Locally-focused Work: Alamosa County
The Foundation’s traditional grantmaking is complemented by our locally-focused work, where we spend a great deal of time in individual communities. Alamosa County is one of nine communities that the Foundation is working locally as a way to get to know these places and the people who live there deeply. This local focus approach on specific communities allows us to build relationships, make connections, learn about and support long-term efforts that emphasize community-informed, collaborative solutions to health barriers. Why? Because when ideas are generated at a local level, they are more likely to reflect the community’s needs and create lasting change.
So what does our work look like in Alamosa County?
Alamosa County has its own unique assets and barriers when it comes to health. For us, working locally in this way starts with listening and learning more about what that really means to the people of Alamosa. Monique Johnson, the program officer working in this community, is central to this effort. She spends time getting to know the community and its people, looks for opportunities to strengthen local institutions and networks, and seeking opportunities to support local leadership and help stimulate broad civic engagement.
Monique is charged with partnering with the community to harness this energy so that Alamosa County is a place where health is in reach for everyone who calls it “home.” Her work takes shape through engaging in conversations, networking, establishing authentic partnerships, and being viewed as a thought partner with a wide range of community members.
Over the past two years, the Foundation has partnered with institutions like the Center for Creative Leadership, which works with individuals to customize and develop their unique leadership style and collaborate more effectively. The Foundation has also partnered with KaBOOM!, a nonprofit dedicated to ensuring that all kids have a childhood filled with the balanced and active play they need to thrive. Through these collaborations, local leaders are building their skills for greater impact and the community is creating new spaces for children to safely play. We also work with Civic Canopy to help harness the power that already exists within your community. The Civic Canopy offers a range of services to organizations in Alamosa County such as coaching, advising, coordination, facilitation, resource sharing and other types of capacity building.
During a 2018 series of events, we had the chance to hear directly from community members in Alamosa County. We gathered information and feedback throughout the events in order to better work collaboratively while strategizing towards a healthier community countywide. Read about Monique’s experience at the events.
If you have ideas on how to create a healthier community or want to learn more about the Foundation, please email Program Officer Monique Johnson or call her directly at 303-953-3617.
Activities in Alamosa County
The Foundation has developed partnerships with a range of organizations in Alamosa County, and has provided financial support for several efforts including those below:
- Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation’s Financial Capability: Paving the Path to Homeownership Program
This program will combine classes and individual financial counseling/coaching to help low-income earners to achieve their financial goals.
- GripTape’s Youth: Seizing and Developing Agency and Resilience Program
This program will enable nearly 100 youth to embark on a journey aligned with their interests and visions of success. Youth will lead the design and implementation of local community improvement efforts in the San Luis Valley.
- La Puente Home’s Working Together Effort
This program aims to tackle the inequities of generational poverty through a parent-driven, two-generation community effort called Working Together.
- San Luis Valley Food Coalition’s Rio Grande Farm Park Nature Play Area
This program promotes children's physical activity and connection to the San Luis Valley's natural and cultural resources, with the aim to actively engage children in physical activity and learning by utilizing nature-inspired infrastructure.
KaBOOM! Playground Builds
On June 30, 2018, volunteers from the Alamosa community, City of Alamosa, Kiwanis Club of Alamosa and KaBOOM! came together to bring a kid-designed, state-of-the-art playground to life at Lee Fields. You can watch a video of Peyton's Play Ball! Park here.
On Aug. 11, 2018, volunteers from the community, City of Alamosa, Boys and Girls Club of the San Luis Valley and KaBOOM! came together to build another kid-designed, state-of-the-art playground in their community.