About ELK and Our Impact
ELK is a Denver-based, 501(c)3 organization established in 1996 by two wildlife biologists who saw a growing need to educate Colorado’s underrepresented youth about science, math, leadership, and career opportunities. ELK was founded with the belief that all young people deserve strong educational support, good role models, and opportunities for positive community action in order to become engaged, productive, and successful members of society.
ELK reaches out to students who have been traditionally overlooked and under-encouraged in science and science-related careers, most notably, youth of color, LGBTQ+, and girls.
ELK opens doors for new opportunities by engaging and mentoring youth through programs that provide a real-life context for learning. Youth experience Colorado’s natural world, increase their academic science skills, become involved in their neighborhoods and get exposure to careers in the field of natural resources. They grow into stewards and engaged members of their communities while cultivating positive educational values to ensure high school and college graduation.
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ELK serves more than 5,000 underserved, under-represented youth (ages 5-25) each year through year-round intensive programs and in-school/after-school programs in Denver, Adams, and Arapahoe Counties.
ELK reaches racially and socioeconomically diverse communities in Denver, Aurora, and Commerce City by working directly with local schools, teachers and community groups to provide a wide variety of outreach activities. ELK is located in the Montbello neighborhood and this gives us a unique perspective on the needs of underrepresented youth and their families.