OWL CEO Lea Ann Reitzig with instructor-pilot Shawn Wallace, who donated the United Boeing 787 Dreamliner simulator experience.
Scottie Iverson, The Villager’s fashion and lifestyle editor
OpenWorld Learning supports children’s school success by tapping the power of digital technology and peer teaching to develop leadership and ignite a love of learning.
Program locations are at 13 Jeffco and Denver Public Schools and 1,200 students are served each year. OWL’s Annual Gala and Auction contributes 15 percent of the budget.
Hearing from young students, successful products of the OWL programs who expressed their appreciation, was one of the highlights of the evening. Idaly Clark is just a fifth-grader, but spoke with conviction and poise. Juno Padilla was an OWL student at Colfax Elementary 10 years ago. His achievements include being a Daniels Fund scholar at Colorado School of Mines and receiving a full ride in pursuit of his doctorate.
University of Denver’s Chancellor Rebecca Chopp delivered a positive message about the parallels of OWL, DU and Denver—all being dreamers.
“OWL provides possibility and hope,” she said. “Digital literacy is the language of the future.”
Honoree Jeffrey Tarr served on the OWL board for six years and had the privilege of knowing the late Dean Abrams. He is the former CEO of DigitalGlobe, the leading global provider of satellite imagery, and he previously served as president and COO of IHS (now IHS Markit).
IHS, a Colorado company, has been a loyal and major supporter of OWL. Jeff Tarr has held numerous leadership roles and has been acknowledged on the world stage. OWL qualifies for the Colorado Childcare Contribution Tax Credit. For further information, visit openworldlearning.org or 303-832-0066.
Juno Padilla with site leader Rose Hagood at Colfax Elementary, where he was an OWL student 10 years ago, and fifth-grade OWL student Idaly Clark.
Jeffrey Tarr accepted the Dean Abrams Leadership Award from OWL Board Chair Jonathan Gear. The giraffe is significant as the gentleman for whom the award is named and subsequent honorees are known for sticking their necks out.
Chef Alain Veratti of Crepes ‘n Crepes, which provided the delectable walkabout fair, plus donated a private dining experience for the auction, with veteran auctioneer Gary Corbett.
Keynote speaker: University of Denver Chancellor Rebecca Chopp, Ph.D. with Jeff and Andrea Tarr, and DU Vice Chancellor of Advancement Armin Afsahi.
Steve and Dee Ciancio with Steve and Susan Halstedt.
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