Our Family Leaders

FLTI 2010 Class

FLTI 2010 Community Projects

Adrienne Parrott
County: Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  S.P.A.-Special Parents Alliance
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI has given me an opportunity to work with non-traditional thinkers who challenge me, on a weekly basis, to define what is important and reach my potential!

Angela Browne
County: Adams
Community Project Title:  Coalition for Safe Neighborhoods
Community Project Description: Provide neighborhoods with supportive services to insure dafety of children and families.
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI has changed my life in such a positive way.  It’s impacted every aspect of my life for the better and has brought my family closer.

Albert Ovando
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  Save My Home
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI has given me the tools to harness the community around me and that I have a voice to be reckoned with.  FLTI has brought back my youth and revitalized the KID within me AND given me the opportunity to find inner peace through working with kids.

Beverly Baumann
County:  Adams
Community Project Title:  Operation Clean Community (Neighbors Helping Neighbors)
Community Project Description: Help families to get involved in cleaning up their neighborhood and meet each other for possible the first time.
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI has been an educational eye opener to the process it takes to create changes within the community

Bobbi Roberts
County:  Adams
Community Project Title:  Adams County Advocacy Project (ACAP)
Community Project Description: Help Empower children with disabilities to achieve a high school diploma and then go on to college.
What FLTI Means to me:  I love everything about FLTI

Halle Johnson
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  Fellowship of Christian Athletes for ALL
What FLTI Means to me:  Through FLTI, I have learned how to believe in my words, to know that my voice matters, to know I can make a difference and I can be a leader.

Heather Poe 
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  Bridging City Ditch
What FLTI Means to me:  Thanks toFLTI I now feel able to make a difference and still have a life.  I resolve to fret less, act more; assume less, listen more; withdraw less, question more; defend less, trust more; react less and understand more. After this 20-week growth experience, I feel braver, less isolated, more powerful and more obligated.
About Heather:  Heather Poe is a stay-at-home mom and currently serves as president of South Metro Land Conservancy, a local non-profit dedicated to the preservation of open space. Heather was a Colorado State Parks Officer for 10 years and holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Lake Forest College.

LaShay Canady 
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  Colorado Resource Directory
Community Project Description: I want this directory to be the only comprehensive statewide Colorado resource to families for community services as well as human services. The information from service providers will include:  Type of service provided, Source of funding, Admission requirements, Languages spoken, Address, Phone and fax, Office hours , and Region served.  This information will be verified on an annual basis, by phone, to make sure all of the above information is still current. No matter where you live in Colorado, this is the ultimate source for resources to help people. The service providers within this directory can help you with practically any personal or family needs.
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI has allowed me to have a constructive voice for my community and to have the tools to accomplish that!  It has helped me to realize how powerful I am and what I can get accomplished on an individual level as well as building coalitions to support me.
About LaShay: My name is LaShay Canady. I am a mom to an adult daughter with special needs, daughter to a mom who has mental and health challenges, and an advocate for all young people.  I am self-employed as a Professional Virtual Assistant, Medical Herbalist, and Reflexologist.  I have coached numerous clients in implementing tools for increased health, well-being, and a more natural balanced way of life.  I am the founder and president of The B.O.S.S. Group LLC.  The B.O.S.S. Group stands for the Beauty Of A Solo Spirit and is committed to self-care, personal healing and self empowerment through holistic health.   I am an alumni of the Metropolitan State College at Denver.  The FLTI program has supported me in implementing a more strategic leadership role in my business, life, and family.   The tools I have obtained through this training are invaluable!

Jackie Sloan
County:  Adams
Community Project Title:  Early Childhood Interventions
Community Project Description: Help young children in the social-emotional aspects of their development and help these children stay in their current childcare/preschool setting if it matches up to the parent’s goals for their children.
What FLTI Means to me:  I have always been striving to make change for the better for all children but FLTI has given me the tools necessary to accomplish this goal.
About Jackie:  My name is Jackie Sloan and I am the eldest of nine children. I have always been involved in Early Learning in one form or another. I have approximately 24 years experience in Early Childhood Education. I’ve been a director in the State of Colorado for the last 7 years and have worked as the Director for Thomas Learning Centers in Westminster for the last 3. I recently received my National Directors Credential. My school is a Qualistar Rated Program and in the process of National Accreditation. I have 2 adult children and a new grandmother to a beautiful little boy. I got started in ECE because of my own children and the need for quality childcare and education for working families. My passion is helping all young children have a positive childhood and becoming productive adults. Both of my children have worked in Early Childhood and I am very proud of the fact that they also share my passion for raising up children to be the best they can be.

