The Sachs Foundation is committed to helping Black Coloradans advance their education from Junior High to Doctorate levels.
The Sachs Foundation was first envisioned in 1927 when Henry Sachs promised family friend Effie Stroud, the top student at Colorado Springs High School, that he would pay for her to attend Colorado College. It was incorporated upon Ms. Stroud’s graduation in 1931 and has since supported over 5,000 students in pursuit of their education.
Ben Ralston is the current President of The Sachs Foundation. As a Springs native, he has always been familiar with the Foundation. Accepting the opportunity to become more involved within the organization was a no brainer for him.
“Through my career, I have developed a passion for education…education is one of those things that can change an individual’s life, as well as shape a community,” said Ralston. “Growing up here in Colorado Springs, I recognized that the school districts are very different in terms of funding and that many of the school districts that serve the largest black populations are at a disadvantage here in the Springs…Racial equity in education is something that we really need in Colorado Springs and Colorado in general.”
The primary mission of The Sachs Foundation is to provide educational opportunities to Black and African American residents of Colorado. The Foundation currently supports 182 undergraduate students and 15 graduate students at 67 colleges and universities around the country and abroad. The Sachs Foundation also provides pre-collegiate programs, teacher development, and other community support here in the Pikes Peak region.
Their flagship program is the college scholarship program, but ten years ago, the board recognized a need to help students at a younger age. This served as a catalyst for the Elevated Program—a college preparation program, starting as young as eighth grade, aiming to bridge the educational gap Black Coloradans are facing.
“Coming off of 2020 and into 2021 is a really important time for the Sachs Foundation because a lot of people are recognizing some of the challenges that Black Americans face have never been addressed in our Nation’s history,” said Ralston. “Education inequality is something that has always existed.”
For the Foundation, the current pace of change is not fast enough. Ralston commented on the challenge of enacting educational equity, labeling it as both frustrating and motivating. “The school districts in the Pikes Peak Region are fragmented in a way that is still very segregated,” he said. The Sachs Foundation is constantly pushing to put racial equity at the front of everyone’s mind and they certainly don’t have plans of stopping anytime soon.
Visit sachsfoundation.org for more information about the Sachs Foundation.
— This branded content advertisement was paid for by the Sachs Foundation.