Youth Success

In School and Beyond

Because all kids need the skills to chart their own future, we increase literacy for third-graders while also improving youth mental health.

I find it compelling to see if there’s some way that I can share the opportunities that I’ve sort of taken for granted in my life and try to facilitate opportunities for other people who, really through no fault of their own, have not had the same advantages.”

Sam GaryFounder

Increasing Third-grade Literacy

Third grade reading scores are a crucial predictive factor for graduation rates, success later in life, and the ability to be an engaged citizen in an increasingly complex world. Despite years of hard work by many, about 40% of kids living in the Denver Metro Area read on grade level by the end of third grade — that rate declines to about 20% for kids living in poverty. 

We believe it will take kids, families, out-of-school providers and schools working together to solve this problem — no one group can solve it alone.

Improving Youth Mental Health

We envision a Colorado in which the number of young people reporting a sense of joy, belonging and purpose is far greater than those reporting feelings of hopelessness and depression. As we partner with our community to help more youth lead healthy, connection-filled lives, we must also improve access to clinical and nonclinical support for youth experiencing mental health crises.

Strategic Focus Areas

Clinical Support Interventions: Youth need the skills to chart their own future and to be resilient in crises, and maybe even more importantly, in their daily lives. We are looking for effective solutions that give youth the coping and thriving skills they need to live fulfilled, purpose-driven lives.

Mental Health Skills Building: If children have the necessary early experiences from early relationships, language exposure, and practicing executive function skills they will have the foundational skills for learning and long-term health outcomes. Gary is actively seeking out tools and interventions that could be tested, launched or scaled in Colorado.

Positive Youth Development: We believe that a large part of youth mental health is ensuring all youth have connection and belonging to their peers and trusted adults as well as opportunities to explore and pursue their interests. From large-scale prevention to youth-led and community programs, we are looking for ways to ensure more youth get the positive development experiences they need.

Breakthrough Solutions in Youth Success

The RISE Fund

Helping academic institutions rebound from the COVID crisis and create equitable innovations to improve student learning.

COVIDCheck Colorado

Creating safe schools for students, teachers and staff during the pandemic.

How We Create Impact

In each of our outcomes areas, we partner with our community to create long-term impact in the lives of Colorado kids and families. To achieve this we use Gary Philanthropy, to provide grants and build new ventures that result in breakthrough solutions for our community. We use Gary Ventures to make mission investments and enact policy change designed to help generations of Coloradans reach their full potential.

If you’re a nonprofit, impact investor, legislator or member of the community who has a breakthrough solution to share, we want to hear from you.


We’re always looking for
the next breakthrough
solution to help kids and
families thrive.

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.