Janis DeBaca 
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  Respite Care
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI was a good training ground for someone trying to learn about local, county and state government. It was a valuable experiential process in civics and more important it helped me recognize the power and responsibility the average citizen has to impact their local community and the larger community of the human race.
About Janis:  I’m the mother of a 38 year old son with a developmental delay and I work for the Tri-County Health Dept. in the Health Care Program for Children with Special Needs. Many years ago I became the God Mother of my best friend’s daughter with special needs and before I ever heard the word “respite” I was one of a team of respite providers. I watched my friend as her physical, mental and emotional health deteriorated over the years and that has remained a vivid memory. I remembered the times when I felt desperate for a break from the child rearing tasks of dealing with my son with special needs, but my feelings of desperation paled in comparison to what I witnessed my friend go through. It’s because of my friend and the families who need the help of HCP that I know how critical respite is for the?well being of?the overall?family.
As for my background, I have a B.S. degree in Human Resource Management, and I’m a trained psychotherapist, although I don’t currently have a practice. I’ve been with the Health Dept.in a part-time contract position?of the Regional Family Coordinator for 5 years, and I’m also Vice President of our family business, which is a Security Guard Company. I worked for the University of Denver for 15 years in a variety of administrative and supervisory roles, and had my own arts & crafts business for several years.

Jim Brennan
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  ACCESS Resource DVD  
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI is much more than just a foundation in civics.  It is a catalyst for us as citizens to actually act on the things we have thought about for so long.  It not only empowers, it emboldens.

Kendra Shattuck
County:  Adams
Community Project Title:  T.H.E.P.A.C.K. – Thornton High Educators & Parents Academically Committed to Kids
Community Project Description: Create a new form of Parent Teacher Group – a pilot program that combines the interests of the parents, teachers, and school staff with the academic needs of the students in a fun atmosphere.
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI means one person, armed with knowledge and passion, can become an agent for change and can make a difference.
About Kendra:  Kendra Shattuck is a single mother of an autistic teenager. A Colorado native, she currently lives in Northglenn where she is a full-time college student. Kendra is active in the community by advocating in the school system on behalf of her son. She is an integral part of THE PACK, a parent group at Thornton High School that seeks to help student succeed by increasing parent involvement through educational events.

Knoel Hendrick
County:  Adams
Community Project Title:  The Community Implementation Plan
Community Project Description: To prepare current and future sites of FLTI as they venture to implement the initiative.
What FLTI Means to me:  Before FLTI I thought if I were to act as if I were an ostrich and stick my head in the sand I would not be responsible or accountable.  After experienceing FLTI now I know that even if I refuse to learn or accept what is going on around me I am still responsible and accountable.
About Knoel:  Knoel Hendrick grew up in Mobile, Alabama and moved to Colorado seven years ago.  She has been married to Barry Hendrick for 15 years and they have three precious daughters ages 9, 7, and 5. She graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and then got her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Southern University in New Orleans. She is now a licensed L.C.S.W. in Colorado and serves as a consultant for family leadership at the county and State levels. She has served as a consultant for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and is currently a consultant for the Adams County Youth Initiative through their Safe Schools / Healthy Students grant.  Mrs. Hendrick has served as the co-chair for the Family Leadership Task Force which has been directly connected with Smart Start Colorado and the Medical Home initiative. She has served communities as a Social Worker in many different areas such as foster care, adoptions, special needs children, the elderly, and the severely mentally ill.
Knoel currently holds a Governor appointed position on the Colorado Interagency Coordinating Council (CICC) and has attended national conferences in Washington D.C. for the CICC and the CPIRC.

