Beanstalk Foundation

What's right with Colorado is right next door.

CJSF FIRE Within Adopt-A-Class

Be Bold! Support Innovative Youth Entrepreneurship/Suicide Prevention Effort

Support the FIRE Within Adopt-A-Class program

The Challenge:

“Using business skills to solve social ills,” Robert Redford on defining social entrepreneurship.


Carson J Spencer Foundation's FIRE Within program uses social entrepreneurship to empower youth to build a business that addresses one or more root causes of suicide distress in their community. Students in business, leadership and enrichment classes or after school programs learn the fundamental skills of being an entrepreneur and then use these skills to find bold ways to “get upstream” from the suicide crisis. Bullying, isolation, depression, and barriers to mental health care are some of the root causes students have uncovered. To address these problems, they have developed products or services like books, lanyards, t-shirts and training workshops that help change attitudes, knowledge and behavior. When they sell their products they raise money to invest back in their business and create significant social change.


The FIRE Within, a partnership among the Carson J Spencer Foundation, Junior Achievement, and the Second Wind Fund, invites you to invest in brighter futures for our youth—Adopt‐a‐Class and create a community of care. This long-term opportunity combines the strengths of student’s school based social enterprises and the passion of local organizations to strengthen our communities and expand the impact of our students’ work.  It's an opportunity for students to present bold new ideas for business and suicide prevention.

We're raising $5,000 to make this year's partnership possible.



How Much?




December 31, 2013



Through the FIRE Within, a hands‐on, year‐long curriculum, high school students engage in entrepreneurship by developing skills including business planning, research, marketing, innovation, leadership, finance and community service. Students apply these business skills to develop and implement a suicide prevention plan within their own community Students learn facts about teen suicide, research and identify the root cause of suicide thoughts among their peers, explore possible prevention and intervention strategies, and as a team develop and execute a business plan to prevent suicide within their own community. In a business plan competition, student groups develop sustainable businesses that raise revenue and awareness for suicide prevention and compete for varying levels of seed money to implement their plans.





Suicide Prevention Training for Educator (QPR)


Student Events & Competition


Student Seed Funding


Student Workbook (20 @ $15 per book)


Classroom materials (Diversity Game, classroom incentives, markers, etc.)


Travel 320 miles @ $.51 per mile


Therapy Expenses (Second Wind Fund partnership)


Junior Achievement




Program Evaluation


Volunteer Background Safety Checks


Administration (10%)





Challenge Leader

Sally Spencer-Thomas

Sally Spencer-Thomas was on the fast track to the career of her dreams. In 1995, she graduated with her Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Denver.

Project Info

Carson J Spencer Foundation

Sally Spencer-Thomas started the Carson J Spencer Foundation after her brother Carson died by suicide.