(Contest Nominee) COLORADO BEAUTILLION Fosters Leadership & Civic Mindedness in Denver’s Youth

COLORADO BEAUTILLION is one of seven local charities nominated in Citywide Banks’ Charity Hand-Up Contest taking place June 1-14, 2013. The Denver/Boulder community is invited to vote for a nominee and enter prize drawings. The charity receiving the most contest votes will receive a $5,000 donation, while the other nominees will split $2,500 in donations based on the voting results.

In 2010, Cheryl Williams-Carter, saw a need to help foster Denver’s teen youth through their transition to adulthood. So, she founded Colorado Beautillion, Inc. (CBI), a multi-cultural mentoring program designed to equip high school students for academic success, life leadership, and a lasting commitment to their local community.

“What we seek to do is to infuse and encourage academic excellence, leadership and community service in high school youth,” explained Williams-Carter. “We also want them to develop a sense of civic responsibility and to further ignite self-determination, self-actualization, and a purpose greater than themselves.”

CBI is open to all races and backgrounds. The goal of the program is to develop the ‘total person’ and help participants prepare for success in life. The programs are focused for teens in their junior and senior years of high school. It originally was just for men but has grown to include a women’s program as well. Students must be in good academic standing to continue to participate in its programs.

“We’re looking for students who have over a 2.5 GPA but we have a caveat in there where we’ll waive that requirement for students with discipline, dedication and desire to really benefit from this program,” explained Williams-Carter. Furthermore, they’ll take children with emotional issues or mental health issues and provide them counselors – as long as they have the desire to enhance their life skills. “We target our community’s hidden jewels and unsung individuals.”

CBI’s free mentorship program runs once a month for six months with a focus on a different life skill each session: college readiness, financial planning, leadership, etiquette, health & wellness and relationship skills. Each session is led by a community leader or a field expert. They’ve had City Council member Chris Herndon, State Representative Angela Williams, Landri Taylor, Head of the Denver Urban League and Denver Public School Board Member, and many players from the Denver Nuggets and Denver Broncos participate in sessions with the teens.

“We seek experts in their field so that the information they’re imparting to our students is tried and proven,” explains Williams-Carter.

At the end of each academic year, high school seniors from the program are ‘presented to society’ at a fancy ball with prominent members of the Colorado community. The women wear debutante gowns and the men don top hats and tuxedos with tails. The special event is the culmination of the mentoring program and recognizes the achievements of the program’s participants.

Williams-Carter says she gets so much support from community leaders because they recognize that everyone benefits if we build strong leaders, role models and successful citizens.

One major way the community can help CBI move forward is to continue to provide opportunities for young people, says Williams-Carter. “Our average GPA is 3.8, but many of them come from single family homes and even a few are emancipated so helping them with jobs is very important to us.” Additionally, you can donate financially to help some of the students afford a gown or rent a tuxedo, or to help pay for a tutor or college application fee.

Williams-Carter says a $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks would go toward paying for ACT prep tutors and college application fees. For more information on ways to donate your time or money, please visit www.ColoBeautillion.com.

Vote to Give CBI a $5,000 Hand-Up
As a Colorado owned bank focused entirely on the Front Range, Citywide Banks shares a commitment to our local community with CBI. Through our Charity Hand-Up Contest, we are proud to spotlight the great work and ongoing needs of Denver/Boulder nonprofits. Based on the results of a 14-day vote, the local community will determine how $7,500 is split among seven Colorado charities nominated by Citywide Banks employees. The charity receiving the most votes will receive $5,000 and the runner-up will receive $1,000. The remaining donation amounts will correspond to the voting results for each nominated charity. The voting public can also enter to win great prizes, including dinner for two at some of Denver’s top restaurants. Official prize drawing rules are available by clicking here. Full contest details are at www.CitywideBanks.com/charity/.

How to Cast Your Vote – June 1 -14, 2013
The contest is open to the general public within the Denver/Boulder community (non-customers welcome to participate; no purchase necessary). The easiest way to vote is online by clicking the “Charity Contest” tab on the Citywide Banks Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Users will need to “like” the bank’s Facebook page to cast a vote/entry online. Supporters may alternatively participate by casting a vote/entry in-person at one of Citywide Banks 12 Denver/Boulder branches. Just stop by any branch during regular business hours and complete an official contest ballot. As a reminder, supporters cannot vote through both online and branch methods. One vote/entry is permitted during the 14-day contest. After voting on Facebook, users may use sharing buttons to easily invite their Facebook friends to vote for their favorite charity.

Spread the Word about Voting for CBI
Tell your coworkers, friends, and family in Colorado to cast their vote for your favorite nonprofit. Use the sharing buttons above this article, on the Facebook voting page, or throughout Citywide Banks’ social media pages to help spread the word.

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