Lisa Alonge Morgan
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  Out With a Bang and a Zip!
What FLTI Means to me:  Get involved.  Make a difference.  Do something important…BUT HOW?? Our Family Leadership Training Institute has started to provide the answers. It is overcoming fears and taking risks and knowing you really can have an impact, make a significant difference and effectively change a life!  I am in awe of the classmates and friends I have through this journey.
About Lisa:  I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Both of my parents were supportive and disciplinary. They helped me develop interests in travel, education and entertainment. I spent the start of my professional career at Bear Stearns where I had some great role models, and I eventually relocated from New York to Texas with the firm.   I completed my MBA in Information Technology at the University of Dallas and moved to Colorado 8 years ago.   The majority of my career has been in Mortgage Banking and due to the economic downturn I was provided a period of time to clarify my next career role.   I became involved in Elementary Education while seeking an educational institution for my son.  My volunteerism grew out of many financial questions resulting from the current financial crisis and tragic school closure of Ames Elementary.  I am very proud of my volunteer roles with the Parent Teacher Association and deeply value the experience and knowledge gained.   It has been a driving force to transition myself towards a role in non-profit management and add to my skills from the Family Leadership Training program.    My husband and I reside in Centennial with our son Ethan and crazy dog Mystery.   My personal interests overlap a great deal with those of my family members, and I’m very interested in self-improvement and continuing my formal education.   I recently accepted a position with Westwood College as Director of Student Finance in Westminster, Colorado.

Mandi Millar
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  Assessing the System
What FLTI Means to me:  Through an atmosphere of warmth, love, and acceptance, the nurturing FLTI facilitators provide a curriculum that teaches essential skills that every citizen in this country should have.  FLTI has been a commitment that will reward me my entire lifetime with the combination of prolific confidence to use my voice and the empowerment of knowledge to overcome adversity and create solutions.
About Mandi:  I’m originally from Philadelphia, PA, where I worked in research for children and families. I have no children of my own but I am part of a very close, loving family, who are all on the East Coast. Almost two years ago I moved to Boulder, Colorado, not knowing anybody, in a search to find myself. I was working as a massage therapist and then decided to get back into work with children and families. I moved to Denver and got a job at the University of Colorado where I am the Project Coordinator of WONDERbabies (WONDER stands for “Ways Of Nurturing Development through Enhancing Relationships”). WONDERbabies is a Partnership for Health Initiative, funded by The Colorado Trust. The partnership is among different agencies and organizations that play a role in servicing babies and young children with special health care and developmental needs and their families. Currently, there is no comprehensive, coordinated system of care for these babies, thus resulting in inadequate care, wasteful uses of time and money, and extra stress for families. WONDERbabies seeks to build, enhance, link and sustain an integrated system of care for this population. I joined the Family Leadership Training Institute to learn more about the types of families involved in the system of care I am trying to improve. This Fall I will start classes for a Masters of Social Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver. My interests include: traveling, hiking, reading, writing, cooking, yoga, riding my bike, indulging, taking pictures, making art, live music, massage, practicing compassion, getting lost, and getting found.

Mary Haag
County:  Adams
Community Project Title:  The First Annual Quail Crossing Community One Block to Five K Walk/Run
Community Project Description: Promotion for safe, clean, healthy fun for kids, teens and family’s in my community.
What FLTI Means to me: FLTI means positively education yourself and your children to continue being the strongest, healthiest self and family you were created to be.
About Mary:  My name is Mary Haag (Cricket) I have lived in Colorado since I was six. I am the youngest of seven. I am the second one in my family to obtain a college education. My oldest brother Dean obtained a BA. Degree in Psychology & I obtained a RN Associates degree in Applied Science-Nursing. I grew up in a Spanish family and was always referred to as “weda” & learned very young not to be discriminatory to anyone. In addition that the  golden rule really does mean just that and goes a long way. My girls and I worked our way through nursing school honestly to be able to afford the rent and the babysitter in addition to following one of my passions, which is to help people in a healthy way. I have been a working, single Mother since my girls were one & three. They are now fifteen & seventeen and I am unemployed for the first time in sixteen years. Awaiting to be blessed with just the right opportunity (Good schedule, pay, benefits & the awesome natural high that just comes from loving people and what you have chosen to do.) I have nursed in many different settings. Loving them all in there own special way. I am honored to have been chosen to participate in this awesome class that promotes strong healthy selves, families, communities, states and our nation. I thank Jehovah in Jesus name for all the good things in life I have been blessed with. Namely my relationship with him, Jesus, my daughters Jasmine & Angelica & my father Donald Haag. All the good in life I have been able to achieve and will achieve I dedicate to Jehovah, my daughters Jasmine & Angelica, my father Donald Haag and my community. I truly believe in the saying “an ounce of prevention is better then a ton of cure”. The Family Leadership Training Institute has been a blessing in my endeavors to continue to support & encourage my daughters to work hard & reach for the dreams & goals they endeavor. I will continue to be the best Parent Advocate I can be not only for my children yet all children that I am blessed with knowing & have an opportunity to assist in any healthy way possible.  I have many parent volunteer certificates & awards & many nursing awards. All praise goes to Good God up above. I have recently joined the community substance abuse committee, Kids for Kids by Kids & Nursing Family Committee. My family & I actively participate in state & local volunteer projects and Health focused events.  Thank You To All of the Facilitators that volunteered there time, heart & soul in making this class a reality. Sincerely, Mary Haag- Alumni Class July 2009

