Creating a Culture of Learning

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“You don’t build a business – you build people – and then people build your business.” – Zig Ziglar. 

I was reminded of this quote as I sat and listened to our latest presentation from our “Culture of Learning” series.  It’s possible because of a grant from the Colorado Springs Health Foundation; each person in every department shares what they do with the entire Pikes Peak United Way team.  Pikes Peak United Way is one of ten organizations that have the opportunity to participate in this training. 

Elizabeth Quevedo (pictured above with her family), our Director of Colorado Springs Promise, was sharing her “Why”… 

We all have one, whether we work in a nonprofit, donate or volunteer.  Every one of us has our “why” for helping others.  For most of us it’s something personal, something that had an impact on our lives, maybe even shifted the course of our journey.  That’s certainly the case for Elizabeth, a West Point graduate, a veteran and mom of three.  Her husband grew up in rural and urban poverty and if someone had not intervened in his life at an early age, they may have never met.  It’s her “why” that she carries into her job every day, she shared with the team fighting back tears.  She’s now intervening in the lives of countless teens, setting them on a path to success for their future. 

At Pikes Peak United Way, we are in the business of helping others.  This “Culture of Learning” series has built a strong camaraderie among the team.  That’s not me telling you that, that’s what the team has shared with me.  After each presentation, I have staff coming up to tell me they learned something new and left inspired to do their work. 

When the entire team is behind the mission and understands it, they give even more to their jobs than they would have.  And when your business runs on donor dollars, you work hard to ensure you are using your time and resources effectively.  We are striving to maintain an excellent organizational culture, to learn more and to give more so we can build a stronger Colorado Springs for all of us!  It’s truly because of you that we are able to do just that.  Thank you for supporting Pikes Peak United Way and our dedicated staff.

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The Peak Progress (QLI) Report is a community effort to look at and evaluate different components of quality of life in the Pikes Peak Region. This project convenes volunteers, community members, and leaders from across the region (Vision Councils) to gather and evaluate data and create goals (referred to as “priority areas”) in various categories.

This report originated in 2007 after Howard Brooks and Jerry Smith recognized the need for benchmarking information and gathered the necessary community support and resources to publish the first edition. The 2019/2020 report seeks to move the report forward by not only focusing on indicators, but also looking for ways to take these findings and create actionable change and improve the quality of life in the Pikes Peak Region. To do this, we followed the original process of creating benchmarks by comparing the Pikes Peak Region to other regions in order to see how we are doing compared to other places in the United States, as well as looking at data over time.

This report is for anyone from a general citizen to an elected representative. Based on the foundation of community groups, networks, and resources that were assembled to develop it, this highly beneficial tool provides reliable and easy to understand data with the potential and proposed steps for actionable change.