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Monthly Archives: September 2015

The Emily Griffith Circular – Volume 1, Issue 3


When Michael Lucero was in high school, he made some extra money cutting his friends’ hair.  Now, 15 years later, he and his brother Moses, along with their best friend Sean Martinez, have their own shop. The Steel and Lather Barber Company is located in an up and coming part of downtown Denver, just two blocks from Union Station.

All three are graduates of Emily Griffith’s barber program, where they learned not only a craft, but also a passion for the profession. When you visit their shop, open to men, women, and children, you’re greeted like a guest and not just a customer. You experience their pride in ownership, and their enthusiasm for the work they do.
They said, “We wanted our own identity, not just to open another Joe’s Barbershop.”
The shop, which they designed themselves, is a combination of contemporary
and retro styles. Old-fashioned reclining barber chairs with headrests beckon
to a gent who might like a close shave with hot lather and a straight-edged
razor, like in the old movies. In fact, all haircuts finish up with warm lather and
a back-of-the-neck razor trim.

Patrons who prefer sitting upright can get a traditional haircut, a head shave,
a Mohawk, a beard trim, or any possible variation in between. Their website,, offers a menu of different haircut styles, appointment times, and preferred haircutter. They’ve only been open for seven months, but are 80 to 100 percent booked most days.

Once the shop neared completion, they notified friends and family members via social media, but also wore out a lot of shoe leather walking around the immediate neighborhood, handing out business cards.
“We continue to learn from one another,” Michael said. “You don’t go to school and not add additional skills later […]

Announcing 100 Year Celebration

Denver, CO | September 9, 2015 – On September 9, 1916, The Opportunity School opened for 1,400 students.  Today, 99 years and almost 2 million students later, Emily Griffith Foundation (EGF) and Emily Griffith Technical College (EGTC) announce their plans to celebrate “100 Years of Opportunity” through events and activities that highlight the past, present and future of workforce education, as well as the pivotal role Emily Griffith, and her school, have played.  The first of these took place today at the Governor’s Mansion.

EGF, in partnership with The Denver Foundation, The Women’s Foundation of Colorado and 100 Years of Opportunity chair Susan Keily, hosted “99 Women for Opportunity.”  The event paid homage to Emily Griffith’s gatherings at what was then the Cheeseman Mansion to garner support for her vision to provide a school free of charge for all who wished to learn.  Katherine Archuleta provided the keynote address today before the invitees got to work discuss the current status of workforce education, challenges faced in the pursuit of education and the continuing role of workforce education on strengthening the middle class.  The resulting white paper will be delivered to Governor Hickenlooper and posted on in coming weeks.

This event was the first of several events and activities:

More information on all of these events including how to can get involved can be found at
About Emily Griffith Technical College
Emily Griffith Technical College is the post-secondary arm of Denver Public Schools. Its mission is to provide knowledge, skills and values that enable students to compete successfully in the workforce and to be self-sufficient citizens and lifelong learners. The college offers more than 50 training certificates and 13 trade apprenticeships. Since 1916, EGTC has assisted nearly 2 […]

The Emily Griffith Circular – Volume 1, Issue 2


From Russia to Colorado
About a year ago, Emily Griffith student Tanya Kisakova, her father, and her two younger sisters emigrated to Denver from Moscow.
Tanya has been in America for 12 months, and has been an Emily Griffith student for eleven of those twelve months. An EGF scholarship designated to support refugee students provided Tanya with the financial support she needed to complete a certificate program in Video Editing and Production.

You can see an example of Tanya’s professional work, which she completed during an internship with Channel 8, by clicking here. Her next project is a documentary about custodians and the work of overlooked segments of society.
What truly makes Tanya stand out, though, is not her transformation from newly arrived refugee to graduated professional in 12 months, though that is extraordinary. Nor is it the talent and drive she brings to her work, although, again, it is amazing. What makes Tanya such an incredible part of the EGTC family is her personality.

Tanya laughs at everyone’s jokes, but insists that she can never remember them. Her dad is always laughing with her, but she can never retell his jokes to others, even when she promises herself she’ll remember this one.

She tells us that the thing she found the most surprising about the United States was our expansive definition of freedom. We have trouble imagining Tanya chastising anyone, but she says: “the first time I wanted to reprimand someone, she looked at me as though I am crazy!” 




Faces of Opportunity is an awesome series on YouTube that highlights stories from EGTC Students.




Russian born, Denver roasted! Want a $100 gift card to Dazbog?




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