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Annual Meeting: Sept. 15

Emily Griffith Foundation’s annual meeting will be September 15th, 2017 from 4-4:20 pm at Interstate Kitchen & Bar. This meeting is open to the public.

Partner Highlight: Interstate Kitchen & Bar

Some partnerships are sealed with a handshake, others with a signed contract. In the case of Emily Griffith Foundation and Interstate Kitchen & Bar, the deal was sealed over pork belly street tacos and the world’s greatest parsley salad dressing.

Restaurant owners Aaron and Andre Lobato share Emily Griffith Foundation’s commitment to community betterment. Aaron and Andre grew up in Colorado, helping their parents at their 14th Street Bar and Grill, which had a 22-year run in Boulder.

The duo opened Interstate in 2009 and have grown a loyal following, and not just because of Interstate’s amazing food. Interstate Kitchen & Bar is a neighborhood business, committed to the Santa Fe Arts District, the NEWSED Community Development Corporation, and the larger Denver community.

Emily Griffith Foundation is so grateful to Interstate Kitchen & Bar for their in-kind support of Foundation activities. Interstate caters our meetings, hosts our events, and supports our fundraising outreach efforts. In 2016, Aaron and Andre also partnered with EGF on Colorado Gives Day, contributing 10% of a day’s profits to Emily Griffith Foundation!

Partner Highlight: Denver Community Credit Union

Denver Community Credit Union has sponsored Emily Griffith Technical College graduation for the last two years and works with the College to provide financial education classes to all who wish to learn.

The team at DCCU is always looking for more opportunities to get involved and support Emily Griffith. We are so grateful for their generosity, community focus, and their commitment to true partnership.

Since 1934, Denver Community Credit Union has been making a difference in members’ lives by providing financial opportunity. It is that commitment to opportunity that unites Denver Community Credit Union and Emily Griffith Foundation.

Emily Griffith Foundation is entirely committed to the principle that anyone who wishes to learn should have access to a quality education that leads to sustainable employment. Moreover, we believe that personal betterment through education should never result in debt. To this end, EGF underwrites scholarship and program support that allows the more than 7,000 students enrolled at EGTC each year to pursue their dreams without the burden of student loans.

Denver Community Credit Union is as committed to Denver and its people as Emily Griffith Foundation. It was no surprise to us when DCCU was recognized as Credit Union of the Year in 2016 “for innovation and outstanding achievements in the various areas of day-to-day operations, financial prowess, community service, and member service.”

Partner Highlight: HealthONE

HealthONE has played a significant role in community outreach and support for years and continues to develop meaningful philanthropic relationships with a focus on mental health support for the underserved, engaging families in the first three years of a child’s life, and secondary and community college education with a focus on health careers. This last pillar is the basis for Emily Griffith Foundation’s relationship with HealthONE.

HealthONE recognizes Emily Griffith Technical College’s record of excellence in producing highly skilled healthcare staff. EGTC’s certified nurse assistant, licensed practical nursing and pharmacy technician programs boast an 87% graduation rate and a remarkable 99% pass rate on all state licensing exams. In order to support our programs and create a pipeline of talented professionals into HealthONE careers, HealthONE provides scholarships for our Health Sciences students and participates in our Grow Your Own Employee program.

HealthONE’s partnership with Emily Griffith Foundation is a win-win for everyone involved: students receive tuition support and job opportunities, and HealthOne gets to recruit the best, and most skilled employees for the largest healthcare system in the metro Denver area.

To learn more about employment opportunities with HealthONE, click here!

Thanks HealthOne for your ongoing support!

Alumni Winner Don’s Story to Emily Griffith

Congratulations to Emily Griffith Technical College alumnus, Don, for winning a 3- year lease on a brand new 2-Door Hardtop from Schomp Automotive! Here is Don’s Story:

Growing up in Michigan, Don always assumed he would follow in his father’s footsteps and work in automobile manufacturing.

But when Don graduated high school in the early 80s, the Detroit unemployment rate was 23.6% and the Ford plant his father worked at was laying off employees.

“My dad said, ‘Sorry kid,’ and I new I needed a new plan,” Don said.

It was in that moment that Don’s dream of being an aircraft mechanic was born.

“I think planes are one of the most amazing machines, it’s incredible how far they can travel and how fast they can fly,” Don said.

Don moved to Colorado to escape Michigan’s dire employment rates and began pursing his dream of aircraft maintenance. But the only programs he could find cost thousands of dollars.

“The aircraft mechanic programs might as well have cost millions of dollars, I didn’t have the money and no one was offering scholarship help,” Don said.

So Don dabbled in the food industry before starting his own remodeling business, all the while pining to work on airplanes.

After undergoing several surgeries and on the brink of turning 50, Don realized he needed a new career path that was easier on his body.

One of Don’s co-workers told him about Emily Griffith Technical College and Don found the school’s Aviation Maintenance program.

“The program had a lot of hands on training which is how I learn best,” Don said. “I felt that Emily Griffith prepared me really well for my new career.”

In March of 2013, Don completed the Aviation Maintenance program and was soon hired by Centennial Aircraft […]

Partner Highlight: Unico Properties


Emily Griffith Technical College graduates are in high demand because of their expertise in the skilled trades. Denver’s massive growth in residential and commercial real estate means our  HVAC students are especially valuable employees right now.

Unico Properties joined the Emily Griffith Foundation as a Grow Your Own Employee partner in order to recruit the best employees for their growing company. Unico Properties is a real estate investor and full-service operator focused on office and multifamily assets in the western United States.

With a solid history of promoting from within and providing excellent growth opportunities for employees, Unico Properties is a fantastic partner for Emily Griffith Foundation and Emily Griffith Technical College.