Maureen Edwards
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  Litter-free Lunches
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI…what can I really say to describe just how much this program has changed my life?  I feel empowered to raise my voice and shout out, like Dr. Seuss writes in Horton Hears a Who–“A person’s a person, no matter how small!”  FLTI has revived my childlike dreams of changing the world.About Maureen:  Maureen Edwards admits she is a “bandwagon” environmentalist.  She was  inspired to create a “Litterless Lunches” campaign after seeing the amount of Styrofoam trays, excess food, and plastic water bottles being disposed of at school.
Currently, she teaches Irish Dance at the Martin Percival School of  Irish Dance.  At this time, she is lucky enough to have the resources to stay home and volunteer at school while  raising her two daughters, Grace, age 10 and Virginia, age 7.
Prior to raising her children, she worked in theUnited States Department of Labor in both Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. She has a B.A. in government from Whittier College and a M.A. in political economy from the University of Virginia.
Her hopes for the future are to continue in the environmental field and to make reducing, reusing and recycling more efficient and accessible to the public.  She is also interested in leading programs to re-train dislocated workers for the “green jobs” of tomorrow.

Michele Acker
County:  Adams
Community Project Title:  Taking the Bull Out of Bullying
Community Project Description: Provide accessibility of materials to children and parents who have a concern about being bullied.
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI means personal pride in myself and that will begin to grow outside into the community.  FLTI has planted a seed that had begun to blossom

Michelle Adams
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  2009 Healthy Kids are Happy Kids Health Care Enrollment Fair
What FLTI Means to me:  In a nut shell, I enjoyed feeling right, wrong, happy, angry, challenged, argumentative, excited, nervous, intimidated and strong. I always knew I had a voice. Now I have been taught how to use it. That is what FLTI meant to me and I embraced it all and learned.

About Michelle:  My name is Michelle Adams. I was born in Plattsburgh New York. I am one of six children, bless my mom’s heart. My Fathers career in the Air Force took us many places including Heidelberg Germany where I was lucky enough to spend all three of years of High School there and Graduate from Heidelberg American High School. My Father eventually retired as a 2 star General. I moved back to Denver in 1985 where I for the second time in my life I met up with my husband Jimmy and now have been married to him for 17 years. We have a 14 year old son Dylan and a 9 year old daughter Jessie. They are the loves of our life. I work at Tri-County Health Department as a Family Health Coordinator. I love my job. I work closely with families who live in Arapahoe, Douglas and Elbert Counties to help them stay connected to services in their communities that can benefit their family.  I love spending time with my family and friends. I love cooking, eating, and listening to music. When I can find the time I like to read a good book. FLTI was one of the greatest experiences of my life. What I learned there I will take with me for the rest of my life. Thank you! 🙂

Robert Paiz
County:  Adams
Community Project Title:  Northfield and City View Heights Community Watch Group
Community Project Description: Help make the community a safe place for all children and families.  Free from vandalism, gangs, drugs and violence.
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI gives me the tools to become a better parent leader by becoming more active in my child’s life and community by advocating for what is just and fair for the better of all the families

Sarah DeHart
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  Grab and Go Fundraisers
What FLTI Means to me:  I feel that FLTI opened my heart and eyes to what is possible in the immediate world around me. It linked me to others who, like me, have a passion to do something to better the lives of children and our community but don’t know how best to do that. FLTI gave me more than one avenue to achieve my goals and then equipped me with the necessary tools to go get it!

About Sarah:  I am 32 years old and a mother of 3 children, ages 7, 5, and 16 months. I have been married for just under 10 years. I was born in Portland, OR and spent most of my younger years in Washington State. My parents got divorced when I was 8 years old and then I have a variety of other family situations from that point on. Life wasn’t always easy, but it made me who I am today. I have 4 brothers all older than me, except for my twin brother who I’m two minutes older than.  So I was an only girl, Fun! I moved to Colorado right after I graduated High School in University Place, WA. I fell in love with all the sun and then about 8 months later, my now husband David! I have been home here ever since.

