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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 […]

Board of Directors Annual Meeting | Oct. 7, 2016

The Emily Griffith Foundation Board of Directors will have their annual meeting on Friday, October 7, 2016 from 4-4:30 pm at Cool River Cafe (1480 Arapahoe St, Denver, CO 80202). This meeting will focus on the induction of new officers and the foundation’s strategic plan.
Following the close of the meeting, all board members and their friend/spouse/s.o. are welcome to join for dinner on the Foundation.

Board members can RSVP for the meeting and/or dinner to Serena at

The Emily Griffith Circular – Volume 1, Issue 5



There aren’t many people who travel back in time, but Debra Faulkner is one
of them. As the historian of Denver’s Brown Palace Hotel, she dons 19th century clothing and gives tours of the historic site each week. She is only one of three hotel historians in the United States.She’s also the author of Touching Tomorrow: The Emily Griffith Story, the aptly titled and definitive biography of Emily Griffith, written after five years of painstaking research.  In addition, she portrays the indomitable Emily Griffith herself in one-woman performances.“I’m grateful to the staff at the school, who gave me access to drawers and drawers full of documents, she said. “Among the notes I found was one that Emily had written to a friend the day before she died.”Debra has been the Brown Palace historian for seven years, and is the third to occupy the role over forty years time. “It’s not surprising anymore that someone
in the group has a connection to what they refer to as the Emily Griffith Opportunity School,” she claims. “It happens all the time.”

“It continues to astonish me that Emily Griffith lied about her age to get a teaching job in the Denver Public Schools,” Faulkner added. “In the early 1900s, a woman who was 27 years old and still single was considered an old maid. So Emily claimed she was 15. Throughout her life, no one ever really knew her real age.”

“Denver has seen many famous and influential people in its day,” she concluded, “But I don’t know of anyone other than Emily Griffith whose profound influence continues to benefit so many people 100 years later.”

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The Emily Griffith Circular – Volume 1, Issue 4


When Emily Griffith went searching for a new Dean of the College of Trades and Industry, a requirement wasn’t a background in banking and finance. But that’s what the newly hired Dean, Michael Bevis, brings to the job.

He was also Director of Academic Affairs, similar to the Provost, for both online
and land-based campuses at the University of Phoenix. So he knows his way around educational institutions, as well.

“I’ve always had an interest in experiential learning,” Bevis said recently, while overseeing the final phases of construction at Emily Griffith’s new $8 million building at 12th and Osage in Denver. He added, “There is just no substitute for hands-on learning.”

In his new job, Bevis is responsible for academic oversight and quality, instructional excellence, and curriculum development. He will oversee efforts that ensure Emily Griffith courses continually meet industry standards.

“For each of the nine trades taught at our new facility, I have an advisory board made up of experts in that particular field. They know exactly what’s going on in their industries, and keep us current. They are like windows to the world in which our graduates will be working.”

The College of Trades and Industry also thrives because full-time instructors all have industry backgrounds, as well.  “We only have a few part-time instructors,” Bevis noted, “and everyone else is full-time. They are dedicated and with a serious commitment to our students learning and doing well.”

“With our spacious new building,” Bevis said animatedly, “we can literally double  the current enrollment. People in our new neighborhood are thrilled we are here.
And so am I.”


Check out this video of outgoing Dean of the College of Trades and Industry Brad Vickers and his successor Michael Bevis about the exciting opportunities happening within […]