Piton Fellowship Launches with First Cohort

November 8, 2021


Meet the inaugural 23 members of the Early Career Professionals Cohort

Will C. Holden: Director, Communications & Storytelling

DENVER — Gary Community Ventures is excited to announce the inaugural class of the Piton Fellowship. The 23 members of the Early Career Professionals Cohort represent a budding group of young leaders in the Denver Metro Area with 2-5 years of work experience, all of whom were selected based on their demonstrated track record of and appetite for creating positive change in their communities. 

A piton is designed to help climbers ascend historically impassable routes treacherous to attempt alone. The Piton Fellowship is designed to help business, government and nonprofit leaders leverage dedicated financial and strategic support from Gary Community Ventures to expand their knowledge, network and potential to drive positive change for themselves and their communities. An emphasis is also being placed on developing young leaders of color in an effort to bring a greater level of representation to positions of influence in Metro Denver and beyond.

Although our initiatives now live under the Gary Community Ventures name, we intentionally chose to honor our history as the Piton Foundation in selecting Piton Fellowship as the title for this program. We did so because we believe this name tells a perfect story about the idea of ascendency in leadership that Piton has long represented.

In addition to early career professionals, the Piton Fellowship will grow to include Mid-Career Professionals and Youth cohors by 2022. Together, we believe these fellows will help realize our founder Sam Gary’s vision of a Colorado where all kids have the opportunity to grow up healthy and reach their full potential.

Designed for working professionals, this 5-month experience allows fellows to continue working while building their leadership skills, networks and potential to create community impact. Fellows will participate in a kickoff, various cohort meetings, as well as two overnight venture experiences out of town to learn from and connect with other changemakers. Upon completion of the program, Gary provides all fellows a $1,000 stipend to use towards professional development and career-building opportunities.

More information about future cohorts will be forthcoming in February of 2022. The inaugural Piton Fellows are listed below. Click here to learn more about their respective impact areas.

Piton Fellows: Early Career Professionals Cohort

  • Monica Amador – Education Program Manager, The GrowHaus
  • Luis Antezana – Founder, Juntos 2 College
  • Perla Bustillos – Co-Founder & Engagement Manager, Ednium
  • Gabriella Carrethers – Principal, Revolution Thinking
  • Ca’la Connors – Community Engagement Specialist, Developmental Pathways
  • Anya Dickson – Hue-Man Experience Coordinator, Tattered Cover Bookstore
  • Bre Donnelly – Founder, Joy as Resistance
  • Timmale Dotson – On-Air Personality, Rocky Mountain PBS
  • Abril Fuentes Guevara – Senior Coordinator, United for Families
  • Montgomery Jones – Student Success Advisor, 2U
  • Doen Lee – Mentorship Coordinator, Joy as Resistance
  • Sterling Loza – Administrative Fellow, Craig Hospital
  • Carolina Luna Casas – Legal Advocate, Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network
  • Brenda Ortiz Torres – Latinos in Action Teacher, Thornton Middle School
  • Demetrius Parker – Program Coordinator, Mile High Youth Corps
  • Saajan Patel – Finance Secondee, Liberty Global
  • Evelin Preciado – Non-Profit Energy Efficiency Program Coordinator, Energy Outreach Colorado
  • Xochitl Ramirez – Outreach Coordinator, STRIVE Prep
  • Gabriela Rodriguez – State Relations Associate, Education Commissions of the States
  • Rynn Sango – Program Director, Family Tree
  • Morgan Schmehl – Project Coordinator, The Civic Canopy
  • Laura Valle-Gutierrez – Senior Policy Analyst, Bell Policy Center
  • Amanda West – Shared Campus Manager, Denver Public Schools

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