Dee Andrews has been a friend of the community foundation for many years. In addition to her time serving on both the staff and the board, she is a longtime donor. Her insights into the evolution of the foundation are especially keen, given the varied roles she has played at the organization. She is currently a writer based in Boulder (check out her website), where she raised her two daughters and lives with her husband.
Tell us about what brought you to Boulder County.
Lucky me, I married into Boulder County and joined the Andrews family, who have lived here since the 1960s. Scott and I met in college and lived many places across the country before deciding to settle in Boulder. We moved here in 1999, and Boulder has been a wonderful place to raise our two daughters and call home.
How did you get involved in the community foundation?
Luck again. A wrong number dialed by the foundation’s then president, Josie Heath, reached me instead of my mother-in-law. Josie was calling about a foundation event, and she immediately welcomed me to Boulder and asked what interested Scott and I and how we might like to get involved.
She introduced us to Social Ventures Partners, a program of the foundation’s at that time, and we were partners for over ten years, supporting Boulder County’s nonprofit organizations with business consulting. Along the way, we met so many people who’ve become friends.
What have been some highlights of your involvement with the foundation?
Being part of the School Readiness Initiative is definitely one highlight. Ever since those first mornings of dropping my own child at daycare—when I was so grateful I’d found a program I trusted, and where I felt my daughter would be safe and nurtured—I have believed every parent deserves access to a quality early childhood education and that feeling of gratitude. The foundation’s understanding of that, too, inspired me to join their efforts. The Initiative helped double preschool and make free, full-day kindergarten universal in Boulder County, long before those were state programs. The initiative also developed and launched the organization ELPASO (Engaged Latino Parents Advancing Student Outcomes) a movement designed to build the underrepresented Latino parent voice for improved early learning outcomes. Though the program has evolved since its founding, its positive impact in the county and beyond is rewarding to see.
What is your vision for the future of Boulder County?
That it is a community who works together to ensure everyone who lives here experiences a life of opportunity and fulfillment. That we are inclusive and accepting, and that those who are marginalized and vulnerable have access to housing, education, and resources.
I really do believe that together, we can accomplish great things, and that the community foundation is the leader in the community who is both aware of the challenges we face and best brings us together to find solutions.
Why do you support the general fund of the community foundation?
I used to believe in that saying, Luck favors the prepared. I am a dreamer and a planner—and was raised by Midwesterners who valued hard work and education—and that combination has prepared me to take advantage of opportunities when luck presents them, and has brought me success.
But I recognize now there is privilege in that philosophy. Maybe I’ve been willing to take risks, or shift when disaster strikes, because I’ve had a safety net—family and education (and, now that I’m older, time, money, and connections)—to catch me if I fail or when life throws its punches.
All of us in Boulder County have been impacted by devastation lately: a flood, a pandemic, a fire, a shooting, and another fire. Events that are hard to be prepared for. If we’re “lucky,” we can afford insurance. If we’re lucky, we have friends or family to move in with, to help financially, or listen when we mentally break down.
But not all of us are lucky. Many do not have support and savings when tragedies occur, and that is why I support the community foundation with financial contributions to its general fund. The foundation helps everyone—but especially the underrepresented and most vulnerable in Boulder County—be better prepared to embrace change after misfortune or to take advantage when luck calls.