Leadership Launchpad

Odalis Castro

Biomedical Engineering 4th year student

Ednium has allowed me to discover my leadership style and what kind of leader I want to be. Ultimately, it is my goal to apply these skills in my future professional career as a physician-scientist

Brianne Maldonado

Office Manager Third Way Center

This program has been an enlightening and insightful journey that I hope to share and inspire our future generations with


Alvaro Marquez

Southwest Denver Entrepreneur

We are the real loud voice of the voiceless, they will hear us.


There’s no question that students graduating from Denver Public Schools, who are majority Latinx and Black, hold value and relevant assets. Yet they are consistently overlooked by and excluded from the power structures that implement the very policies and programs that impact them and the communities they represent. Endium exists to reverse that and we’re doing it in part by creating a new approach to leadership development. 


Our Leadership Launchpad provides a safe space for individuals who attended a DPS high school between 2008 and 2020 to build personal and professional skills and expand social capital. And you don’t need a GED or high school diploma, or a college degree, to participate. Every voice, every story, every lived experience matters. 


The Launchpad is different because it’s rooted in upending the cycles of injustice that exist in our public education system. This is where we see and experience racism, economic inequality, and housing and food insecurity (to name a few) and the impacts they have on Denver students. These are the issues that most deserve our collective attention and this is why we need a leadership program that recruits leaders from communities that have real experience dealing with some or all of these injustices. Investing in the talent that already exists within our communities offers the best chance to make impactful, sustainable improvements in DPS and to build generational wealth and success for families.

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The Curriculum

We created a powerful and unique 5-month intensive for a cohort of up to 25 to support and empower one another as they expand their knowledge of the following:

Personal (gained understanding of self and identity
Storytelling (honing and owning our stories based on our lived experiences)
Elevating assets and experiences (relevant and unique skills, POV, and expertise in a system that doesn’t recognize or utilize them)
Individual Leadership Style (identifying strengths and weaknesses to become a more effective leader)
Interpersonal (building and bridging networks)
Local and state policy making processes (meet and talk to legislators)
Advocacy (education, media, lobbying, activism)
Capstone: synthesize skills and knowledge acquired and potentially take forward to Advocacy Accelerator

The next Launchpad will start in April 2021. If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out to Perla Bustillos, Engagement Manager, at