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Bootstraps taught me to reach for opportunity. I have a little boy, and I want to teach him the same thing. I don't want him to be afraid to try hard things.

Bootstraps

I’m here to hold up a mirror for these women so they can see themselves and the strength and resilience they’ve always had. In my own story, I’ve experienced trauma and loss, and I know that with the right support and community, you can find ways to move forward.

Women's Bean Project

When I feel anxious now, I close my eyes and focus on my breath. Learning how to breathe and rest my mind on that feeling helps. The breath is the center of your body, and when you’re focused on it, it’s calming.

Cognitive Learning Center

When Hattie saw the ramp for the first time, she got so excited. She does this thing where she squeals and kicks her legs and waves her arms. I’ll never forget it. Now she can finally just be a normal 4-year-old.

Home Builder's Foundation

This summer, we were serving a family whose college freshman suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. We needed to convert their living and dining room into a bedroom and accessible bathroom. It was a huge job, but once people were aware of the situation, they stepped up and made it happen. Despite the labor and materials shortages, it ended up being probably the quickest remodel that happened in all of Denver last year.

Home Builder's Foundation

We have so much technology that helps us live in our own little worlds, which contributes to the epidemic of loneliness. Volunteering is a great weekend activity to get connected to your community.

A Little Help

I’m so thankful for the strangers – people I’ve never met – who gave their money for me to go to school. These scholarships are important because they keep you on track toward your goals. I wish more people knew how readily available this kind of help is in the community.

Bootstraps

The look is similar to a regular construction site, but there’s this energy behind it. Everyone’s there to help, and the atmosphere is different, especially when the homeowner is there and you have a chance to hear their story. It motivates the whole crew.

Home Builder's Foundation

Eleanor is our only child, and she came a little early. At the time, I was a very nervous momma. We brought her to ACS and did melody gym, which gave us a way to help her with developmental skills and motor movement. It also provided social support at a time when I was really nervous. It gave us so much confidence as new parents.

A Child's Song

The way my son was impacted the most is that he could see clearly. He was so bogged down that he was willing to just give up his dreams rather than deal with college debt. When we got the letter that he earned the scholarship, we sat there stunned. Then I cried, took a walk, and called everyone we knew to celebrate.

Bootstraps

I didn’t feel like I had much to offer coming from 4 years in prison, but I filled out the application. The people here were willing to help me and meet me where I was. I feel like I’ve come a long way, and I see the difference when I look in the mirror every day.

Women's Bean Project

I had a panic attack at school, and I didn’t know what was happening. I started freaking out for no reason. It was really scary. CLC taught me what’s going on in my body and what I can do to help myself in those moments.

Cognitive Learning Center

If you have the opportunity in your lifetime to witness the kind of transformation that we get to see here even once, I think you’re super lucky.

Women's Bean Project

We’ve met such an amazing community of people through our experience with Hattie’s disability. I feel like if we hadn’t gone through it – I don’t know – I feel like we would have been missing out.

Home Builder's Foundation

I had the dad that gave me a hammer and nails when I was 4 years old. When you have skills that someone else can benefit from, even if it’s just swinging a hammer or using a drill, it just makes sense to be able to put those skills to good use.

Home Builder's Foundation

The first project I led from start to finish was for a 3-year-old girl named Kennedy. She had a severe disease that weakened her immune system, and this was during the height of COVID, so leaving her house at all was a huge risk. She needed a safe place to play and do her physical therapy, so we remodeled her family’s basement. It was just amazing to see the smile on her face while she played with her brothers in the safety of her own home.

Home Builder's Foundation

We did a project for a young kid who suffered a spinal injury in a car accident. He was a star soccer player before the accident, and he had a very hard time adjusting to his new reality. He was in such dark place as we worked to convert their garage into an accessible room for him, but since then, I’ve had the chance to talk to him again, and now he’s embraced his new lifestyle as a beacon of hope and encouragement to others going through what he’s been through.

Home Builder's Foundation

People who don’t volunteer probably haven’t asked themselves “why not?” If I’m able-bodied and I have what I need, the question should be “how can I help other people with my time and resources?”

A Little Help

We serve disadvantaged students – whether it’s economic, physical, or emotional disadvantage – and we provide scholarships for students based on their need. We’ve never denied a scholarship.

A Child's Song

Before the ramp was built, it was a hassle to get in and out of our home. A lot of times, I would be afraid of dropping Hattie while we were struggling to get her wheelchair up and down the stairs. Our house is somewhere our family should feel comfortable, where Hattie should feel comfortable. Now that we have the ramp, she can go outside and play with her little sister, and she’s so happy.

