Our Story
Mobilizing public school alumni as a powerful force for change

We’re Ednium: The Alumni Collective. 

 

We are an action focused, community development organization that partners with public school alumni to change the way cities educate and re-invest in their homegrown talent.

We’re a powerful coalition of young adults navigating our way through new jobs and careers, pursuing college and specialized training, and making big life decisions that would be easier if our K-12 education had better prepared us for life in the 21st Century.  

 

Based on our experience and perspectives, we’re on a mission together to ensure that every student leaves the public school system with the knowledge, skills, and agency to define and achieve success. And we’ll do this by collecting insights from alumni and offering them a space to develop leadership skills and an advocacy platform to move ideas into action. 

 

We know this will take multi-sector collaboration, so join us as we support our fellow alumni in building and leveraging social capital to change the way our city reinvests and educates our homegrown talent. 

Ednium: The Alumni Collective grew out of a need to ensure the most relevant voices in education have a platform to share their experience and develop new ideas. We see who consistently shows up to "community” meetings, who testifies before the Board of Education, and who has the ear of the education leadership in Denver. And the majority of those people do not reflect the DPS population or our communities.

 

If we want a more equitable and relevant educational experience for our children, who are our future leaders, then we need to create space and be intentional about sourcing the expertise of the very people who are products of this system.    

 

Over the course of the past two years we’ve positioned ourselves to positively impact Denver Public Schools and the Denver ecosystem as a whole.

Every student will leave the public school system with the knowledge, skills, and agency to define and achieve success for themselves.

Timeline

Summer 2018: A group of 20 DPS alumni met with school board members during the superintendent search process. 

 

Fall/Winter 2018: Superintendent Susana Cordova requests a meeting with a group of alumni to inform her entry plan; she then raises the value of the group District-wide, asking her senior leadership to ensure more alumni voices are included in key processes.

 

Summer 2019: In partnership with the Denver Scholarship Foundation and funded by RootED, 150+ young DPS alumni came together to discuss their educational experiences and dream for the future via the inaugural Data and Design Lab. Matched with insight from key stakeholders and extensive work from a subset of participants, the group established their policy priorities. 

 

Fall/Winter 2019: Our alumni share their policy priorities with Superintendent Cordova and the entirety of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). SLT Leaders agreed to ongoing work with alumni to identify partnership opportunities and policy implementation. In response to the support, participating alumni requested help with additional training and network expansion. Thus the founding Leadership Launchpad was born. 

 

Spring 2020: Realizing the inequitable impacts of Covid-19, 20+ alumni leaders stepped up to develop their knowledge and build their social capital. The Founding Leadership Launchpad was instituted. 

 

Summer 2020: Ednium is born, touting a strong network of alumni, District partnerships, and an advisory board committed to the authentic development and activation of Denver's homegrown talent to make an impact on this City.


Summer 2021: DPS approves policy revision to make Financial Literacy and Cultural and Ethnic Studies a high school graduation requirement starting in the 2023-2024 school year. Ednium also creates a partnership with DPS to implement curriculum.

Winter 2021: In partnership with the district, Ednium secures $350,000 from Next Gen Personal Finance to support the district's implementation of personal financial literacy via professional development and the hiring of a Personal Financial Literacy Specialist position. 

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Our Values

Since Ednium is built by and for alumni to serve the next generation our values are rooted in our experiences and are a reflection of our communities and cultures. They guide us in strategic decisions about the programs we offer, the people and organizations in which we partner, and the funders from which we accept financial support. Our stories, our people, and our communities are not up for sale and these values serve to remind us everyday that we will be the owners of journeys and the creators of our destinies.   

COMMUNITY

We are only as powerful as the community surrounding use and therefore it is our responsibility to make (and keep) our community strong through genuine and authentic connection.

TRUST

We develop trust by supporting individuals as they find (and refine) their authentic voice and unapologetically tell their stories.

ACTION

The wisdom gained through sharing authentic stories will create powerful systemic change. We move with conviction and are relentless in getting things done in partnership with those we serve.