Contact: Natalie Martinez
Local Non-Profit Organization - MILE HIGH 360 – forges new partnerships with FJA, the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment’s Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids Commission and the Denver Housing Authority to retool its support for 60 middle- and high-school students from local Title I schools: CEC Early College, West Leadership Academy and West Early College.
“COVID-19 is wreaking havoc on our educational and economic systems,” acknowledges Dr. Eiteljorg, the Executive Director of Mile High 360, a local non-profit that provides intensive, year-round support to a community of 106 students in grades 6 through age 24 from three Title I partner schools. “And, its impact,” he goes on to say, “is disproportionally felt by families of color that have been historically marginalized. These families were already struggling and many, because of COVID, are now on the brink of collapse.”
Mile High 360 could have stayed the course, continuing to provide its students with access to essential out-of-school resources and opportunities - such as, mental health support, tutoring, college visits, internships, summer camps, cycling and financial literacy classes - that have a profound impact on educational and life outcomes. However, “Staying the course would not have met the emerging needs of Mile High 360’s students and it would not have met the needs of their families,” insists Dr. Eiteljorg. The students, staff and board members of Mile High 360 all agreed, Mile High 360 needed to expand its programming to include remote learning support and provide its families with access to healthy food and education in how to use Denver’s existing food support network and Denver’s basic needs resources.
Dr. Eiteljorg stressed that Mile High 360 was not in a position to realize these changes on its own, new partnerships would need to be forged. Through the Mile High 360 team’s relationships within the Denver community, we collaborated with Angela Fletcher, Director of Housing Management, and Slavica Park, Director of Community Connections with the Denver Housing Authority to secure a new home for Mile High 360. We partnered with FJA-US for a technology sponsorship to bridge the digital divide faced by so many of our students. And, we received a grant from the City & County of Denver’s Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids commission to provide healthy meals for students, ameliorate food insecurity within our students’ families and teach nutrition and cooking classes. Through these formidable partnerships, Mile High 360 has implemented new programs to increase its impact on its students and their families and meet their immediate needs.
In his contribution letter, Marc Dutton, CEO of FJA-US, said, “Thank you [Mile High 360] for giving us [FJA] the opportunity to support your meaningful work. Monetary contributions can pave the way for a greater world, but the promise of that greater future is in your [Mile High 360] hands. The future is bright and beckoning.” He goes on to say, “We are excited to see what the next generation can do. With Mile High 360’s support and services, we can make the larger community and the world better.” And, Slavica Park lauded, “We are very pleased to welcome Mile High 360 into our DHA community. We look forward to strengthening our partnership and having a bigger impact on the most vulnerable residents of our broader community.”
With our new partnerships, Mile High 360 now provides:
· Five (5) remote learning support pods per week (10 physically-distanced students per pod) that run from 7:30am – 2:30pm Monday through Friday;
· Five (5) after-school support pods per week (10 physically-distanced students per pod) that run from 3:00pm – 6:30pm Monday through Friday,
· Breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snack per day to its students and cooking and nutrition classes and
· Direct food support for all of its families to mitigate food insecurity that is affecting thousands of people in the Denver community.
About Mile High 360
Mile High 360 (www.milehigh360.org) is a Denver-based youth-collaborative, engaging its students in long-term and year-round access of essential out-of-school opportunities and resources in three interconnected areas: Academics, Health & Wellness, and Life Skills. Mile High 360 is a comprehensive, year-round, wrap-around, youth-development program designed to provide Denver’s Public School students from high-poverty communities with after-school, weekend and summer access to essential out-of-school resources. Programming complements school-based learning by providing and organizing local and regional resources to address a child’s social, emotional and academic needs with structured support. Our mission is to ensure socio-economic status does not determine a child’s future, and our goal is to end generational poverty by creating pathways to independence and choice through education. A longitudinal program, students join MH360 in 6th grade and continue with MH360 through age 24.By spearheading a network of resources and opportunities and connecting in a variety of ways with the schools, communities and family systems, Mile High 360 is creating an opportunity for there to be a collective impact that far and away exceeds what any one entity could do on its own.
About the Denver Housing Authority
The Denver Housing Authority (DHA) is a quasi-municipal corporation with a portfolio of over 12,000 units and housing choice vouchers, providing affordable housing to more than 26,000 very low, low- and middle- income individuals representing over 12,000 families. DHA has transformed public housing in Denver creating vibrant, revitalized, sustainable, transit oriented, and mixed-income community of choice. Today, DHA’s vision has been honed to reflect the goal that every individual or family shall have quality and affordable housing, in communities offering empowerment, economic opportunity, and a vibrant living environment. Denver Housing Authority's mission is to serve the residents of Denver by developing, owning, and operating safe, decent and affordable housing in a manner that promotes thriving communities. DHA is governed by a nine-member Board of Commissioners appointed by the Mayor of Denver and approved by the City Council. DHA’s mission is to serve the residents of Denver by developing, owning and operating safe, decent and affordable housing in a manner that promotes thriving communities.
FJA provides an insurance platform that enables insurers to underwrite opportunities and build and distribute plans. We empower carriers to create new, modify existing, and retire obsolete products and services to consistently meet market demand. With over 40 years of experience in the insurance industry, we’ve learned from our relationships to innovate for the future. Our approach spans verticals and countries: as a subsidiary of msg life, our offices throughout Europe and North America hold a global ecosystem of professionals whose experience in health, group, and P&C insurance bring together the best practices in the industry.
Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids Initiative
Through Ordinance 302, the Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids (HFDK) Initiative proposed to increase taxes to establish a fund for healthy food and food-based education for Denver’s youth. The ballot measure was approved by voters in November 2018 and went into effect in January 2019. The 0.08% increase in sales and use tax within the City and County of Denver is expected to generate approximately $11 million dollars annually for ten years. The money is being distributed through competitive grants to agencies of local government and non-profit organizations, with an emphasis on serving low-income and at-risk youth. The Denver Department of Public Health & Environment launched the Healthy Food for Denver’s Kids Grant Program in February 2020 to support healthy food access and food-based education for youth.