Piton Fellows: Mid-Career Cohort


Mid-Career Cohort

Calling all Metro Denver civic leaders with 10+ years of experience

The Piton Fellowship is designed to help leaders in business, policy and philanthropy 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 being placed on leaders of color as part of an ongoing effort to bridge the historic gap between diverse talent  and access to leadership opportunities.

Mid-Career Cohort

Learn, connect & develop with a network of peers and experts

The Mid Career Cohort is open to leaders with 10+ years of experience who are interested in joining a powerful network of community members as they learn and progress on their leadership journeys.

Fellows will deeply engage in individual and collective work that centers personal and professional development, racial equity, expanded social capital, knowledge and understanding of key issues faced by communities throughout metro Denver. 

Don’t have 10+ years of experience? The Piton Fellowship has two other cohorts that may be for you. The Youth Cohort is designed for young leaders age 14-20, and the Early Career Cohort is comprised of Metro Denver leaders with similar aspirations and 2-5 years of experience.

Cohort Experiences & Dates

The Piton Fellowship is designed to fit into the busy lives of working professionals

With a strong focus on racial equity, diversity and inclusion, the Mid-Career Cohort is a free half-year experience that focuses on supporting diverse business, policy and philanthropic professionals — predominately folks of color — on their leadership journeys.

This cohort of the Piton Fellowship typically runs from January to June, and fellows can expect to:

  • Participate in a kickoff, 5 full-day sessions and 2 out-of-town venture experiences to learn from local and national leaders who are implementing place-based, community-centric solutions to some of our biggest social and civic issues.
  • Receive a $1,000 stipend to use towards professional development and career-building upon completion of the program.
  • Gain access to the Piton Network of fellows and alumni, which offers fellows personal, professional and social capital connections now and for years to come.

Universal Piton Fellowship Applicant Requirements

Certain attributes are required across cohorts

We’re looking for leaders who are:

  • Committed to leading changes that impact their local communities.
  • Enthusiastic about expanding their knowledge and advocacy of justice, racial equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • Innovators, creative thinkers and change agents who are constantly thinking about how to build breakthrough solutions that will support their communities.
  • Empathetic leaders with a strong willingness to learn and collaborate with those who have diverse perspectives.
  • Living in Metro Denver (specifically Adams, Arapahoe, Denver and Jefferson counties), as this is a place-based fellowship

Why Join the Mid-Career Cohort?

The Mid-Career Cohort is uniquely designed for emerging leaders with 10+ years of experience. Mid-Career Fellows will:

  • Interrogate how the intersection of their identities — especially racial identities — impact their leadership journeys
  • Participate in individual coaching, where they will have the opportunity to explore their own problem of practice in an effort to advance their leadership skills
  • Venture outside of their everyday roles to discover alternative methods of practice in policy, philanthropy and business
  • Expand their social capital while leveraging the Piton Fellow and Gary Community Ventures networks

From the Fellow

Michelle Tijerina | Suicide Prevention Program Community Coordinator, WellPower

“The fellowship has cemented my own values and background as foundations for my leadership. The fellowship, and all the people in it, have helped to open my mind to think in new ways and see different paths to reaching my professional and personal goals. I now have new tools and ideas for problem solving, relationship building, and my own continued learning.

“When I think of the number of leaders in this program, and how many thousands of people will be impacted after the fellowship is done. I’m so grateful to have participated in such an important experience. It has made me a better leader, learner, and community builder and for that I am so very thankful.”

How to Apply & Nominate Fellows

The Mid-Career Cohort application window is currently closed, but nominations are open

To apply, please check back on this page when the application window for the Mid-Career Cohort opens, which is typically in November or December each year.

Nominations, however, remain open year-round. Click the button below to nominate a fellow.

Meet Previous Mid-Career Cohorts

Below is our 2022 Cohort

Previous Mid-Career Cohort members have included medical doctors, executive directors, founders, marketers, operations experts, principals and public servants. They’ve included representatives from transformative organizations like Boys & Girls Club, City Year, Colorado Workforce Development Council, Cultivando, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, Main Street Phoenix and WellPower. And they’ve included civic leaders focused on everything from LGBTQIA+ mental health, human trafficking, job training, access to family resources and environmental justice.

Dante Bills
Gabrielle Bryant
Allyson Drayton
Olga Gonzalez
Brian Hyosaka
Renee King
Marisol Lazo-Flores
Tony Lucero
Ashleigh Madonna
Diana Madriz
Aaron Massey
Maria Mazin
Stephen Padilla
Reina Ross
D.L. Pos Ryant
Annie Thebprasith
Michelle Tijerina
Maria Trujillo
Karolina Villagrana
Mirna Villa Linares
Renise Walker
Mandy Watrous-Gale
Symone Webley
Caleb Zúñiga

Learn More About the Piton Fellowship

Although our initiatives now live under the Gary Community Ventures name, we intentionally chose to honor our history as The Piton Foundation in selecting The 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.

There are three cohorts of the fellowship for Youth, Early Career and Mid-Career Professionals. Designed to accessibly fit into the busy lives of fellows, this free experience allows fellows to continue working and learning while building their leadership skills, networks and potential to create community impact. Upon completion of the program, Gary provides fellows a payment to use towards professional development and career-building opportunities.

Share Your Ideas

I would like to see business people try to solve social problems with the same imagination and energy they use to finance a factory or make a deal. Don’t call it philanthropy; call it corporate social investment. Make it integral to business.