Community Spotlight: Colorado Education Outreach

An Inside Look at One of our Crucial Community Partners 

Women’s Bean Project stands for many things: empowerment, second chances, self-sufficiency, and community. The current pandemic has imposed challenges upon us all, and we shouldn’t have to weather them alone. Fortunately, thanks to our community partnerships, we haven’t had to. The majority of educational resources women in our program receive come from collaboration with other local organizations. We’ve been able to continue to offer these resources through a resolute dedication to community driven by our partners. These community ties are both meaningful and necessary as we continue to navigate the year 2020. 

Recently, I caught up with Lilly Raboin from Colorado Education Outreach (CEO) who teaches classes here at The Bean. Check out this interview below as we talk about CEO and get an inside look at the nature of our partnership. Be sure to leave any questions you have below in the comments!  

Enjoy! – Jake Feldman, Marketing Intern 

Photo courtesy of CEO’s website featuring one of their classrooms

Do you mind telling me a little about your organization? 

Community Educational Outreach (CEO) connects with local community corrections, drug rehabilitation, and community-based facilities in an effort to help clients become employable and productive members of society. Through the coordination of tutoring, testing, and employment coaching, CEO provides support to adults dedicated to improving their lives. 

How long have you been partnered with Women’s Bean Project (WBP)? 

CEO has happily been partnered with WBP for a little over 4 years and personally, I have been teaching at WBP since August of 2020 and am excited to add more time onto that. 

Have you had any memorable/impactful experiences teaching classes at WBP? 

I went into WBP expecting to teach class to a handful of ladies and help them work towards building stronger academic skills. What I quickly found out was that this experience would be so much more than just teaching. These women came in and shocked me with their passion and determination to be their best selves. The heart and strength of the ladies I have had the pleasure to work with have taught me more lessons than I could ever teach in academia. I have told the women that they have taught me about perseverance and determination. I am excited to learn more from the ladies at WBP. 

Community Educational Outreach (CEO) emphasizes “education” in a more holistic sense. How do you define this term/what does it mean to you? 

Education with CEO is not only about academic skills, but about building the confidence to learn new skills. Many of the women coming into WBP haven’t been in a classroom in quite a few years or even decades. Jumping back into education can be intimidating to them and one of our goals at CEO is to help refresh learning skills to become lifelong learners. 

What are some skills you hope to see participants leave with? 

My hopes for the women leaving my classroom is that they have confidence in themselves to be a lifelong learner. Of course, I would love for them to have gained and refreshed skills in the subjects that I teach. Seeing the ladies work so hard to grasp concepts that are not easily learned is amazing. I hope that they leave understanding that they are capable of achieving their educational goals, no matter what their situation was before.  

What is something(s) you wish the average/unfamiliar person knew about the programming you do? Benefits? Impacts? Struggles? 

To someone looking at CEO from the outside, I would want them to know about the unique demographic of people that we help. Many people do not realize all of the different under-represented groups in our community that CEO programming addresses. We love to see our students succeed in overcoming the many obstacles that they have been through in their lives. Through hard work, our students’ lives can be changed through education, whether that be gaining their GED, learning employment skills, or taking steps to go to college. 

Many thanks to Lilly for taking the time to talk with me about CEO and all the amazing work they do. Check out CEO’s Website to learn how you can get involved! 

Photo courtesy of CEO’s website

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