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A Letter from Our Leaders

Dear friends,

This past school year, all of us at Colorado Youth for a Change embarked on a journey to redefine our mission and vision in the wake of the inspiring growth we have experienced over the last few years, and as a part of our development of a new three-year strategic plan. This was truly a collective process where we received input and feedback from staff, board, students, AmeriCorps members, external stakeholders, and more at every step of the way. Our new mission, announced this past January, not only demonstrates where we are going but also provides a framework for where we have been. It is exciting and humbling to reflect on shifting student needs and the ways we have continued to evolve as an organization to better serve Colorado students.

Barriers to learning are more complex than ever before, as students grapple with learning disruption due to the pandemic and schools explore how to support students who are all at different levels in their learning. Paul’s story is an example of how the turmoil of young people’s lives over the past several years has caused some of them to slip through the cracks. Together with his Corps for a Change member Quinn, Paul worked hard to catch up in school and is poised to graduate this upcoming year. At CYC, we believe that addressing barriers to learning means increasing access to resources, so that students can have the tools they need to maximize their own learning and growth.

Our four AmeriCorps programs continue to intervene at pivotal stages of the educational continuum, where research has identified critical turning points that can forecast a student’s opportunity for success. On last year’s state-level CMAS tests, 59 percent of Colorado third graders did not meet grade-level standards in reading and 68 percent of Colorado eighth graders did not meet grade-level standards in math. The returns on the individualized interventions provided by our programs are undeniable—this year, eighth graders who participated in Math Corps achieved nearly double the growth rate of their peers who did not participate.

While all of our programs demonstrate customized interventions, our Reengagement program is an especially poignant testament to the power of individualized supports. As Stephanie’s story demonstrates, students are often unaware of their options when it comes to reenrolling in school. We are proud to witness how much these students can thrive when they find the right school fit.

Thank you for all the ways you support Colorado Youth for a Change and our mission. Together with our 30 school district partners and 200 schools, we are supporting over 6,000 students at every stage to maximize their learning and growth.

Our Mission: Colorado Youth for a Change addresses barriers to learning by providing individualized supports throughout pivotal stages of students’ education journeys.

ar Mary and Mindy

Our Students

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51% of schools CYC serves have a majority population of students from low-income families.

Meeting the Need

of a child's brain development happens before age 5
of Colorado 3rd graders not reaching grade-level standards in reading
of Colorado 8th graders not reaching grade-level standards in math
Colorado students missed at least four weeks of school last year
Colorado students leave school early each year

Our Method

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Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

A crucial piece of our strategic plan development process was ensuring that we center our DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) work. CYC is committed to both the process and the goal of being an inclusive organization.

For the 2022-2023 school year, we decided to start Affinity Spaces for our AmeriCorps members as a way to build community and create a space for folks to process their experiences at their service sites and in the world. We hold two virtual spaces, a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) space, and an LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, plus) space. The Affinity Spaces are facilitated by CYC staff members who share the identity of the group they are supporting. Staff members spent six months planning, learning, and engaging in trainings before launching the spaces in September. The facilitators continue to participate in ongoing training and discussion around holding meaningful and impactful Affinity Spaces. Each month, the Affinity Spaces present a different theme for discussion and processing. Some of the themes we have discussed have included belonging, navigating the workplace, representation, culture, and identity.

CYC also deepened its focus and trainings for AmeriCorps members on equity, anti-oppression, identities, privilege, and trauma-informed care. Specific trainings included Educational Equity, Anti-Oppression and Identity, Secondary Trauma, Healing Centered Engagement, and Transformative Justice, among others.

