NOVA 2011 Ballot
Welcome to the voting page for the 2011 NOVA Awards! Below you will see teasers about each nominee, with a link to read more from their nomination. The Community Foundation hopes you'll enjoy learning about the great work all of these Boulder County non-profit organizations, before you rank your top five favorites at the end of the list.
A few important things to know before you get started:
- The NOVA Award is to recognize innovation in programs or services or innovations in business operations, within Boulder County's non-profit sector. The winning organization will receive a grant for $5,000. Innovative collaborations between non-profits or non-profits and a private business are eligible.
- Voting will be open June 5 - June 11.
- This online vote is only a portion of the information that factors into the final decision. Two committees of community members score all the nominations, factor in this online vote's results, and work together to select the winner.
- The below ballot requires unique selections for ranks 1-5. If voters duplicate choices, they'll receive an error message, and their vote won't go through until the error is fixed. Additional measures are in place to control for ballot stuffing.
Nominated Nonprofits for 2011
Colorado Chautauqua Association In its stewardship role, the Colorado Chautauqua Association (CCA) pursues plans and strategies to ensure a sustainable future for the Colorado Chautauqua National Historic Landmark, including a commitment towards making the Colorado Chautauqua a leader in environmentally sustainable practices successfully integrated within a National Historic Landmark setting. Read More
New Era Colorado is an innovative vehicle for hands-on democracy. We engage, educate, and train a new generation of active citizens and young leaders in Colorado. The organization is a full-spectrum civic engagement operation; we provide the resources and tools for young people to gain collective power in all levels of the democratic process, including issue organizing, electoral mobilization, and the legislative process. We do it all, with one constant: combining fun and politics. We started the organization's innovative practices for the purpose of finding new and fresh strategies for bringing new people into the civic process. Read More
YWCA of Boulder County The YWCA's mission is to protect children, empower women and girls and eliminate racism. With the widening achievement gap between Hispanic students and non-Hispanic White students in Boulder County, the YWCA created the Puente program to assist Latina students in their transition from middle to high school (Graduation rates of Hispanic students in the Boulder Valley School District is 71.7% compared to 91.7% of non-Hispanic White students.) The Puente program includes mentors, tutoring assistance, computer lab access, parental involvement, teaching technology, communication and life skills and much more. It is the only 8th grade through high school graduation support program for Latinas of its kind in Boulder. Read More
The Boulder County Circles Campaign is a community ending poverty one family at a time. In 2009 a collaborative group of non profit agencies and County agencies came together and decided to pilot an inovative model created to help one low income family at time truly break the cycle of generational poverty. After training 2000 people in the Bridges Out of Poverty Model from 2008-2009 participating agencies moved forward with the next phase of the model which includes the Getting Ahead program and the Circles Campaign. These models unlike the traditional model of assisting low income families places the power of change not in the hands of the agencies that serve the families but in the families themselves. Read More
Boulder Shelter for the Homeless:Street Fare The mission of the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless is to provide safe shelter, food, support services, and an avenue to self-sufficiency for homeless adults in our community. In its 5-year strategic plan, the Shelter's Board of Directors delineated an objective to explore earned income opportunities with an eye to developing a business that would produce unrestricted income for the Shelter and provide employment/training opportunities for Shelter clients. And so, Street Fare, The Boulder Shelter Bakery, began operations on April 2, 2011, selling mini gourmet cupcakes at teh Boulder County Farmers' Market. Every week since then, Shelter clients have continued to work alongside Shelter staff in the Shelter kitchen in baking over 600 cupcakes (six flavors!) (fresh, from scratch!), and then selling them. Read More
SWAP/IECE SWAP is a grassroots, student run, and dynamic organization of broad members of the broad CU community committed to cross-cultural engagement, mutual empowerment, skills acquisition, and solidarity in addressing inequality. Our mission is to bring together systematically divided campus sectors to share a common learning and cultural experience. The objectives of SWAP are accomplished by providing free and convenient English language classes to predominantly immigrant University employees who hold underappreciated yet indispensible positions on campus and in the community.