I have some college, but never completed my degree. I worked for the Quizno’s Corporation for 4 years and was doing very well. I have only continued my education, up until now, when I needed a specific class.

In 2000 my husband started his own business, DeHart Construction, LLC., and I started to help with our business. In 2001 we has our first little one and I have stayed home since then, ran the house and helped with the business. So far we’ve made it and have been blessed by just making it even in this very hard economy, but not without the help of friends and family. We have a great loyal customer base, because of who and how my husband is. Thank God!

I have been involved in my community only in speaking up at a town meeting or going to block parties, until recently. A year and a half ago, both David and I got involved with the Tree of Life Children’s home. It isn’t actually in Colorado…it’s in Juarez Mexico, but the community around here has all plugged in to help. Our neighbors are who turned us onto this immense need, and it has snow balled from there. I am always looking for ways to inform others and get them involved now. I put out a newsletter every quarter and am involved in our annual Art show and Taco Stand. I feel this is just a stepping stone to all that can be accomplished both locally and with our neighbors in Juarez. My Children will learn and see what I am doing and see how giving back to the community and to others in general is a blessing to us all. I want to teach them how to “be” in this world. That is my number one job and I take it very seriously. Having compassion for children and those who struggle is so great of a charge in life and so needed that it needs to start from childhood. To see them having joy in there life’s by helping others means the world to me!

I have a great group of girls that I get together with regularly as well. It’s informal and for fun. We meet at each others houses or go out for Karaoke.  Within this group we share our lives struggles and triumphs and encourage each other. We also know how important it is to have a great time being completely dorky! Yep! That is me to a “T”! Last week when I was out with my girls, one of them turned to me and said: “Sarah, you are adorkable!” I realized after laughing that all of my favorite people are too! So there you go, to me the best people to be around are true hard workers, but that can be vulnerable and them selves! We need to have fun while we do what needs to be done! I love to dance, in fact we have little dance parties with our kids regularly! We have all kinds of fun lights and crank the music up and let loose. Even the baby is in on it now. Life has to have a solid foundation to grow you. I want to give that opportunity to those who don’t have it, or never did. I want to love other children the way I’d want someone to love my children if something happened to me and I couldn’t! It’s so important! -from the heart of Sarah DeHart

Scott Forlenza
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  Dadvocate
What FLTI Means to me:  I have been a leader who has not grown, who has put off life for far too long. FLTI woke me up.  I am learning to lead again. It is my destiny.
About Scott:  Scott Forlenza has been dedicated to family engagement strategies for almost twenty years.  Serving his family and community, Scott consistently donates his time in local efforts that include youth football & baseball coaching, Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, youth ministries, community theatre, Developmental Pathways, and the Arc of Arapahoe/Douglas.  Mr. Forlenza’s advertising and marketing experience spans over twenty-five years with award-winning production in broadcast television and radio.  Scott credits FLTI as being the catalyst in raising the bar regarding his potential as a change agent on behalf of his four children and the community as a whole.

Stephanie Schiff
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  Connect US
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI has pushed me to no longer just talk about all the things I want to get done, but to actually take steps towards doing them. It has given me the structure and framework to put my ideas into action.  It has provided me the support and encouragement I needed to believe that I could make a difference.  FLTI is like a parent, that gives the tools you need to take those first steps, confidence to embrace your strengths and gently push you into the world.

Susan Johnson
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  Hopeprints  
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI represents for me the CONCEIVING of a wish/hope, BELIEVING in that dream, and then ACHIEVING the goal through applied personal leadership principles & skills, an effective & proven curriculum, and individual & community connections. FLTI is a touch point that is a catalyst for the cumulative affect our personal projects make within and for the benefit of our communities as we ripple from our families to the outer rings of civic engagement and leadership

Theresa Mock
County:  Adams
Community Project Title:  Welcome To Our Neighborhood
Community Project Description: Distribute community resources to new residents that are new to the neighborhood.
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI has given me the tools and confidence to achieve goals that will better my community and neighborhood.  FLTI is the reason I’m a leader in my community and in my family.”

