About a year ago, I received an invitation from Christine DeLeon (CDL) to attend a Talk to Action (TTA) meeting that started me on an incredible journey of possibilities. A person of color and a recent Denver transplant by way of South Florida, I had spent the previous 8 months struggling to find community, my voice, and a space to nurture and turn the big ideas in my head into reality. CDL and her non-profit, Moonshot edVentures created the space and provided the support to do exactly that. Within the first few minutes of the TTA meeting, I knew I had found my tribe—a diverse group of brilliant thought leaders unafraid to challenge their own thinking, who were not only committed to creating new possibilities for education in Denver, but were also committed to supporting me, professionally, socially, and emotionally. Subsequent conversations with CDL empowered me to lead and I dove headfirst into two TTA projects—recruiting and attracting education professionals of color to Denver, and redefining power and influence within Denver’s education organizations. CDL took a deep interest in understanding my desire for impact, making transformational connections to build my social capital, and holding me accountable with every introduction, that one day soon, I would start my school. I am now preparing to apply for Moonshot’s School Launcher fellowship. The role of CDL and Moonshot in the Denver community is essential, particularly for education professionals of color looking to make an impact in education reform to ensure that our most disadvantaged students thrive and realize their wildest dreams.
Christine at Moonshot EdVentures was incredibly helpful in our early attempts at scouting and applying for fellowships or incubators to develop our program. We received excellent connections, feedback, and coaching that was actually contextualized for the specific programs we were applying for. Christine spent hours reviewing our documents and prepping us for the interview, and I credit a large part of our winning one of the fellowship spots to her support. There are unspoken rules to this game that are absolutely invisible to aspiring entrepreneurs. Moonshot levels the playing field by removing the veil.
Moonshot provides thoughtful response to challenges facing leaders trying to create change in education. They help to break down problems, see opportunities, and imagine new solutions.
Moonshot is an awesome organization that helps education leaders of color pursue their dreams in opening schools for their communities. I have had a wonderful experience working with the organization. The Founder and CEO is brilliant, articulate, extremely efficient and knowledgeable on the education space here in Denver. Moonshot has restored my faith in people and what we can do for kids in education when innovative new ideas come to life.
Working with Christine and Moonshot edVentures has been integral in helping me re-envision what educating children can look like and the approaches that are used to engage students in our schools. Through my coaching sessions with Christine, I have been able to connect with like-minded and like-valued individuals that see the importance of equipping leaders of color to stand in front of our students of color and provide the highest quality education.
Christine has pushed my thinking to consider ways in which I could pilot components of my educational vision to see its impacts on children that are within my target demographic. If not for her advocating and being a thought partner in this area, I would not have ventured into this arena…and ultimately missed an opportunity to make some real-time adjustments to my approach. Whether through networking, advocacy, or coalition building, Christine has been an encourager, a well of resources, and a listening ear when the weight of the work overshadowed the “why” of the work. I am eagerly looking forward to continued partnership with Moonshot edVentures and excited about the future of my impact because of my connection to such an important opportunity for leaders of color.