Have you ever been truly surprised? The Success Foundation received one of the best and most authentic surprises at the OtterCares Foundation 10th Anniversary Celebration on October 17th. For 10 years, OtterCares has invested in programs that inspire students to become entrepreneurs and philanthropists. “We want students to learn that their ideas matter and we want to work with innovative teachers who aspire to do education differently. Our mission is more than just an idea; it is a movement that has the power to transform,” said OtterCares Executive Director, Linda Crum.
The celebration was full of stories of impact, including a student panel that talked about how the opportunity to be involved in philanthropy was helping to shape young lives. At the end of the program, an announcement was made that a few surprise grants would be given. Junior Achievement, Boys & Girls Club of Larimer County, Colorado State University Institute of Entrepreneurship, and the Thompson Education Foundation were all called up and presented with sizeable checks. The last grant to be awarded was to The Success Foundation in the amount of $75,000 for SmartLab Expansion!
The Success Foundation partnered with District 6 to bring SmartLabs to our schools for the first time during the 2019-20 school year. Currently, two labs are operating at Martinez Elementary and McAuliffe STEM Academy. The SmartLab project was featured at our annual fundraising breakfast this past March, and several OtterCares staff members were in attendance. A SmartLab provides an environment where students can explore STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and media arts through applied technology and project-based learning. SmartLabs contribute to the development of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, information literacy, and adaptability skills. These skills are needed for success in the modern workplace. Balancing traditional academics with the development of these skills is one of the biggest challenges facing educators today. New approaches are needed and SmartLabs provide a fresh approach. Our goal is to help fund 2-3 SmartLabs per year over the next 4 years. This grant puts us well on our way to another lab!
The OtterCares Foundation has been very generous with their time, talent, and treasure. The Success Foundation has been impacted both financially and through StratOp, strategic planning facilitation, that is helping us grow and develop a long-term, sustainable plan. Nancy Richardson, founder of the OtterCares Foundation, said, “Our greatest impact is never made alone. We can do really great things alone, but together, collectively, we can move mountains.” Thank you again to the OtterCares Foundation and to our donors for helping us move mountains for students in District 6!