About us

Our Approach

Our Mission

The Guild is a group of dynamic women who band together to make an impactful difference for the staff and students of UpLift, allowing them to develop into the leaders of tomorrow!

Our Focus 

The Colorado UpLift Guild is a non-profit organization which focuses is aligning and responding to the needs of Colorado UpLift.  Each UpLift staff person pours their heart and soul into the students they interact with throughout the year.  The Guild comes together in meaningful ways to UPLIFT those who are forming the next generation of urban leaders!

The Guild is so proud of what UpLift is able to accomplish in our schools.  We want to recognize and support the staff and students in any way we can.  Some examples are as follows:

  • Raising funds to help pay for vans which transport students to positive alternative activities during high-risk hours
  • Suppling much needed classroom upgrades
  • Hosting hygiene drives for teachers to distribute to students in need
  • Blessing the UpLift staff with bi-annual bonuses – just to name a few!

Our aim is to identify any gaps and meet the needs of the UpLift staff & support them as much as possible.  Click here for more opportunities!  

We want to see the staff of UpLift flourish, so they can pour into the lives and the communities of their students.

What is Colorado UpLift?

Colorado UpLift teachers/mentors coach character building qualities, life skills & leadership development through accredited classes, to build a new generation of urban leaders!  www.coloradouplift.org 

  • 20+ local schools (Denver, Aurora & Westminster)
  • Over 200 Classes/week
  • >4100 Students served, with a waitlist to enter the program
  • Create student leaders – Little Lift to elementary students
  • Offer positive alternatives during high risk hours

UpLift is making an IMPACT

Colorado UpLift Teacher/Mentors:  Part teacher, mentor, and life coach
  • Available 24/7 through high school graduation and beyond
  • Boost school attendance
  • Enhance self-esteem
  • Teach students to navigate stressful situations
  • Increase High school graduation rates
  • Help with college applications and Financial aid
  • Available as a confidant for all of their students


  • 40% of today’s students have of no hope for the future
  • 20% of students have no strong relationships/role models in their life


  • 52% Less likely to skip a day of school
  • 37% less likely to skip class

Seven Core Beliefs of UpLift

  1. We believe that EVERY CHILD is of great worth and has the desire and potential to succeed.
  2. We believe that LONG-TERM, 24/7 RELATIONSHIPS with caring adults have proven positive outcomes in the lives of our urban youth.
  3. We believe that a HOLISTIC approach is essential for a strong and healthy future for our youth.
  4. We believe that FULL-TIME, SALARIED TEACHER-MENTORS WHO COME FROM SIMILAR BACKGROUNDS as the students can have a positive influence and make all the difference.
  5. We believe that SERVANT LEADERSHIP, creating a culture of selflessness and service, is the foundation of great leadership.
  6. We believe in the intrinsic DIGNITY of every person and act accordingly.
  7. We believe that COLLABORATION yields the best long-term results, acknowledging that the complex work in our urban centers cannot be done single-handedly.

Our History

Colorado UpLift was founded in 1982 by Dr. Kent Hutcheson.  UpLift became an accredited elective in several Denver Public Schools, teaching thirteen basic principles for effective living based on personal responsibility and development.  Over forty years have passed with the organization reaching thousands of students.  In the past, 90% of the UpLift students graduate from high school, with 85% of that group attending college!  

In 1994, a group of motivated women, led by Sally Kneser, formed the Colorado UpLift Guild.  The Guild was founded to provide support to Uplift through volunteerism, education and fundraising.  

Guild programs both grew and multiplied however it needed to pivot its programming after Covid, in 2020.  In order to stay strong, in 2023, the Guild began shifting emphasis from heavily supporting student activities to supporting UpLift staff and in turn the students.  This is new vision is accomplished by contributing manpower to planned UpLift initiatives, bi-annual bonuses, hygiene drives and addressing needs brought up throughout the year!

The Guild will continue its support of UpLift’s and will endeavor to respond to needs that arise now and in the future!

Image of past presidents of Uplift GUILD

Board Members

Rachael Boyko

Joyce Wilson



Sally Newcomb

Shauna Smith

Tomiko Abo

Talia Schuster



Nancy Fairclough

PAST PRESIDENT (2020-2022)


Kari Davis