Beanstalk Foundation

What's right with Colorado is right next door.

Meet your neighborhood heroes.

Izzy Abbass

Army Veteran Izzy Abbass works tirelessly for his fellow former soldiers

There’s an Army saying from back in the ‘80s: “We do more before 9 AM than most people do all day.” I can’t speak to how much each of our honorable and inspiring veterans accomplish in a day, but Izzy Abbass has been doing more bef

Frank Anello

Frank Anello and Project Worthmore bring refugees into our hearts, as well as our borders.

Five years ago, Frank Anello and his wife, Carolyn, co-founded Project Worthmore, and for four years, Frank Anello has been the Executive Director.

Jessica Bachus

Jessica Bachus turned a family tragedy into an incredible gift for children in Colorado

In January of 2007, Jessica Bachus’s life was sunny, bright and overflowing with love. A proud mother, she was the expectant mother of her second child, a baby girl, whom she and her husband had named Kenzi.
Adana Barbieri

Adana Barbieri uses the power of human connection to help women with cancer connect with their innate strength

A cancer diagnosis can be the most devastating moment in any woman’s life and can lead to a whirlpool of fear and groundlessness.

Brad and Libby Birky

A Modern Love Story

If life were a movie, Brad and Libby Birky may well have wandered the Rockwellian townscapes of central Illinois, that hosted their upbringings, with some charming indie rock song playing in the air around them as a soundtrack.

Adam Brock

Adam Brock helps bring sustainability, permaculture and passion to local food

Adam Brock’s favorite quote? "Never mistake a clear view for a short distance" as stated by futurist Paul Saffo. Adam’s superpower of choice? The ability to communicate with every species. Plants. Check. Birds. Check. Whales.

Howard Brooks

Howard Brooks and the Energy Resource Center keep families warm, safe, and more energy efficient

Howard Brooks is the kind of guy who knows how fortunate he is. He counts his blessings and consistently finds the ledger total under “things to be grateful for” in the black.

Leah Bry

Leah Bry plants the seeds of leadership with inner city youth

Leah Bry, the founder of GreenLeaf, has been motivated to help a diverse group of Denver youth cultivate their leadership skills by transforming vacant lots into farms and growing fresh, healthful food for people who need it.

Dana Bryson

Dana Bryson draws community together from the ground up

Dana Bryson's committed to confronting gritty problems in our communities. She leads a connected life, both inside and out. She has spent more than twenty years working at the top--in cities like Oakland and Washington, D.C.

Stacey Burns

Stacey Burns works to build healthy and stigma-free communities.

Humble sincerity and quiet leadership are the calling cards left by Stacey Burns.
Julie Candela

SPROUT Director Julie Candela gives single parents a chance to live their dreams

Your parents told you how precious you were from birth. They dressed you up and paraded you around. They doted. They cheered. They loved. They told you, “You are an amazing creature, and you can do anything you set your mind to.

Kelly Causey

Kelly Causey leads Colorado Children's Campaign

Serving the community is a family legacy for Kelly Causey. She learned from her parents and grandparents the importance of volunteerism and the civic responsibility to help others.

Savinay Chandrasekhar

Savinay Chandrasekhar’s life is defined by equity

Savinay Chandrasekhar lives to promote equity and eliminate poverty through peace, love, and compassion. Those are his own words, and they’re 100% accurate. A dedication to community drives everything he does.

Catherine Clements

Catherine Clements brings Lone Star-style bluster to battle hunger in Colorado

No doubt you’ve heard the phrase, “everything’s bigger in Texas.” Belt buckles, hats, steaks, ranches and attitudes might all spring to mind as good examples.

Cass Cronan

Earthlinks Executive Director Kathleen (Cass) Cronan ensures all people are seen and heard

Chances are good that you’ve passed a man or woman sitting at an intersection holding a cardboard sign. That man or woman might be sun-weathered, weary, unkempt, and clutching  a threadbare backpack.

Deb Deverell

Deb Deverell takes education out into the world.

Textbooks try really hard to convey history, or even the present, in a detailed and clear way that leaves the reader better informed than when they started. The problem is that the text can only tell one side of the story.

Heather Ehle

Heather Ehle nurses military families to health through support and removing stigma

Heather Ehle knew right away that she wanted to help people. It was no surprise that Heather found her calling in bringing the sick back to health as a Registered Nurse.

Sister Tesa Fitzgerald

Teresa Fitzgerald brings a little piece of heaven to earth.

Teresa Fitzgerald is a pure New Yorker. She works in Long Island City in Queens. She talks fast. She thinks fast. She acts fast. Even when she smiles, Teresa Fitzgerald gets things done.

Amy Friedman

Amy Friedman fights for literacy on its own turf

In the downtown of any city, town or village, on a typical Tuesday, there’s a whole lot of traffic. It’s not merely vehicle traffic. It’s the foot traffic. People off to work and to school and to shop and to eat. Everyone is busy.