Home Builder's Foundation

A Child's Song

I felt proud of my kids when they graduated from college because they decided at that point that they would give back to Bootstraps. They had reached their goals because their community invested in them, and they wanted to turn around and make a difference for somebody else.

Bootstraps

We have all these different classes like math, language arts, and financial literacy. My favorite is financial literacy. As a recovering addict, I never knew how to live a normal life, so I learned stuff like how to open a bank account, keep a budget, and do my taxes. I’ve never really had to do that because I’ve always obtained my money illegally, but now I’m doing the right thing.

Women's Bean Project

If it weren’t for Women’s Bean Project, I wouldn’t be growing as a person like I am now. I’m content here, I’m happy. I’ve never really liked a job the way I like this job.

Women's Bean Project

I live at a place for alcohol and drug treatment, and I was at the stage of the program where it was time to seek employment. I have felonies, so I can’t get a job at a normal place. I applied and interviewed at Women’s Bean Project, and they gave me the job. I’m a really fast learner and I take initiative, so after a few months, I’m already a Lead. I’ve started believing in myself. I didn’t think I was capable before I started working here.

Women's Bean Project

The system in the US isn’t set up to help everyone, so there are people who get left behind or slip through the cracks. It’s important for people with good hearts and good intentions to volunteer and meet the needs that aren’t being met.

A Little Help

It’s more than just music. For some kids, this is their first exposure to any type of group setting, so we make sure that this is a safe place to learn how to behave in a group. We teach them how to concentrate, how to listen, and how to do simple things like saying their name in front of other kids.

A Child's Song

Women experiencing homelessness, unstable housing, and extreme poverty shouldn't have to choose between food and tampons. Period Kits provide for this basic hygienic need and leave them feeling more dignified.

Period Kits

Bootstraps taught me to believe in myself, to believe in the hard work that I put in and everything I accomplished. Now I believe that I’m capable of everything I want to achieve.

Bootstraps

You think about your childhood and the things you took for granted. I jumped on a trampoline everyday as a kid. Seeing the excitement of these little girls just being able to get in and out of the house puts it all in perspective. Getting to watch these kids live their lives the way that a normal kid would be able to – giving them that freedom that they didn’t have before – it’s really special.

Home Builder's Foundation

Being human is being a part of a community, and volunteering is just me doing my part in it.

A Little Help

It always feels good to be acknowledged. When you know you’re working hard, for people to notice that, it’s satisfying. I know I make a difference here.

Women's Bean Project

Education is a doorway to opportunity. I never thought much of myself as an applicant, so it was a pretty proud moment when I found out I was awarded the scholarship. For me, it was an avenue for independence and a foundation for starting my family.

Bootstraps

It’s hard to put into words what it feels like to see these students get their scholarships. Without Bootstraps, college wouldn't have been an option. It brings so much joy.

Bootstraps

Community is something that we lose in the world today. If more people volunteered, we could get back to that. Imagine how many people we could help. Imagine what it would look like if everyone got the help they needed.

A Little Help

My kids worked hard. They had jobs and got good grades and played sports, but there was still the weight of not being able to afford to take the next step in their education. There are a lot of kids trying really hard with really big dreams that can’t figure out how to make it happen. Bootstraps will come in and help them figure that out. It's life changing.

Bootstraps

Cognitive Learning Center

Cognitive Learning Center

Nearly every woman we hire has kids, but she might not have custody due to incarceration or addiction. During the time she’s with us, she’s often trying to reestablish relationships with her kids, and there’s something super powerful about watching your mom go to work and feel good about herself. That impact, that ripple effect, is going to affect those kids forever.

Women's Bean Project

We all have days when we don’t want to come into work, but it seems like every time I have one of those days here, I have a breakthrough with one of my students. Even on a bad day, it can turn everything around.

A Child's Song

A Child's Song

When a special needs student comes in, we tailor the lessons to where that child is at. Lessons vary from child to child, we do whatever we have to do to get them engaged. If they’re engaged, they’ll retain it. Once we figure out what’s going to click with them, it’s usually very successful.

A Child's Song

The exercises I’ve learned have helped me so much, and I use them to help my friends. One friend in drumline has bad anxiety, and they were extremely nervous before a performance. I taught them a meditation that helped me, and it helped them too.

Cognitive Learning Center

We had a student who was autistic. We would do his lessons in 5-minute increments because he needed to move around. Years after his family moved away, I got a phone call that they were back in town, and he wanted to see his teacher. He had gotten into college and was majoring in engineering with a minor in music.

A Child's Song

Grace is the student who stands out in my mind. I met her while I was working at a summer camp for individuals with disabilities. While I was there, I found out that I got a job as a teacher, and Grace celebrated with me. Just a few months later, I saw that she had received the Bootstraps scholarship. She was accepted to college, and this time, I got to celebrate with her.

