Women’s Foundation seeks Dottie Lamm candidates

Former First Lady of Colorado Dottie Lamm speaks during TogetHER with The Women’s Foundation of Colorado and former First Lady Michelle Obama at Pepsi Center on July 25, 2017, in Denver. [Courtesy photo/Jason Bahr/Getty Images for The Women’s Foundation of Colorado}

Organization wants young women to apply for $1,500 cash award

Last year, Wasson High School graduate and aspiring neurologist Athena Clemens spoke at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s annual luncheon.

“Striving toward a better future while coming from an economically unstable background is like attempting to grow a garden in soil that lacks nutrients,” Clemens said. “Toggling between homelessness and foster care in my youth, struggling to focus through the hunger I experienced, and lacking sleep out of fear for my own safety — I have an intimate understanding of the anxiety and insecurity, which, like weeds, only further deplete a struggling bloom. ”

Clemens went on to describe how she worked full-time while attending Wasson High (the Colorado Springs School District 11 institution closed in 2013), became the valedictorian of her class, and won a full-tuition scholarship from the Boettcher Foundation to attend the University of Colorado- Boulder. She graduated in four years with degrees in integrative physiology, neuroscience and biochemistry.

The occasion for Clemens’ speech? She’d received the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s Dottie Lamm Award, named for the foundation’s first board chair.

Now, the foundation is looking for its next award recipient — someone who can “demonstrate that they have overcome challenges and are forging a path to economic security.”

Colorado residents in their late teens to mid twenties, who identify as women, can apply through 5 p.m. July 12. Applicants must be able to  name a “Colorado organization or community resource that made a significant difference” in their lives.

The awardee must be able to attend (and possibly speak at) the foundation’s annual luncheon, scheduled for Oct. 11. She must also be able to provide a valid taxpayer ID or social security number in order to accept the $1,500 award.

Who is Dottie Lamm, anyway? She “emerged as a leading advocate for women’s health, quality child care, and gender equality” in the ’70s and ’80s when she served as Colorado’s first lady, and was a “founding mother” of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, according to the foundation’s website.

The Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame describes Lamm like this:

“Dottie Lamm is a modern day renaissance woman who wears her many hats with pride. … Hostess extraordinaire, political strategist, wife, and mother, Lamm has also been a newspaper columnist, co-host of a television show, psychiatric social worker, airline flight attendant, feminist, environmentalist, mountain climber, skier, diver, jogger, a U.S. delegate to two United Nations conferences and candidate for the United States Senate.”

More details and an award application form are available online.

If you’d like to volunteer as an application reviewer, submit this online form.

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