This video shares CDL’s founding story, interviews with Fellows about their Moonshot experiences, and follows a day of the pilot phase of “Cultivate.”



Moonshot edVentures builds the pipeline of diverse leaders to design and launch the learning environments of tomorrow in Metro Denver, and is setting an example for early stage leadership preparation for cities across the country. To date, Moonshot has supported 31 Fellows to design and lead charter schools, microschools, district turnaround schools, and after school programs. Throughout the Fellowship, Fellows will build their entrepreneurial muscle, and explore their leadership of people, instruction, strategy and operations. Moreover, Moonshot will work to keep “self” at the center, both in terms of identity and self-care.  The Fellowship has three stages, with Fellows and the Moonshot team working together to identify whether the Fellow carries the readiness and commitment to continue to the next stage of the Fellowship.

> Learn what makes the Moonshot Fellowship unique.

Our program has three stages, with participants electing and/or being invited to continue on at each stage:

Screen Shot 2019-02-28 at 1.05.10 PM.png


Timing: Part-time, Fall. (Follows the typical “first semester” of the school year)

Explore the idea of designing and launching a new school or program that works to transform the learning environment and the subsequent learning environments for students of color. In this stage, leadership development of the Fellow is as important as school design. During this stage, you’ll connect to over sixty local and national leaders who can support the development and launch of your idea.

  • Assess your leadership readiness

  • Design your idea alongside community

  • Get access to local and national leaders and funders

  • Visit schools across the country for inspiration



Timing: Part-time, Winter/Spring (Follows the typical “second semester” of the school year)

Fellows who complete Explore and are continuing with their venture are invited to deepen their practice. Fellows will receive a “boot camp” of content in January and work to pilot their ideas via Saturday Camps with the rest of the cohort. Each Fellow will have an opportunity to lead the management of other Fellows and the logistics needed behind the development and execution of one Saturday Camp.

  • Launching a pilot program of your idea, and test your most risky assumptions

  • Try your hand at operations and management

  • Engage students and families in the launch of your idea

Photo from the pilot for     Empower High School     by    Moonshot Fellow Wisdom Amouzou

Photo from the pilot for Empower High School by Moonshot Fellow Wisdom Amouzou


Timing: May and Summer. Full time opportunities for the following school year are possible.

For those committed to launching an idea, Fellows will have the opportunity to focus deeply on the “nuts and bolts” of launching, including board governance, student recruitment, facilities, HR, legal, fundraising, etc. Additionally Fellows will run their own summer pilots to test their ideas over a longer period of time.

  • Participate in additional full- or part-time opportunities to launch your idea

    • Part-time opportunities include a stipend and a subgrant to launch a summer school program

    • Full-time opportunities may include a full-year, full-time residency following the fellowship

  • Understand the “nuts and bolts” of founding


Fellows reflect on their Moonshot experience:

L1110451 copy 2.jpg

“Moonshot lives up to its name. It is a fellowship that will challenge you to the extent of wanting to change the system and develop your ideas beyond what seems possible. You are surrounded by like-minded world-shakers that will help you hash out your dreams for education and push you to become a bigger, better, and more bountiful leader.”

— Alejandro Fuentes, Moonshot Fellow
Co-Founder of Radical Arts Academy of Denver

Moonshot has created an environment which allowed me to discover my identity at a deeper level and explore how my identity plays an integral role in my leadership.
— Amy Lovell-Boylls, Moonshot Fellow, McGlone Academy
Really, this was the first space with people who look like me, came from similar backgrounds… And it is the only safe space...where my full self can show up, be innovative, and encouraged to build.
— Cory Montalvo, Moonshot Fellow, YEBO