Last month, more than 650 members of the Denver Kids community came together in support of the 2024 Denver Kids Flourish Gala: Where Dreams Take Root. This year's event featured a cocktail reception and dinner, silent and live auctions, and a paddle raise, as well as an after party with music and dancing. The program featured inspiring stories from our students, along with their Educational SEL Counselors, through heartfelt videos that showcased how our program impacts their lives and helps them flourish.

One of the highlights of the night was the keynote address by Jackie Hernandez, a Denver Kids alumna. Jackie shared her journey from being a student in our program to becoming the College Access Coordinator at her former high school. Her story underscores the challenges she overcame, the impact of Denver Kids mentors and Educational SEL Counselors in her life, and her dedication to ensuring other first-generation students have the support they need to succeed.

We also celebrated our 2024 Community Impact Award winners, who have made a significant impact on the Denver Kids mission:

Anita Banuelos: Director of Community Organizing with Transform Education Now (TEN), Anita has over fourteen years of experience in community advocacy and education. A former Denver Kids student, she remains a dedicated supporter and advocate, serving as a past member the Young Professionals Council and speaking at events.

Danielle Reubenstein: Co-founder and former Executive Creative Director of Wunderman Thompson Mobile, Danielle now runs an art studio and volunteers her time at non-profits. She has been deeply involved with Denver Kids since its merger with Denver Urban Scholars in 2019, serving on the Board of Directors and various committees.

Pete Wall: A retired lawyer, Pete has been a dedicated supporter of Denver Kids since joining Denver Rotary in 1986. He served as a volunteer mentor and on the Board of Directors, including a term as Board Chair, and remains actively involved in supporting the organization.

The evening concluded with a lively after party featuring music, dancing, photo booths, games, and karaoke. If you were lucky, you caught our CEO, Jay Grimm, and Denver Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Alex Marerror, perform their duet after winning our first-ever Karaoke Challenge! Board Chair Craig Mills and Community Impact Awardee, Danielle Rubenstein, came in a close second place during the karaoke challenge and performed a duet for the crowd.

Thank you so much to everyone who came out to support our students and program! Click here to watch our gala speakers, program highlight video, and Community Impact Awards.