Whew. What a year!
Even as the world faced a remarkable set of circumstances and events that made the past year one of the most challenging times in recent memory, by many standards, FY21 was Minds Matter Colorado’s most successful year ever.
Starting with our most important metrics: our graduating senior class was the largest ever — all 36 graduates in the Class of 2021 got into college, continuing Minds Matter Colorado’s remarkable 100% success rate helping its graduates get into four-year colleges and universities with scholarships.
The Class of 2021 earned acceptances to, and will be attending, prestigious institutions all across the state — including Minds Matter Colorado’s College Partners: UC Denver, MSU Denver, CSU-Ft Collins, and a record three graduates attending our newest College Partner Colorado School of Mines — and across the country — including Hastings, Tufts, and for the first time Yale (1 student) and Harvard (2 students)!
In addition graduates from Minds Matter Colorado’s Class of 2021 also won multiple impactful scholarships from numerous institutions including the All Ways Up Foundation, Greenhouse Scholars, the Sachs Foundation, the Daniels Fund, the Sean “Ranch” Lough Foundation (2 winners!), and the prestigious Boettcher Scholarship.
Our sophomores and juniors also braved a remarkably difficult journey through uncertain school environments, virtual learning, scarce social connection, and numerous other personal and academic challenges to continue their successes in school and beyond. They successfully pivoted to 100% virtual programming for the year at Minds Matter Colorado, aided by the new Chromebooks with extended warranties they received through MMCO (thanks to our supporters’ contributions during our first ever “Chromebook Challenge!”).
Beyond all those student successes, we’re happy to say we had many others as an organization:
we became the first ever Minds Matter chapter to launch a site outside of our home city with our newest site serving students at Harrison High School in Colorado Springs (and we’re on track to launch our first site in Aurora in September!)
we signed an MoU with Colorado School of Mines to provide streamlined admissions to Minds Matter Colorado graduates,
we won a $200k+ grant to build a full-fledged online learning management system,
we held our first ever immensely successful hybrid Minds Matter CELEBRATE spring fundraiser, supporting our students and broadening exposure to Minds Matter Colorado across the state (and the world!),
we received record support from multiple donors including: Wend Collective, Mortenson Construction, Silicon Valley Bank, the Anschutz Foundation, Colorado Energy Foundation, our Trustees Bijal Choksi and Sean Grimsley (and their respective families), and so many more,
we finished the year with record fundraising revenue and net surplus, ending with nearly $1MM (12+ months of expenses) in cash,
and we had more mentor applicants than we had spots,
and we hired two incredible new staff members to help run our Programming (Sonia Chavez), and support our Development, Operations, and Systems (Jessica Fagioli),
…all while managing the trauma associated with a global pandemic!
All in all it was a remarkable year for our students, our organization, and our community, and you all helped make that happen. Thank you!!!