Through both an HVAC scholarship fund and a Grow Your Own Employee commitment, Unico Properties supports our students throughout their time at EGTC. Students receive needed tuition support to complete their HVAC program and have an awesome employer looking to hire them at the end of their program!

Unico Properties’ partnership with Emily Griffith Foundation is a win-win for everyone involved: students receive tuition support and job opportunities, and Unico Properties gets to recruit the best, most skilled employees for their growing business.

Thanks Unico Properties!

Partner Highlight: CBS4

Every nonprofit needs a voice in order to make its case and tell its story. CBS4 is that voice for the Emily Griffith Foundation as we tell of the transformational work of Emily Griffith Technical College.

During the 2016 celebration of Emily Griffith Technical College’s centennial, CBS4 provided $25,000 in free media coverage of our events. The CBS4 team produced high quality public service announcements highlighting the College’s work and Emily’s legacy and drove attendance to our centennial celebrations.

CBS4’s partnership with Emily Griffith Foundation demonstrates its commitment to the Denver community, and we cannot thank the team at CBS4 enough for the value it places on education and public service.

Thanks CBS4 for your generous commitment to Emily Griffith Foundation and our work to provide opportunity for all who wish to learn!

Interesting in partnering with Emily Griffith Foundation? There’s a variety of ways for both individuals and businesses to get involved!

Alumni Highlight: Ismael’s Story

Ismael Esparza wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, who worked as a car mechanic for 20 years for the Ford Motor Co. in Mexico.

Esparza, 39, worked as a mechanic at Strictly Automotive from 2011-13. But at the same time, he wanted to learn new skills, such as electricity and drivability, in order to advance in his profession. So he simultaneously studied in the automotive program at Emily Griffith Technical College, graduating in 2013. After that he worked at Kia and Lexus dealerships for another two years.

“The school means a lot to me,” said Esparza, who also has been employed in apartment maintenance. “When I came to the school, I was laid off from work and I was unemployed,” prior to joining Strictly Automotive. “The state unemployment office enrolled me in the school.

“At first, I was paying for my classes and my tuition and books. The lady that enrolled me in the program told me, ‘You know, we offer free tuition classes from here, or you can apply to the government and they can help you to pay for your tuition.’”

Esparza applied to the FAHSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) program. He was accepted, and FAHSA eventually reimbursed Esparza for what he had paid for tuition out of pocket.

“It changed my life to the better,” he said of EGTC. “I always knew about the cars, working with my dad. But when I came to this country, I didn’t have the opportunity to work on cars. I always had it in my mind that I wanted to go back to that.”

Still, by 2015, he needed to make a change. “I liked being a mechanic, but I was working too many hours and […]

Alumni Highlight: Toi’s Story

Toi Alegria loves to cook. In fact, she’d like to cook for you and teach you how to prepare meals in your own kitchen.

At 46, she’s seeking a new way of life after working as a nanny for 20 years and raising her children. “I went back to school to change my career,” she said. “I’ve always enjoyed cooking; it’s my passion. I want to have my own business.”

Alegria is a June 2016 graduate of the culinary arts program at Emily Griffith Technical College. Food production and Safe Serve practices were among the many subjects she studied; the latter covers such topics as proper booking temperatures, labeling and covering food.

“Most restaurants want you to have the Safe Serve certificate,” said Alegria, who also trained at the school’s ground-floor Emily’s Café. She also worked for three months at the Northern Shores restaurant at the Denver Zoo, preparing such food as pizzas, calzones, fries, garlic knots and homemade marinara sauce.
“I love it; it’s so beautiful there,” Alegria said. “And people are so good there.”

She lives near Buckley Air Force Base and sees a built-in audience. “There’s a huge market where I live,” Alegria said. “There’s a lot of older, retired military people, and they need that kind of help around here.”

She spent the summer practicing new recipes and babysitting her grandson. He’ll return to school in late August. Once she overcomes back problems, she plans to relaunch her business, which has two parts: Home cooking lessons and personal chef services.

Alegria did home teaching before her back acted up. Her customers chose recipes to work on; Alegria helped them to shop online for all ingredients, which King Soopers delivered. Then she would show them how to prepare […]

Alumni Highlight: Adriana’s Story

Adriana Romero Gonzalez squeezed the most out of her experience at Emily Griffith Technical College.
Gonzalez, 18, who just graduated from West High School, pursued TWO courses of study at EGTC: aesthetician and Certified Nurse Assistant. That’s an unusual combination on the surface –- but Gonzalez has a plan.

By combining the two skill sets, “You can work in a medical setting, such as a medical spa or dermatologist’s office,” said Gonzales, who will enter CU-Denver this fall. “I ended up liking both of those programs very much.”

At CU-Denver, she will major in business administration, with an emphasis on marketing and accounting.
In the aesthetician program, she studied facials, waxing, lashes, microdermabrasion, chemical peels and more. She entered the program Aug. 28, 2015 and finished it in July.

Gonzalez hopes to take the certification tests in both fields in late August.

In the concurrent enrollment situation, West paid for Gonzalez’s EGTC classes.

“I want to take my boards and get my license, and use my CNA and aesthetics certifications to explore the medical field a little bit,” Gonzalez said. “I want to use aesthetics to get a better job, whether at a spa or medical spa, to help me pay for college.”

She had an exhausting schedule in her senior year. She attended West from 7:45-11:45 a.m., then headed over to EGTC, where she attended the Certified Nurse Assistant program from noon-4 p.m. and the aesthetics classes from 5-9 p.m.

“Emily Griffith was a school that provided me the opportunity for growth, not just academic progress but also personal growth,” Gonzalez said. “You interact with all kinds of people all the time. You get to explore different fields. A lot of the things I learned here I can apply in other classes.

“For […]