Hello, friends of scholars —
My first five months as president of Scholars Unlimited have been a whirlwind of listening, learning, and wrapping my head – and heart – around our programs and the amazing people connected to this organization.
It is a rare gift to come into an organization that has such a long and rich history of success… and then find that the previous leader has created a sustainable organization with solid programs, evaluation tools and practices that enable us to measure our impact, and processes in place. So I extend my thanks to Kathleen King for her seven years of dedicated service to Scholars Unlimited, and for leaving behind an organization that is strong and healthy.
For those of you who don’t know me well, I am a native of Denver and graduate of Denver Public Schools. I am a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, and I have spent my career in the nonprofit field, working in everything from advocacy to program development, volunteer development and training, as a director of an early childhood center, and of course, philanthropy. I also have had the privilege of graduating from the University of Colorado, earning a master’s degree in non-profit management from Regis University, and this past summer successfully defending my doctoral dissertation at the University of Denver’s College of Education, in Education, Leadership, and Policy Studies.
However, that is just one thread of how I arrived here at Scholars Unlimited. In my family, there is a saying that reflects an appreciation of those who have come before, that have made a path possible. We say “on whose shoulders we stand.”
I stand today as a culmination of the hopes and dreams of others who have committed their careers to education, equity, and social justice. My grandfathers were coal miners and field workers, and my grandmother was a homemaker and champion of her six children. Each of my grandparents had education levels that did not exceed the grades we serve in our K- 5 programs today. So my parents were trailblazers in their families, attending college to become educators who taught in elementary and high school classrooms. They raised my sisters and me with a profound sense of responsibility to pay it forward, to push through difficult times, and to dream big
Since joining Scholars Unlimited, I have been reminded daily that this organization has a dedicated staff and a wide circle of deeply committed supporters, all united by our common goals: To help struggling learners become proficient readers. To enable under-resourced students to experience new things. And to help vulnerable young children develop an unwavering belief in their own unlimited potential – regardless of their zip code.
And with every visit to every school we serve, I get to see how we are working together to make a difference in the lives of children that are at promise.
It is deeply gratifying, because we are living in a time when we all need to stand together to uphold what builds and nurtures the minds, bodies and spirits of ALL children and their families. It is critical to provide safe and nurturing places. To help kids build literacy skills. To engage kids in hands-on learning, exploration, and supportive relationships. And to help young learners develop positive self-images, empathy, persistence, a growth mindset and a love of learning.
For 24 years, this has been the work of Scholars Unlimited. And as we look forward to 2018, my goal is for Scholars Unlimited to continue to be the shoulders that our scholars can stand on… and I thank you for helping to make that possible.
I am tremendously grateful to each and every friend, supporter, volunteer, and community partner for your participation and partnership as we work together to create brighter futures for vulnerable young children.
Thank you being a part of the Scholars Unlimited team, and best wishes for a happy holiday season!
Diana Romero Campbell