SWAP provides free interactive and culturally informative trainings to university student volunteers, preparing them to teach one-on-one or small group English classes. Read More
Veterans Helping Veterans Now The mission of VHV Now is to build healthier lives for veterans and their families, reaching out to those who would not be reached, honoring all that served. The goals are to connect veterans who need assistance with volunteer veterans; address the unmet needs of veterans and family members; and provide information to our communities about veteran issues. The innovation of VHVNow is based on the well-documented best practice that veterans in need of services respond more often and more freqnently to peers than to institutions. Services for veterans often fail because veteran input is not solicited and programs do not individualize services. VHVNow does both. Read More
Healthy Learning Paths empowers children by teaching wellness strategies for success in health, learning and life. Healthy Learning Paths is unique in that we send medical professionals into preschools and elementary schools to provide fun programs for children. We teach children about healthy behaviors and how these
behaviors impact the brain, physical, emotional, and mental health. We teach early childhood educators how to implement these concepts into their everyday curriculum. We also teach parents and families how to model healthy behaviors at home. We have created a collaboration of the medical profession, educational profession, and parents to work together on the same team. All of our programs are based in current medical research with a child development approach. Read More
Parlando School for the Arts Parlando was founded in 2003 with the goal of increasing accessibility to music for all people, particularly our community's youth and elder populations. Now the largest music school in Boulder, we provide lessons, classes, ensembles, workshops and performances for approximately 700 students of all ages, backgrounds and abilities on a weekly basis.The uniqueness of Parlando lies in:
Our belief that access to the life-changing benefits of music study are crucial for all members of our community, especially our young people and our ability to provide this access. Different from other music schools, private instructors and private for-profit studios, Parlando stands alone as a beacon to which students of all ages and abilities can come to study music. Read More
Flatirons Habitat for Humanity: The Keys Community Flatirons Habitat for Humanity is very effective in providing homeownership opportunities for low income families but, prior to The Keys Community, we were not as successful in addressing our families’ poverty and/or stability issues. We are aware of the need to retroactively help existing homeowners with the necessary resources to stay in their homes, and proactively we want to better equip our new habitat families for success. The Keys Community connects teams of 4-6 volunteer coaches with one Habitat homeowner to encourage and help him or her to implement a concrete plan that he or she has created to move from poverty to stability by developing resources, goals and support systems. There are two reasons why this program is innovative and unique. Read More
Flatirons Habitat for Humanity: HabitatPro HabitatPro is a collaborative program aimed to positively impact how affordable housing builders approach green building and in parallel, effectively equip and educate the growing green workforce in Colorado. The program has since been spun into a start-up social venture called BOULD with the aim of providing the HabitatPro programming to Habitat affiliates and green building professionals nationwide. Read More
Imagine! The mission of Imagine! is to create and offer innovative supports to people of all ages with cognitive, developmental, physical, and health related needs so they may live fulfilling lives of independence and quality in their homes and communities. Some of the individuals in Imagine!'s care have mental illness, in addition to their developmental
disabilities. In 2005, Imagine! and Mental Health Partners (MHP) began developing a unique, collaborative partnership (IBHS Mental Health Supports) to improve the delivery of mental health services to local individuals with this dual diagnosis. The collaboration between Imagine! and MHP is the only one of its kind in Colorado. Read More
Colorado Music Festival & Rocky Mountain Center for Musical Arts inspires and connects community members of all ages by providing access to the best of the world's music through education and performance. Most musical organizations are focused solely on either performance or teaching. What sets CMF & RMCMA apart is a commitment to the entire spectrum of learning, listening, and participating. On the School side, we reach students of all ages (infancy through seniors) with student-centered, discovery learning opportunities. On the Festival side, the concentration of concerts featuring internationally known soloists packed into a six-week time frame is rare outside of Tanglewood or Ravinia. The CMF & RMCMA shares the passion and magic of music with everyone, regardless of background or ability to pay. Read More
Center for Resource Conservation:Tool Library The ReSource Tool Library (RTL) is the first of its kind in Boulder. By sharing resources, a Tool Library leverages communal purchasing power to ‘do more with less’, and puts tools in the hands of those with limited means. The Tool Library is innovative because it provides multiple benefits to the community: the environment is positively impacted by the program because it makes use of tools and materials almost entirely donated by community members, the community members are benefitted by getting affordable tools and low-cost materials for home and community improvement project, and finally the organization (CRC) benefits by operating the program on a financially sustainable basis. Read More
Grillo Health Information Center In addition to providing evidence-based research and health information counseling, the Grillo Center also acts as a collaborative information and referral service. We are often asked about and refer clients to the availability of resources in the community. We have cultivated working relationships with many organizations so as to complement and coordinate services including but not limited to the People’s Clinic, Boulder Community Hospital, local physicians, Public Health, Social Services, cancer centers, local libraries, support groups, community food share, homeless shelters, emergency family assistance, SafeHouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence, Intercambio de Comunidades, senior centers, and the National Library of Medicine. Read More
