactive workshops, a resource fair, and lunch for individuals and/or families. This conference served as an outlet for low to moderate income individuals and families to gain information in order to take action and pursue goals within these key areas: Assets for older adults, Business, Education and Career, Homeownership and Money Skills. The purpose of these workshops was to provide a wide-range of resources to the 39 participants so that they left the conference with clear, next steps to success.
Along with the other participants, a few of Foothills United Way’s PIE (Personal Investment Enterprise) Program participants also came to engage and gain information from the workshops. (The PIE Program is a match savings program that offers a match saving of 4:1 and up to $1,000 (with a $4,000 match); this match can be applied to home ownership, post-secondary education, or small business capitalization.) One PIE participant in particular, Stella Morris came to the Thrive Conference to learn more about homeownership, and how she could make it into a reality for her and her family. “I have this dream to own my house, and PIE has made that dream come true,” said Stella. She has saved $1,000 over the last 7 months with the help of the PIE program and this in turn, has also helped her build a better credit score. Stella has recently submitted her application to Habitat for Humanity and has high hopes for her future. “The PIE program has given me stability and an opportunity to succeed,” said Stella. “I have even started another savings account just for home furnishings; PIE has taught me the importance of saving and that is such an important lesson to learn.”
The Thrive Conference brought people from all over with eager hearts and big dreams. The workshops not only taught steps to success, it also gave the participants hope for each one of their futures. Having conferences like these play such an important role in the community, and we cannot wait until next year’s Thrive Conference.
Thank you to Front Range Community College for donating the space for the Thrive Conference and creating such a welcoming environment for our participants. We would also like to thank Guaranty Bank and Trust Company for sponsoring the event and Wells Fargo’s generous donation of reusable bags!
2017 Conference Steering Committee
Tonja Ahijevych – Workforce Boulder County
Jamie Brandess, Boulder Small Business Development Center
Guio Bravo, Boulder County Area Aging Services (AAA)
Nino Gallo, Boulder County Community Action Programs
Eliberto Mendoza, Boulder County Community Action Programs
Katie Pague, Boulder County Housing & Human Services
Gaby Rivera, Front Range Community College
Roberto Rivero, Boulder County Area Aging Services (AAA)
Rosemary Thompson, Foothills United Way
Lisa Widdekind, Boulder County Public Health
Julia Heart (2nd time Thrive Conference Volunteer) - Rubberdisc.
Julia Morales - ANB Bank, Boulder Branch Supervisor