Piton Fellowship


the next ascent of leadership

Gary Community Ventures, formerly known as Gary Community Investments and The Piton Foundation, is helping Colorado’s next generation of community changemakers ascend in leadership through The Piton Fellowship.

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. Through Oct. 1, 2021, we are accepting applications and nominations for the first class of the fellowship. The program is open to all professionals with 2-5 years of work experience, with an emphasis being placed on developing young leaders of color.

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.

Calling All Early Career Professionals

Gary is currently inviting individuals who are 2-5 years into their careers and looking to grow as civic leaders to join the Early Career Professional Cohort.

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.

Piton Fellows in the Early Career Professional Cohort Will…

ACCELERATE their individual leadership journey as part of a paid fellowship opportunity that emphasizes the value and need for diverse leaders.

LEARN from inspirational changemakers in business, nonprofit and government here in Denver and across the country.

CONNECT with the network of Piton Fellows and gain access to alumni events to foster ongoing civic and professional leadership.

DEVELOP talents through personalized skill building and real-time opportunities to advance current work and future aspirations.

We’re Looking for Leaders Who…

  • Are committed to championing causes that serve Colorado kids and families.
  • Are Innovators, creative thinkers and change agents who are constantly thinking about how to build breakthrough solutions that will support their communities.
  • Are empathetic leaders with a strong willingness to learn and collaborate with those who have diverse perspectives.
  • Live in Metro Denver, as this is a place-based fellowship.

About Gary Community Ventures

Gary Community Ventures partners with our community to reshape the arc of opportunity for Colorado kids and families.

We leverage business, policy and philanthropy to break down the biggest barriers to opportunity and co-create breakthrough solutions for those who need it most. We listen with humility to our community and partners, learning together to drive action that guarantees School Readiness, Youth Success, and Family Economic Mobility. Whether we’re growing solutions that already exist, building solutions that don’t yet exist or changing the policy landscape, we dare to be bold, working urgently with our community and partners to deliver a future where all Colorado kids can grow up healthy and reach their full potential.

Ready to Begin Your Next Ascent in Leadership?

Use the form below to apply or nominate a participant by Oct. 1, 2021.

The Early Career Professional Cohort of the Piton Fellowship begins on Nov. 5, 2021, and will run through April 8, 2022. The applications and nominations for the Mid-Career Professionals and Youth cohorts of the Piton Fellowship will become available in 2022. Have questions? Feel free to contact us at piton@garycommunity.org.

Early Career Professionals Cohort Application Timeline

  • Applications & nominations due: Oct. 1, 2021
  • Top candidates invited to a phone interview: Sept. 1, 2021 to Oct. 8th, 2021
  • Finalists invited to attend 60 minute group interview: Oct. 13-14, 2021
  • Fellowship offers made: Oct. 15, 2021
  • Fellowship kick-off: Overnight retreat Nov. 5-7, candidates are asked to hold these days
  • Additional Early Career Professionals Cohort program dates to note: 2021 — Nov. 5-7, Nov. 20, Dec. 11; 2022 — Jan. 7-9, Jan. 29, Feb. 19, March 11-13, April 8
Looking to nominate a potential fellow? Click here instead of scrolling to the form below.

Piton Fellowship Application

Please select your language.


We want to get to know you. Below are six questions to help us do just that. Please answer at least three of the questions, in either a two page written response or a seven minute (max) video or voice recording. You may answer questions one by one or through telling a personal story:

-- Tell us what role you aspire to play for your community.
-- Share something you care about and why it is important to you?
-- What do you hope for the future of your community?
-- What is your biggest challenge and what do you think will help you overcome it?
-- Why do you want to be part of this fellowship cohort?
-- What does leadership mean to you?

File Upload Options:

You have three options to upload your response

1) Upload the file directly (any file type accepted- maximum size= 35mb)
2) Upload the file to google drive and share a viewable link
3) For larger video files, upload your file to our Dropbox

3) Upload larger files directly at this link: tinyurl.com/PitonFiles
Demographic Information: Note: We are using this information to ensure we have a representative group of applicants that reflect the demographics of the Denver Metro Area and to help us target our outreach when we do not.

Discover New Possibilities

Together, we will create the change our community wants to see. Whether you want to discover more about our ventures, or connect with a member of our team, we want to hear from you.