CareConnect CareConnect's mission is to promote the security, comfort and independence of seniors and people with disabilities throughout Boulder County. CareConnect is unique in its implementation of programs and services to help seniors and adults with disabilities to stay safe and independent in their own homes. The Medical Mobility program provides volunteer-escorted medical rides to seniors and adults with disabilities. This service is unique because volunteers transport and remain in the waiting room while they are receiving care. Because of the flexibility of the program, Medical Mobility has been able to provide escorted rides to clients living off service routes of other transportation programs or those needing service during peak and unscheduled hours. Read More
Longmont Ending Violence Initiative, Safe Shelter for St. Vrain Valley, Moving to End Sexual Assault, Defense Awareness Response Training, Longmont Police Department, Longmont United Hospital Most communities focus on adults and domestic violence issues. The LEVI collaborating agencies were innovative in that they decided to also focus on teens and pre-teens - trying to educate them that dating violence and certain behaviors such as stalking, controlling another individual or physical violence are not OK. In February 2011, the collaboration launched its very first Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awarenss Month Campaign, in the St. Vrain Valley School District. This unique campaign was directed at all students in the district's middle and high schools. Read More
Casa MESA Robotics Academy Casa de la Esperanza's Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) program's unique mission is to encourage, motivate, support and prepare students for success in the pursuit of undergraduate degrees and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). MESA serves all students but has a particular interest and focus on students from groups that are historically underrepresented in science, engineering, and other math based careers. MESA students in elementary, middle and high schools prepare for and explore these professions through collaborative partnerships that focus on projects that build math, science, technology and communication skills.The Robotics Academy was developed in the spring of 2007 to foster students’ engagement in their own education as they work with professional mentors in preparation for a robotics competition. Read More
Boulder International Fringe Festival The Boulder Fringe Festival provides the only unjuried, all access arts program in the region. The Fringe encourages all artists to participate regardless of resources and venue. The Fringe is called "Fringe" because it takes place on the fringe of a more mainstream culture--that is, non traditional venues, like retail shop windows, busses, alleyways, people's homes, and all in collaboration with more traditional venues at the same time. The point: Art can happen anywhere regardless limited resources-its in our human nature to create. Read More
Thistle Communities, Allison Management, & Boulder Chamber of Commerce The lack of family-oriented housing for Boulder’s workforce is a problem in our community recognized by our city and county government. It is a detriment to companies locating and staying here and compromises the quality of the workforce as employees move away to find appropriate housing. Thistle Communities and Allison Management have formed a partnership with the Boulder Chamber to emphasize and promote the importance of workforce housing in our community. One goal of the program is to emphasize the economic development benefits of having a loyal, local workforce, which benefits companies, and therefore, the community's growth. To address affordable housing through an economic development lens is unique. The program also assists employers who want to directly aid employees looking for housing by offering counseling, loan programs and brokering other assistance to potential buyers. Read More
Special Transit Special Transit changed its paradigm in 2003 from a transportation provider to a mobility manager, broadening services to include travel training, volunteer
driver programs, mobility options and individual travel planning services, in addition to our traditional paratransit service. Special Transit is the only private, nonprofit paratransit provider in Boulder County and one of only two in the metro Denver region. By developing and leveraging all mobility options, we are able to help people travel as independently as possible using the full complement of existing mobility options in Boulder County and decreasing duplication of service. Moving to a new, energy-efficient facility strategically designed to meet the mobility needs of the community for several decades to come sets Special Transit apart as innovative and visionary as well. Read More
Mental Health Partners has developed a new treatment model, reshaping its programs
and services to better meet the needs of those with severe and persistent mental illness. In Dec. 2010, MHP launched its innovative treatment model, the only of its kind in Colorado. Rather than the traditional model of treatment, MHP's new treatment focuses on meeting clients where they are in their recovery and working with their families and support systems. Since mental illness typically appears in late adolescence or young adulthood, part of the impact is that educational or vocational goals and independentl iving skills are lost to the illness. Treatment needs to involve ways to recapture the skills necessary to realizing life goals and the current national standard of treatment for mental illness often fails to do this. There are also tremendous disparities in access to mental and physical health, resulting in a 25-to 30-year reduction in life expectancy for people with serious mental illness. MHP's new programs will address each of these areas to save lives and increase the overall quality of life for those we serve. Read More
Meals on Wheels Boulder provides nutritious meals to residents of our community who need our service, regardless of age or income. Project Homecoming is one of the ways to reach a very specific market of those who need our service. Working through Boulder Community Hospital discharge supervisors and related personnel, we provide five free home-delivered meals, geared to specific dietary restrictions and guidelines, to any patient leaving the hospital who may not have a source for meals upon discharge. Initially we had anecdotal information that as many as 40% of individuals released from the hospital did not know where their meals were coming from. Read More