Our Impact

6,784 students served30 Colorado school districts176 Colorado schools3,172 additional students received outreach to reenroll in school

Benchmarks by Program

Early Learning Corps:
404 students served • 9 schools • 14 AmeriCorps members • 66% exceeded target growth rate, increasing their kindergarten readiness

Reading Corps:
2,682 students served • 88 schools • 119 AmeriCorps members • 70% exceeded target growth rate, catching up with their peers in reading

Math Corps:
1,761 students served • 56 schools • 66 AmeriCorps members • 54% exceeded target growth rate, catching up with their peers in math

Corps for a Change:
1,612 students served • 49 schools • 66 AmeriCorps members • 76% grew in school engagement and social-emotional skills*

3,497 students served • 325 students received case management from CYC team • 168 students reenrolled • 80% either graduated or will continue in school, more than doubling their chances of completing a diploma

*Understanding Development Assets

The Developmental Assets Profile is a pre and post assessment implemented by CYC in our Corps for a Change program to measure positive values, relationships, skills and experiences that help young people thrive.

Of students served in CYC’s Corps for a Change program, 76% significantly improved in at least two social-emotional skill and school engagement categories, which are shown to positively impact high school graduation. The biggest areas of change involve internal assets and include positive identity (self-esteem/sense of purpose/positive view of future) and social competencies (planning/decision making/cultural competence/resistance). You can learn more about the Developmental Assets Profile here.

Student Wins

“Paul is an 18 year-old student who only had credits through sophomore year. He was so behind that he wanted to quit. Together, we worked on attendance, missing assignments, and credit recovery. He’s made huge strides and is on pace to graduate next year. He walks with his head held high, finally feeling that he belongs at school.” –Quinn, Corps for a Change member in Denver Public Schools

“Ezekiel was quiet and shy when I first started meeting with him. Over the past three months, I’ve been able to help Ezekiel find ample amounts of comfort within our classroom. His confidence to communicate with us and his peers has increased so much. Through his communication we discovered that he can sound out letters in a word to figure out how to say them all together, add smaller numbers together, and recognize large numbers such as 300.” –Sebastian, Early Learning Corps member in Jeffco Public Schools

“When I first met Stephanie, she was resistant to the idea of engaging in school. She felt singled out in the past for her unstable attendance. She enrolled in a new school the first half of the year but it wasn’t a good fit. Instead of letting that setback demotivate her, we took our time to search for a better fit. We identified the GED+ program at Emily Griffith High School and she started in January. Just over a year after our initial meeting, Stephanie is now passing all of her practice tests! She has made a 180° turn in her attitude and approach towards her education and is thriving in the new environment.” –Chance, CYC Reengagement Specialist

“Izzy started our Math Corps group as a very quiet student. She was attentive but didn’t willingly answer questions unless called on. Throughout our time together, her confidence with math has increased to the point where she is the first one to raise her hand when I ask a question. Sometimes she even has her hand up before I ask a question and will tell me the next step or answer. She is not afraid to be the only student using a different math strategy, because she now knows what works for her. Recently, Izzy received an award at the school’s award ceremony. It’s been wonderful to see her personality and confidence shine.” –Emily, Math Corps tutor in Jeffco Public Schools

Student Voice

Daniel holding up his "I love reading because..." drawing stating that he loves thinking of the things that can happen.
Daniel holding up his "I love reading because..." drawing stating that he loves thinking of the things that can happen.

We were excited to extend our Student Voice Initiative to our Reading Corps (K-3rd grade) and Math Corps (4th-8th grade) students this year, expanding upon our high school pilot project in 2021-2022. We were humbled and inspired by the variety of submissions we received. Students reflected on the importance of finding meaning and purpose in the classroom; what it means to have a say in their education; and ways to find joy in big and small accomplishments. Scroll through a few submissions here or learn more about this project on our blog.