Veronica Brennan
County:  Arapahoe/Douglas
Community Project Title:  Transition from Preschool to Kindergarten DVD
What FLTI Means to me:  FLTI supports and shares the value of family that we do.  Our children were considered as part of the process.  They were with us the whole 20 weeks.  They heard the discussions my husband and I had about the class topics, made new friends, and they met other families who also get involved in their communities.  I was able to continue my leadership education as well as set a positive example for my children.
About Veronica:  I live in Aurora, Colorado with my wonderful husband, Jim and our two blessings Ian and Isabella.   My main priority is our family.  Although currently looking for employment, I also work with my husband in our film and video production company.  Our family situation has lead us down a path within the special needs community and we have found an engaged, supportive, and friendly group of people that we are honored to be associated with.  My family advocates for the best of worlds for all children.  Come join us!   I look forward to meeting you!

Project Contact: Patti Schmitt – Email: fort_schmitt@yahoo.com
County and year Larimer County, 2012

Community Project Title: Education Advocacy: Getting Parents Involved at the State Level

Community Project Description: The goal of this project is to focus on raising the awareness of parents about; education legislation issues at the state level, why parents should care about these issues, and what they can do to impact education legislation.  Parents are often pulled in so many different directions and therefore being active at the state level seems out of their reach.  This project seeks to make being active at the state level doable for all parents and will focus on education.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

What has happened with my community project since: Since getting involved in my project, many things have happened.  I joined several different local and statewide education focused committees to gain more experience being an advocate for education.  Additionally, during the election year I was able to get information out about education issues and legislators who were “education friendly” and running for office.  In 2013, I will begin work on a Legislative Action Committee that is involved with being active in Denver when the legislature is in session.  It is my hope that this involvement will allow me to further gain the experience to help other parents become engaged.

About Patti:
Patti Schmitt is a Mom to two children in Fort Collins and is busy between spending time with the kids, being involved in their classrooms and working as a consultant in the race and nonprofit fields.  She is an experienced philanthropy and volunteer expert.  She has experience developing nationally recognized volunteer programs with over 10 years experience in the non-profit field.  Currently she runs her own consulting business and spends a great deal of time organizing large adventure running races nationally.  Patti graduated from FLTI in 2012 and has committed to being involved in FLTI in Larimer County as much as possible.  “FLTI is an incredible program that every community needs to have.  It taught me so much about being an advocate for my children and gave me the real tools to impact my community and work with my communitys’ leaders.  I am so grateful to have been through the FLTI process.”

Patti Schmitt
P.S. Consulting
4617 Cliff View Lane
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Tel: 970.402.4319

Your Business “Handy Man” Finishing Your Unfinished Business Projects

Project Contact: Bruce Croissant – bruce.croissant@gmail.com

County and year: Larimer – 2011/2012

Community Project Title: From Noose to Necklace

Community Project Description: An investigation of transportation avenues in Loveland and surrounding
northern Colorado environs and suggestions for improving the
alternatives to single occupancy automobile infrastructures.

What has happened with my community project since: My projects goal was introspective rather than externally effective in

About Bruce: I am recently retired and thinking about ways to remain active
in my community and finding where my interests lie. I presently
volunteer for SAINT and The Matthews House. Since my participation in
FLTI, I have petitioned to and been accepted onto the city of Loveland
Transportation Advisory Board.


Project Contact: Maria Hopfgarten

County and year: Adams/2010

Community Project Title: Sibling Support Project

Community Project Description: I created a sibling support program at Children’s Hospital. It was specifically targeting the siblings of chronically ill children in the Butterfly (hospice) Program. It was a 10-weeks long program. The program was focusing on creating a safe space for siblings to share their experiences from having a chronically ill sibling. The siblings experienced and learned through play, game, music and art therapy.

What has happened with my community project since: The Butterfly Program has continued to offer Sibling Support Programs on a regular basis since 2010.

About Maria: My name is Maria Hopfgarten. I am the mother of two children. My son is living with Mitochondrial Disease and severe epilepsy, so Children’s Hospital is part of our lives. I also work as a Training Manager for ForeignExchange Translations. I am the President of Miracles for Mito, a non-profit for families living with Mitochondrial Disease in the Rocky Mountain Region. I am the Parent Chair of the Family Advisory Council at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and I sit as a Parent Advisor on several committees throughout the hospital. The FLTI program gave me the self-confidence to be more active in creating change in my life. I have the tools to create system and project changes in my community!