Yvonne Garcia

Yvonne Garcia cooks up tasty cuisine for grassroots causes

On naval vessels, the cook is an extremely important crew member. The cook is managing the appetites and gastronomic joys of a crew who spends days and weeks together working hard in the tight and confined space of a large ship.

Stacie Gilmore

Stacie Gilmore’s experiments in combining Nature and Children find incredible results.

From the humble, plains country, all-American small town of Brush, Colorado (it’s about fifteen miles east of Fort Morgan) came the scientist and philosopher, Stacie Gilmore, hatching like Athena from the skull of Zeus.

Coby Gould

Coby Gould infuses the human element in every leaf of kale and sprouting radish

I don’t know about you, but I never really thought about food. I thought about being hungry, and I thought about eating to stave off that feeling.

Jennifer Gremmert

Jennifer Gremmert envisions affordable energy available to all

After growing up in a household built on volunteerism, Jennifer Gremmert always gave of herself and her time. In Catholic School, giving back was part of the curriculum, and you better believe that Jennifer aced that part.

Karel Horney

Karel Horney, Co-Founder/Executive Director of Adam's Camp and the path of Service

Yes. You heard right. That is her real last name. Release your chuckles. Let them flutter wistfully into the sky like cocoon-hatched butterflies. It's Horney.

Meghan Klassen

Meghan Klassen knows the value of a bold beginning

Meghan Klassen was lucky to have educational opportunities galore, and to be raised by a family of strong ethic and moral standards.

Jonathan Liebert

Jonathan Liebert eyes social enterprise

Jonathan Liebert has always been interested in helping people.  From a young age, he found himself drawn to those that needed just a little more support than the average person.

Denise Lines

Denise Lines guides refugee youth to life skills, self-sufficiency and community connection.

Denise Lines was your average, amiable, delightful, neighbor. Well, she wasn’t average. Not really.

Barbara Masoner

Barbara Masoner ensures we learn from the Victories of the past

Barbara Masoner is a Denver native. She’s the program coordinator at Grow Local Colorado, but she’s also a historian, a writer, an environmentalist and a life-long cultivator of botany both edible and elegant.

Mike Mazzola

Mike Mazzola pioneers a unique social enterprise that shifts a familiar business model

Colorado Springs businessman Mike Mazzola already has a successful store on his hands with Mountain Equipment Recyclers.

Damon McLeese

Art education belongs to everyone.

Were this the Eighteenth Century, a time of horse-drawn carriages and omnibuses; a time of conservatories and traveling musicians and artists, Damon McLeese may well have conducted seminars while seated in a high-back, hand-riveted

Dana Miller

Dana Miller changes where fresh foods flourish

Dana Miller was born-and-raised in Denver. She’s an original, tried-and-true native. The travel bug bit her early in life. Dana dreamt of visiting exotic locales, overlooking brilliant vistas and living the jet-set lifestyle.

Bill Morris

Bill Morris sees all the pictures, big, small and in between

When making plans in life, it’s not uncommon to hear about the importance of the “two pictures”: big and small. Tricky thing is, it’s hard to look at both at the same time.

John Mulstay

John Mulstay makes the world better by catching the good guys

As a boy, John Mulstay observed his father, a veteran of Nassau County Police Department who retired as a 2-star chief, living a life of citizenship and responsibility.

Aaron Ney

Aaron Ney’s journey of social justice and local food

Aaron Ney’s parents gave him a great vantage point from which to view serving the community. First, they (and his faith) showed him that it could and should be done by example.

Jesse Ogas

Firefly Autism Executive Director Jesse Ogas defends those who need it most

"No aye mal, porque bien no venga!" is a phrase Jesse Ogas grew up hearing from his mom.

Candice Orlando

A legend of horticultural proportions.

Once upon a time there was a little girl. That little girl grew up as most little girls do. She played and she dressed up and she ran and she frolicked. She ate cookies and cakes and chips and sandwiches, and as she got older, she ate the things that were brought to her grocery store. She ate the foods that came in boxes and cartons and individual wraps of plastic. She defrosted and reheated and toasted and microwaved. And for that little girl, now grown into a woman, all was right with the processed foods and with the world.

Catherine O’Neill Thorn

Catherine O'Neill Thorn lights fires in young poets' souls.

In Maya Angelou’s 1969 autobiography, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, the Pulitzer Prize nominated poet elegantly addresses issues of identity, race, oppression and inequality using the titular metaphor of a bird attempting to esca

Arlan Preblud

Arlan Preblud turns leftovers into lifesavers.

Once, amid the fluttering, wind-blown papers of a law office, there sat a man who, his work all done, could have easily retired to a life of rest and leisure.