What Our Partners Say

“As a preschool program, we have not been able to provide [personalized interventions] in our classrooms. With the support from Early Learning Corps, we can now provide small-group support to our students who need a little boost.” –school staff member in Weld County RE-5J School District

Our Math Corps tutor has helped us fill gaps and address misconceptions students have in math. Our teachers really noticed how impactful the program was for students’ math abilities and confidence. It is exciting to see how many students made growth.” –school staff member in Boulder Valley School District

“Reading Corps is an integral piece to our layered systems of supports. Without Reading Corps, we would not be able to provide adequate intervention support to ALL of our students. The interventions are research-based and give results. We are pleased with how many students we have that have exited from Reading Corps and are now operating at grade level.” –school staff member in Thompson School District

of our school partners would recommend our programs to others in their networks.

What Our AmeriCorps Members Say

“This program has made a huge impact on me and has been so rewarding. I love getting to work with the kids and the teachers in my classroom. The program staff and fellow tutors have also been very kind, helpful, and welcoming. This is by far the best experience I’ve ever had.” –Early Learning Corps member in District 49

“Math Corps is a rewarding and expanding experience. I would encourage someone who is interested in pursuing a career in education or is winding down their career in education to come and grow and serve. It is rewarding to see the students thrive! It also expands one’s breadth and depth of caring for all students.” –Math Corps member in Weld County RE-5J School District

of CYC AmeriCorps members surveyed say they’re likely to pursue a career in education as a result of their service.

Our Highlights

Thankful to Our Community

Our inaugural golf tournament fundraiser took place in May! Despite some rainy weather, our community generously gave us their time and support to make the event a great success. Meanwhile, Back to School Night once again honored a community leader (Adeeb Khan) as well as Brenna Carter, a CYC AmeriCorps alumni who is now pursuing their Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Colorado State University.

We partnered with individuals and companies across the state to support students in creative ways. From notes of encouragement and book donations to hygiene and school supply drives, we are grateful for the different ways our partners show up for our students.

“This past spring, I watched 20 seniors walk the stage and graduate. Every one of these students, at one time or another, thought that they couldn’t do it. But they did.”

–Brenna Carter, Back to School Night 2022 Impact Speaker

Building a Teacher Pipeline

CYC partnered with the Colorado Education Initiative, completing a State Review to better understand the Colorado teacher shortage and how CYC’s AmeriCorps members could be part of the solution.

CYC has also launched the AmeriCorps Alternative Licensure Teacher Pathway Program, in partnership with Public Education Business Coalition (PEBC). This program provides a direct pathway for CYC AmeriCorps members to obtain a K-12 teacher license while continuing their AmeriCorps service.

Syntya Guzman, former CYC AmeriCorps member who will be earning her teaching certificate next year as part of CYC's teacher development partnership with PEBC.
Syntya Guzman, former CYC AmeriCorps member who will be earning her teaching certificate next year as part of CYC's teacher development partnership with PEBC.

Bringing People and Ideas Together

CYC’s leadership of the Colorado Reengagement Network (CRN) continued during the 2022-2023 school year, engaging 150 community and school leaders. The CRN lifts up best practices around engagement – and reengagement – efforts across the state. 2022-2023 convenings featured leaders from the Colorado Department of Education and the Aspen Institute to review graduation data/trends and to discuss the connection between education and creating spaces of belonging, meaning, wellbeing, and purpose for students.

CYC was selected in 2022 to take over as the backbone for the Denver Opportunity Youth Initiative, formerly led by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. This collective initiative is dedicated to creating an education and workforce pipeline for youth ages 16-24 who are disconnected. These young people represent a huge opportunity to fill Colorado’s workforce pipeline when provided with the right education, training, and support.

Program Spotlight: Reengaging Students in Partnership with Englewood Schools

CYC reenrolled 39 Englewood students back into school since reigniting its partnership with Englewood Schools in 2021. An incredible 97% of these students had a positive outcome – either graduating with a diploma or GED, or continuing in school.

Also during the 2022-23 school year, CYC supported 22 students to dual enroll in high school and the NEXT GED program. For many students, this pathway provides confidence and increases engagement, as they are able to progress toward a GED while also catching up on high school credits.

