our mission

Building long-term, life-changing relationships with urban youth, equipping them to thrive and contribute to their community.

our history

1982

Dr. Kent Hutcheson, Founder

Dr. Kent Hutcheson founded Colorado UpLift in 1982 as a summer jobs program for urban, at-risk youth. Dr. Hutcheson’s passion was to help urban young people find hope in hopeless circumstances.

1987

Colorado UpLift

Colorado UpLift quickly changed its strategy in 1987 to teach character qualities and life skills needed for long-term success. Elevate staff members began providing leadership and character instruction in the Public School system for students from 4th grade through college. Along with the in-school program, Colorado UpLift regularly mentored students after school and throughout the summer, improving the odds for urban youth to emerge as successful, productive young adults.

2008

Model Replication Pilot Programs

After seeing the success of the UpLift model, Colorado UpLift launched the Model Replication Program, aimed at helping new cities launch. In 2008, the first affiliate, Elevate Orlando, launched, followed by Elevate Phoenix in 2009 and Elevate New York in 2010.

2014

Elevate USA Formed

In 2014, Elevate USA was formed by Colorado UpLift advocates, allowing Colorado UpLift to focus on the city of Denver and release Elevate USA to replicate the Colorado UpLift program in cities throughout the US.

2015

Elevate Indianapolis Launched

In 2015, Elevate Indianapolis was formed and began working with students from Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, IN.

2016

Elevate New England Launched

In 2016, Elevate New England was formed and began working with students from Lowell High School in Lowell, MA.

2018

Elevate St. Louis 

In 2018, Elevate St. Louis was formed and began working with students from McCluer High School.

2018

Elevate Jacksonville Launched

In 2018, Elevate Jacksonville was formed and began working with students from Raines High School

2018

Elevate Dallas

In 2018, Elevate Dallas was formed and began working with students from Thomas Jefferson High School. 

2019

Elevate Metro KC Launched

In 2019, Elevate Metro KC  was formed and will start serving students in August. 

our history

1982

Dr. Kent Hutcheson, Founder

Dr. Kent Hutcheson founded Colorado UpLift in 1982 as a summer jobs program for urban, at-risk youth. Dr. Hutcheson’s passion was to help urban young people find hope in hopeless circumstances.

1987

Colorado UpLift

Colorado UpLift quickly changed its strategy in 1987 to teach character qualities and life skills needed for long-term success. Elevate staff members began providing leadership and character instruction in the Public School system for students from 2nd grade through college. Along with the in-school program, Colorado UpLift regularly mentored students after school and throughout the summer, improving the odds for urban youth to emerge as successful, productive young adults.

2008

Model Replication Pilot Programs

After seeing the success of the UpLift model, Colorado UpLift launched the Model Replication Program, aimed at helping new Elevate cities launch. In 2008, the first affiliate, Elevate Orlando, launched, followed by Elevate Phoenix in 2009 and Elevate New York in 2010.

2014

Elevate USA Formed

In January 2014, Elevate USA was formed by Colorado UpLift advocates, allowing Colorado UpLift to focus on the city of Denver and release Elevate USA to replicate the Colorado UpLift program in cities through the US.

2015

Elevate Indianapolis Launched

In the summer of 2015, Elevate Indianapolis was formed and began working with students from Arsenal Technical High School in Indianapolis, IN.

2016

Elevate New England Launched

In the summer of 2016, Elevate New England was formed and began working with students from Lowell High School in Lowell, MA.

2017

Elevate Las Vegas Launched

In the summer of 2017, Elevate Las Vegas was formed and began working with students from Mojave High School in Clark County.

help us reach more cities

our team

Debbi Speck
Chief Executive Officer

Jeremy Phillips
Chief Operating Officer

Kevin

Kevin Byerley
Chief Program Officer

Adam Roybal
Affiliate Coach

Yessenia Cole
Administrative Assistant

Dan Streeter
Director of Learning Innovation

Maloree Murphy
Communication and Development Manager

Jim Pocock
Sr. Vice President of Leadership Development

board members

Shawn McLaughlin
CEO
Emporia Energy 
Denver, CO (Co-Chairman)

Brian Bess
Principal and VP of Engineering
Enduring Resources
Denver, CO (Treasurer)

Jay Cleary, CLU, ChFC
President
Bridge Financial Group, LLC
Denver, CO

Jon Jay Seal
Owner/ President
Seal Furniture and Systems
Littleton, CO

Robert Griffith, M.D.
Alabama Dermatology Assoc.
Tuscaloosa, AL (Secretary)

Dr. Kent Hutcheson, PHD
Founder of Colorado UpLift
Denver, CO (Co-Chairman)
Debbi Speck
CEO
Elevate USA
Denver, CO

Charles E. (Chaz) Mueller, Jr.
President
Progress Residential 
Dallas, TX 

Marydel Harris
Sparrow Charitable Foundation
Dallas, TX

Mark Engstrom
Principal
Meadowstream Advisors
Scottsdale, AZ

advisory board

Alan Balser
Owner
Palaura Exploration Company
Dallas, TX
David Benac
Financial Analyst
Chevron Corporation
San Fransisco, CA
Bill Cousineau
Investment Advisor
Muskegon Angels
Muskegon, M
John L Evans Jr
Executive Director
Janus Labs
Denver, CO
Winter Park, FL
Dr. Alicia LaHoz
Executive Director
Family Bridges
Chicago, IL
Farley Owens
EVP
Trading Technologies
Chicago, IL
Steve Stroobants
Chilton, WI
Tony Warnock
President/CEO
Lost Valley Ranch Corp
Sedalia, CO
Kaity Benac
Lyft
Product Marketing Manager
San Francisco, CA
Kelly Cousineau
Consultant/President
OptiComp
Muskegon, MI
Wendy Fryer
Realtor
LIV Sotheby’s International Realty
Denver, CO
Reggie Moore, PhD
Asst Professor of Counselling
Denver Seminary
Denver, CO
Dave Ranslem
Principal
Ranslem Capital LP
Houston, TX
Diane Stroobants
Chilton, WI
Michael Whalen
Principal
Irish Exchange LP

Houston, TX
Dave Beaver
Founder and Principal Consultant
Beaver and Associates Consultants
Boulder, CO
John Cavness
Owner
Logos Builders SW, LLC
Phoenix, AZ
Brady Dolsen
Principal
Columbia Basin Partners, LLC
Denver,CO
Dossier Harps
Independent Organizational and Leadership Development Consultant
Atlanta, GA
Sean Myers
Entrepreneur
Denver, CO
Keith Stasser
Owner
Realtor
Jonathan Thomas
Senior Advisor
Blackhorn Ventures
Denver, CO
Tracy White
Senior Marketing Director
Janus Capital Group
Denver, CO

our

seven

core

beliefs

  1. We believe that EVERY CHILD is of great worth and has the desire and potential to succeed.
  2. We believe that LONG-TERM, 24/7 RELATIONSHIPS with caring adults have proven positive outcomes in the lives of our urban youth.
  3. We believe that a HOLISTIC approach is essential for a strong and healthy future for our youth.
  4. We believe that FULL-TIME, SALARIED TEACHER-MENTORS WHO COME FROM SIMILAR BACKGROUNDS as the students can have a positive influence and make all the difference.
  5. We believe that the SERVANT LEADERSHIP, creating a culture of selflessness and service, is the foundation for leadership.
  6. We believe in the intrinsic DIGNITY of every person and act accordingly.
  7. We believe that COLLABORATION yields the best long-term results, acknowledging that the complex work in our urban centers cannot be done single handedly.

a bold take on education