Pavel Reppo

Pavel Reppo’s youthful wisdom is changing philanthropy

“When I left you, I was but the learner. Now I am the master.” That’s what Darth Vader said to Obi-Wan Kenobi in the 1977 classic film Star Wars. It’s a good thing when a teacher sees that a former student is thriving.

Devin Riles

Instilling work ethic and civic duty in Denver boys.

Devin Riles is a quiet guy. He’s not the kind to consider himself a hero. He’s just not that kind of guy. He’s as unsung as can be. And you’ll never hear him sing even a quarter-note about himself.

Jayme Ritchie

Jayme Ritchie’s making parenting a little easier, and the planet a little greener

Parenthood changes things. Maybe you think you’ll be different, that it won’t completely alter your life the way it has for so many others. You’ll be wrong.

Toni Saiber

Toni Saiber’s near-death experience led to a renewed life of service

In 2003, the 5’ 7” Toni Saiber was admitted to the hospital. Her odds for survival were next to nil. She was in a coma, and she weighed a paltry 84 pounds.

Alan Smiley

Alan Smiley’s rise from acolyte of social responsibility to teacher and leader

Alan Smiley’s story begins when he entered high school as a hyperactive handful. He was rambunctious, academically disinterested, and a boundary pusher. Alan didn’t really care about school. He wasn’t focused. He lacked direction.

Rob Smith

Rob Smith of Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute uncovers the mysteries to building strong businesses, and has fun doing it.

In another life, Rob Smith might’ve ended up as one of the number-crunching investment powerhouse caricatures from an ‘80s movie. Rob loves numbers, especially those with dollar signs.

Allen Smith

Allen Smith builds community through education and team-focus.

Allen Smith took his incredible vision to North Carolina in June of 2013. His Growing the Dream event dazzled there in February 2014. Below is a profile written before Allen left Denver.

Sally Spencer-Thomas

Sally Spencer-Thomas strives to save lives

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.

Ramsay Stabler

Opportunity and education for all children.

Oh, if Ramsay Stabler could wave a wand and cast a magic spell, his wouldn’t be a spell to give himself immortality, or a spell to make himself bigger or stronger.

Jonathon Stalls

Jonathon Stalls works to battle sedentary thinking by putting one foot in front of the other.

On March 1 of 2010, Jonathon Stalls started walking in the seaside town of Lewes, DE. He kept walking for the next 242 days. He had only the pack on his back and his loyal dog, Kanoa, by his side.

Jenny Stith

Jenny Stith fights for the rights and recovery of childhood sexual abuse victims.

As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse (CSA), Jenny Stith knows the long and complicated path to healing.

Susan Stocks

Susan Stocks redefines gift giving and mid-morning meals.

Vivacious and always offering a smile, you might not know that mild-mannered Susan Stocks has a secret identity not entirely unlike Batman (though not the campy Adam West Batman) or Wonder Woman.

Kris Stoever

Kris Stoever works to push her community toward a brave, new frontier

Many kids idolize their fathers growing up, thinking their dad is the best father in the world. With her own dad, one of NASA’s first astronauts to orbit the earth, Kris Stoever could claim hers as the best father in the world—and in space.
Scott Strode

Scott Strode’s mission to mend lives, families and communities

Addiction can be destructive. It touches individual lives, can rip apart families, and can create chaos within communities. Addiction alters the way a person views him or herself. It can create isolation and self-loathing.

Katie Symons

Katie Symons is the 007 of Paying It Forward

“If I can't pay it forward in this lifetime, there's really not a whole lot of point to me being on this earth,” Katie Symons wrote on her Beanstalk Leader application.

Lauren Thome Burgess

Making and impact on autism, one cup at a time.

Wearing a vivid smile, Lauren Thome Burgess feels like a person who is the right kind of caffeinated. She has a natural energy… but she knows a bit about coffee too.

Jim Tolstrup

Listening to, learning from and looking after the land.

The best way to understand why Jim Tolstrup does what he does is to stand outside in a field of grass on a cool morning. Feel the breeze. Smell the sweet clarity of the air.

Bruce Wiener

Bruce Wiener and Bridge to Justice are making the law work for everyone, equally

Lawyers get a bad rap, don’t they? There are jokes about sharks, about soullessness. There are shows and movies loaded with back office deals and questionable deeds.
Wendy Woo

Wendy Woo helps at-risk youth unlock their inner rockstar and build confidence

Since 1997 Wendy Woo has produced 12 albums (and 1 DVD) of original folk, rock, jam, country. She knows how to rock, it’s true. She’s also a mom.

Stella Yu

Arts Street Founder, Stella Yu, proves the old adage about the origins of Big Things

An ant can lift up to 50 times its own body weight. A mouse can squeeze through a hole the size of nickel, sometimes even smaller. A single ladybug will eat more than 5000 aphids (a creature roughly ¼ its size) in its lifetime.