Bootstraps

My son had a good friend in high school, Matt, who lost both of his parents. He wanted to stay here to finish his senior year, so he moved in with us. He was never the academic type, but he wanted to set a good example for his younger siblings, so he would come home every day and be the first to finish all of his homework. He ended up applying for college and earning a Bootstraps scholarship. Now he's working for the State of Oregon at his dream job.

Bootstraps

I’m closer with my friends because we’re all suffering through anxiety together and CLC is helping us get better together.

Cognitive Learning Center

ACS introduced me to music, and that’s such a big part of my life. I listen to music every day. There are sad songs that cheer me up, happy songs that keep me cheered up, and weird songs that I just dance to.

A Child's Song

When I started to learn about the science behind mindfulness and how it affects our bodies, I thought “Oh, this is kind of important. We should let other people know about this.” Meditation is this trendy thing right now, but a lot people don’t really know how it works.

Cognitive Learning Center

I’ve lived in this community for almost 36 years, and I’ve gotten to know a lot of the students. There’s truly a financial need, and our scholarships provide a real opportunity for these students to reach their educational dreams. Every one of our scholarships is provided by the community, and it's empowering for our local kids to know their community stands behind them.

Bootstraps

I absolutely love this community. My passion is to support these students and help them grow. These scholarships allow them to pursue that growth and move one step closer to their dreams.

Bootstraps

You’ve probably heard of fight or flight, but people fail to mention freeze. Like when you’re taking a social studies test that you studied for until 1am the night before and you’re asked about an ancient river, and then, all of a sudden, you can’t remember anything. You’re being amygdala-hijacked. If your amygdala thinks you’re in danger, it will hijack your entire system, so of course you can’t remember that ancient river. You’re sitting there sweating, and then you remember how to ground yourself with meditation. You tell your amygdala you’re not about to die, and then, suddenly, you remember that ancient river is called the Euphrates.

Cognitive Learning Center

It warms your heart to see how excited these students are to find out they’ve been awarded a scholarship. It gives them hope and a reason to believe in their future.

Bootstraps

Bootstraps

Music has taught me that I can do things I’ve never done before.

A Child's Song

I was really concentrating on what was on the surface of my life and not looking deeper in myself to see what really mattered. I learned that it’s not the end of the world if I mess up.

Cognitive Learning Center

A Little Help is an amazing organization that keeps people out of assisted living who don’t need to be there. Volunteers helping in little ways can have a big impact.

A Little Help

Women's Bean Project

Hattie has additional needs, and I never mind if people ask about her disability, but I love when parents ask us normal questions. Where does Hattie go to school? What does she like to do? I want parents to know that I’m just a regular mom.

Home Builder's Foundation

During Covid, I had to isolate because of my cancer. A Little Help would still call to check in, and they would drop off Kindness Kits at the door. They’ve been amazing.

A Little Help

Without Women’s Bean Project, I would be stuck. Now, I’m more accountable and responsible for my own actions. I like being responsible. It’s helps to have a place where I’m expected to be on time and ready to work.

Women's Bean Project

I show my students love and acceptance by tailoring each lesson to them. I can’t even explain how much I love music, and I'm here because I wanted to share that with others.

A Child's Song

Volunteering meets a huge need in our society. People come together with others who share the same values to ultimately make the world a better place.

A Little Help

I used to think mediation was stupid. I have severe inattentive-type ADHD, I was that cliché can’t-pay-attention kid. I would space out and couldn’t remember things that were just told to me. It was actually kind of scary. But I started doing meditation, and it helped ground me to those moments. I was able to focus and remember.

Cognitive Learning Center

Think of teenagers who need a family member to help them use the bathroom or take a shower. It’s pretty remarkable to be able to give them the dignity of independence.

Home Builder's Foundation

Knowing I had the backing of my entire community was so empowering for me. The feeling of not being alone, of having resources. Especially when you grow up in a small community, you see the people out there who care about you and want you to chase your dreams.

Bootstraps

It was difficult getting out of the house, getting a job and figuring out where my life was headed. What really appealed to me was that Women’s Bean Project focuses on empowering women to become independent and to find their own path in life. They empower our families too, which is important to me because I have five children.

Women's Bean Project

The yardwork became overwhelming. It’s been years since I’ve been able to take care of it. If it weren’t for A Little Help, things wouldn’t get done. They’ve been wonderful.

A Little Help

We make sure that every student knows that they are unique and loved for their individual abilities. To see a child learn something new is probably the best thing you will ever experience in your life.

A Child's Song

Being here gets me out of the halfway house, and now that I’m working, I get to see my new little baby more often.

Women's Bean Project