Transition in Leadership, Same Mission




There is a leadership transition occurring at Colorado UpLift that has been a work in  progress for the past two years. The executive board and Mike Painter led a planning process to ensure the next leader at UpLift would have a smooth transition.
Effective 7/1/2017 Mike Painter will no longer be Chief Executive Officer. Mike is stepping down after having served as CEO for 12 years. Do not be alarmed, Mike is not leaving UpLift. Mike is going to continue to help fund-raise and be an integral part of the development team at UpLift.

Gabe Trujillo, who was previously President, has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer. Gabe has worked at UpLift alongside Mike Painter for the past 6 years. Gabe has previously served as a principal, teacher, coach in the Denver Public Schools. Congratulations and good luck to Mike and Gabe!
"I am excited and blessed to have an opportunity to lead an amazing organization with great history. UpLift has served in our communities and has done tremendous work transforming the lives of at-risk, inner-city kids. I believe in the mission because I too was an at-risk, inner-city kid who had a mentor transform my life. I am thankful to have worked under the leadership of Mike Painter and under the tutelage of our great founder Dr. Kent Hutcheson. I want to continue to lead UpLift on the pathway our amazing leaders have paved. I know we have some real challenges in front of us. But challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. Be assured that our commitment to kids in Denver and Aurora Public Schools is as strong as ever. Our mission will not change. We will fortify. We are committed to transforming our communities." - Gabe Trujillo, CEO

The Crisis

CO UpliftIn Denver there are more than 65,000 kids at-risk. These kids live in a world with fractured family structures and minimal parental guidance. Every day is a struggle with instability, uncertainty, fear, and physical and emotional abuse. With a large percentage of these kids lacking relational support, the results can be devastating. Many struggle with academic underachievement and the inability to avoid high risk activities happening around them. The numbers below reveal the magnitude and impact of this growing problem.

    65,000                         around 40%                           $2 million
      kids at risk                                          do not graduate                            cost per dropout


The Solution

CO UpliftColorado UpLift employs full-time staff who are committed to the students they serve. As teacher/mentors and life coaches, they develop long-term relationships as early as elementary school. This bond continues through middle and high school, providing the relational support missing from students’ lives. Colorado UpLift uses a relational approach that produces superior results.

   5,600                   29                  over 300                    86%                 98%
students served              public schools            classes each week             enroll in college               graduate

Sponsor Links





2017 Bash-
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  Wallace/Lightner Luncheon


A Highly Unique Model

UpLift employs full-time staff who are dedicated to the students they serve, providing consistent and dependable guidance and support 24/7/365.

UpLift students lack adult supervision & support. Once the school year ends, they are at even greater risk - so we're there for them year round.

UpLift uses a highly unique and very comprehensive model with 5 program areas:

  • In School
  • After School 
  • Adventure
  • Post Secondary
  • Advance Leadership...

UpLift incorporates the "Little Lift" model where high school students serve as role models and mentors to younger students.

Long-term impact is a huge part of UpLift's success, as we become a steady influence in a child's life over multiple years.