Project Contact: KimNichelle Rivera – knrivera@comcast.net
County and year: Arapahoe 2012
Community Project Title: EMPOWER Colorado Sibshop
Community Project Description: Sibshop is an exciting program just for brothers and sisters (age 8 -13), of kids with special needs.  Since EMPOWER Colorado focuses on families who have children with mental/emotional/behavioral disabilities (ADHD, Bipolar disorder, Anxiety disorder, Autism, Asperger’s, just to name a few), we will focus on children who have siblings with such disabilities.  At a Sibshop, brothers and sisters will

  • Meet other brothers and sisters of children with mental/emotional/behavioral disabilities
  • Have fun
  • Talk with others who ‘get it’ about the good (and sometimes not so good) parts of having a sibling with special needs
  • Learn more about disabilities and the services that people with disabilities receive
  • Have some more fun!

What has happened with my community project since:  Our innaugeral Sibshop was October 6 at almost full capacity.  At the end of the session all of the kids asked if they were coming back the next week.  I am now in the stages of planning a quarterly workshop model that will consist of 2-3 sessions each.

About KimNichelle: My name is KimNichelle.  I am the mother of a 16 yr old with mental health issues and a 12 yr old “typical” child.  I am the Outreach/Resource Coordinator for EMPOWER Colorado and a trained Sibshop facilitator.  We provide support, education and resources for advocacy to families of children with mental/emotional/behavioral disabilities.  Sibling support is a passion of mine.  I am thankful that I am able to bring this program to other families.  Last year I had the opportunity to advocate for mental health services for families on Capital Hill.  I am a member of the Behavioral Healthcare Planning and Advisory Council (BHPAC), the Boulder Valley School District Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC), a Parents Encouraging Parents (PEP) Conference facilitator and also the chairperson of the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Advisory Council (PAIMI) through the Legal Center.  I absolutely love that through my job I am able to give back to my community and help parents with support and resources.  FLTI has given me the tools to take a project idea and build on it step by step to completion, as well as guiding me to become more involved in civics.


Project Contact:  Kristy Chadd – kristy@rsapp.org
County and year: Montezuma 2010
Community Project Title: Summer Activities Program for Youth
Community Project Description: The Summer Activities Program for Youth is a summer program held three days a week during the summer months in Dove Creek, CO. I chose this project because I feel that youth need various protective factors in their lives and extracurricular activities are a great way to provide them.  In the Dove Creek, CO community there are very little activities available for youth during the summer months.  When I was growing up in Dove Creek there were many summer programs offered and I still have great memories of those times.  As a parent I hope my children can have the same experience.  Summer activities benefit youth at all levels from elementary to high school.  The self-esteem and sense of purpose that kids can get from involvement in summer programs may help raise their aspirations and give them a reason to say “no” to risky behavior.  A summer activities program offers a safe, supervised place for youth to gather.  They often offer a variety of positive activities such as recreation activities, life skills, social skills, community service activities, as well as provide youth with caring adult guidance and supervision.  Lack of supervision, idle time, or boredom tends to lead youth in the direction of bad behavior.

What has happened with my community project since: Since my graduation from FLTI the Summer Activities Program has grown and continues blossom.  We have completed two years and will be offering the program again during the 2013 summer.  The program has been a great success thanks to the numerous community volunteers and donations.  I have partnered with the Dove Creek Recreation Director who helps provide the activities, some funding, and the facility.  We have various community volunteers to who help teach activities such as arts & crafts, outdoor adventures, water fun, game days, community service days, movies on the big screen, and we even hold a field trip!  As the program grows we are continuing to offer new and exciting activities such as science day with the Durango Discovery Museum sponsored by Empire Electric and train rides for the kids.  We are always looking for more volunteers and activities to offer our youth.  Anyone who is interested in volunteering or has a great activity to teach the kids we are always open to your ideas and I encourage you to contact me.

About Kristy: My name is Kristy Chadd and I am first and foremost a mother of two young boys.  I serve as an AmeriCorps member for Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Partners (RSAPP) in the Dove Creek High School.  I work with a group of high school youth known as STUD (Students Taking action against Underage Drinking),  STUD is a school organization that does various types prevention work with youth.  Our primary goal is to reduce the rate of underage drinking in our community, but we also address other issues such as tobacco use and drug use.  FLTI has given me the strength, courage, and tools to follow through with my community project. FLTI was an amazing experience!  I feel better prepared and more confident to be a parent leader.  I’m not just a mom, I’m a mom with a purpose now.  I can make a difference.  Plus to top it all off I made some great friends and contacts along the way.

Kristy Chadd
STUDents Taking Action Against Underage Drinking
Dolores County Community Prevention Organizer
AmeriCorps Member