The third pillar of CYC’s partnership with Englewood Schools involved chronic absenteeism support to an additional 30 students. CYC’s Reengagement Specialist provided outreach to every student, helping them to increase attendance and school engagement by enrolling them in tutoring programs, providing GED test preparation, and collaborating with school staff during weekly Attendance Team meetings, to advocate for students and coordinate supports. Of the 30 students served who were missing more than 10% of school, 29 remained enrolled in school at the end of the year. This “upstream” strategy made a huge impact in reducing barriers and keeping students engaged.

Our Supporters

2022-2023 District Partners

Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Adams County School District 14
Alamosa School District
Aurora Public Schools
Boulder Valley School District
Charter School Institute
Clear Creek School District RE-1
Colorado Springs School District 11
Delta County School District 50
Denver Public Schools
Douglas County School District
Durango School District 9-R
East Grand School District
Englewood Schools
Estes Park School District R-3

Greeley-Evans School District 6
Jeffco Public Schools
Manitou Springs School District 14
Mapleton Public Schools
Mesa County Valley School District 51
Morgan County School District Re-3
Poudre School District
Pueblo School District 60
27J Schools
District 49
Thompson School District
Weld County RE-5J School District
Weld RE-4 School District
Widefield School District 3

Supporters: $100,000+

Adams County Covid-19 Grant Program
Gary Community Ventures
Serve Colorado
The Anschutz Foundation
The Peierls Foundation
United Way of Larimer County
United Way of Weld County


Buell Foundation
City of Loveland
Denver Office of Children’s Affairs
Denver Post Community Foundation, Season to Share
Phillip B. Golberg Fund
Sisters of St. Francis Sacred Heart Charitable Fund


American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation
Bohemian Foundation
Bushong Family Foundation
El Pomar Foundation
Ent Credit Union
Fox Family Foundation
MAXIMUS Charitable Foundation
Mile High United Way
Robert Hoag Rawlings Foundation
The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Colorado
Virginia W. Hill Foundation

Community for a Change Giving Circle Partners

Autrey Foundation
Charlotte Neitzel and Stockton Baker
Delta Dental of Colorado
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Hentschel Giving Fund
nested. design + build
Jim Toft and Nubia Madrid
Linda and Pat Brisnehan
Otten Johnson Robinson Neff + Ragonetti
Remy Juarez
Ryan Gunsauls & O’Donnell
Shelley and Phil Tamminga
Sofia Pedraza and Benjamin Wyrick
The Denver Foundation
U.S. Bank Foundation

View our full list of Community for a Change Giving Circle Supporters and Friends here.

Board of Directors

Mindy Marler, Chair • The Tech7 Company
James Blanchard, Chair Elect Blanchard Family Wines
Becca Stevens, Secretary QVSS, Limited
Kate Drahn, Treasurer FirstBank
DJ Close, Past Chair Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation
Alli Levy • Viewpoint Coaching Collective
Brad Yoshimitsu • Corcoran Perry & Co.
Carrie Miller • Allstate Insurance Company
Charlotte Neitzel • Retired Attorney and former Reading Corps tutor

Cherronda Richie-Rogers • American Family Insurance
Ed Cannon, Ph.D. • University of Colorado Denver
Erica Kadi • PricewaterhouseCoopers
Herb Quintana • Q3 Consulting
Kim Ryan • RubinBrown
Lorena Marquez Zimmer • Denver Health
Maksim Kim • Comcast
Michael Paul • Dinsmore & Shohl LLC
Rebecca Musielak • nested. design + build
Winters Heafey • Required Properties

2022 Financials


  • Federal Government: $3,628,838
  • School Districts & State Government: $3,955,817
  • Grants, Contributions, & Special Events: $1,151,152
  • In-Kind/Other: $1,359

Total: $8,737,166


  • Programs: $7,555,437
  • Fundraising & General: $890,833

Total: $8,446,270

89% of Colorado Youth for a Change’s revenue directly supported programs.

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