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May 04, 2006 - Project PAVE Paves the Future for Incredible Denver Kids

What: 10th Annual Project Pave Janus Foundation Scholarship Luncheon

Where: Denver Marriott City Center

When: May 4, 2006

Time: 11:30AM-1:30PM

Beneficiary: Project PAVE (Promoting Alternatives to Violence through Education) and scholarship recipients

Co-Chair(s): Marc Levine and Mike Johnson

Committee Members: Scholarship Luncheon Committee: Raydean Acevedo, Michael Alcott, Jay Carpenter, Amanda Fein, Elaine Gampel, Mark Hafley, Amy Harmon, Mike Johnson, Kelli Kindel, Matthew Matassa, Larry Melnick, Carrie Mendoza, M.D., Susan Mitchell, Dean Prina, M.D., John Propati, Ann Schiermeyer, Gila Steinbock, M.D., Mary White; Scholarship Review Committee, Written Review: Mike Alcott, Bob Atherton, Elaine Gampel, Amy Jekich, Rob Mintz, Juan Monclova, Justine Nathanson, Gila Steinbock, M.D.; Personal Interviews: Mike Alcott, Patricia Crown, Michelle Dally, Jenny Davies-Schley, Amanda Fein, Elaine Gampel, Michie Ogura-Huerta, Kim Schneider-Malek, Rob Mintz, Jill Di Pasquale, Richard Schaefer, Gila Steinbock, M.D.

Sponsors: Platinum Star: Newmont Mining Corporation; Gold Star: Morgan Stanley; Silver Star: Bank of the West, Colorado Business Bank, Etkin Johnson Company, LLC, FirstBank Holding Company of Colorado, Frontier Living, Gay & Lesbian Fund for Colorado, Hexagon Investments, Hogan & Hartson, Kroenke Sports, The Laff Foundation, Land Title Guarantee Company, Loup Development Company, MDC Holdings Inc./Richmond American Homes, Rose Medical Center, SPL Real Estate & Management Co.; Bronze Star: Academy Roofing Inc., Bank of Choice, Great West Healthcare, The Piton Foundation, Research Management Consultants, Inc., United Materials, Vestar Capital Partners, Wells Fargo Bank; Patron Tables: Brownstein, Hyatt, & Farber; Jay Carpenter; Colorado Health Foundation; Craig Hospital; Elaine Gampel; Guaranty Bank & Trust Company; ICG Communications; Kamlet, Shepherd, Reichert, LLP; Lozow & Lozow P.C.; MegaStar Financial Corporation; Dean Prina, M.D.; Swedish Medical Center; Talty Insurance Agency, Inc.; Universal Lending Foundation; Urban Market Development; V3 Companies; Table Sponsors: Cherry Creek Rotary Club; CIMCO; Colorado Capital Bank; Jeanne and Edwin Diner; Kelli Kindel Events, Inc.; Diane and Steven Levine; Lottner Rubin Fishman Brown & Saul, PC; McGloin, Davenport, Severson & Snow; Minor & Brown, PC; MorEvents; Regency Builders; Rocky Mountain Poison & Drug Center; Saint John's Cathedral; Ted and Susan Pinkowitz; Terrix Financial; In Kind: Denver 7 News, Design and Image, Spectrographics;Academic Scholarship Sponsors: Janus Foundation, Patricia Crown

Special Thanks: Linda Fischer, Elizabeth McDonough, Elaine Connelly, Jeanne Elliot, Dennis Kennedy, Jim Bernuth, Bill Ritter, Cec Ortiz, Tammy and Noel Cunningham, Larry Melnick, Dean Prina, M.D., Lisa and Roger Koenigsberg, Pete Lansing, John Capone, Justine Nathanson, Liz Jackson, Larry Manzanares, Chuck Gross, Marc Levine, Randy Strandberg, Bob Severson, James and Pamela Basey, Jon Lorenz, and Patricia Crown for helping PAVE grow and thrive to meet the needs of children survivors of violence

Board of Directors: President Cecilia Sanchez de Ortiz, Baydean Acevedo, Mike Alcott, Kenneth Crichlow, DDS, Elaine Gampel, Mike Johnson, Kelli R. Kindel, Marc Levine, jon Lorenz, Judge Lawrence Manzanaers, Bob Mintz, Dean Prina, MD, Esperanza Ybarra

Blacktie Photos by: Chelsea Wyatt

 Joe Phillips, left, Mike Alcott, and Co-Chair Marc Levine
Joe Phillips, left, Mike Alcott, and Co-Chair Marc Levine

Chelsea Wyatt

Never had so many in a room been touched so deeply as during the 10th Annual Project Pave Janus Foundation Scholarship Luncheon this year. While all of us hear about child abuse and relationships marked with violence, very few of us ever experience it, and even fewer of them can turn their life paths completely around, and choose an incredibly positive direction for themselves. This year was a huge celebration for the nonprofit, as they reached not only their 10th Annual luncheon, but also the 20th Anniversary of Project PAVE!

The lunch is a wonderful opportunity to showcase and honor schools, scholarship recipients, along with staff and board members, that have been a part of transforming lives and breaking the chain of violence.

All of the scholarship honorees at the luncheon have risen above extreme hardships in their early lives to become exceptional students, volunteers, and people. Instead of continuing the cycle of violence, they have turned themselves into tomorrow’s leaders of the community.

Each scholarship recipient had an incredibly motivating, heart wrenching, and hopeful story. One of these was Tonya Jantzen's. Tonya's parents divorced when she was very young, and while her father had not been a part of her life for many years, she still desired to see him. When she started spending time with him, he was physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive to her. The whole time, he pretended he was "just roughhousing."

Through all the abuse and neglect, Tonya discovered her amazing ability to dance could also be a healing activity, and helped her "release many frustrations" with things in her life that she could not control. Despite her relationship with her father, Tonya has also excelled in school, with a 3.84 GPA and a top ACT score. She also participates in the community, becoming a positive role model for other girls through dance, and through Sunday school at her church. Project PAVE's scholarship and Tonya's determination will help her achieve her dream of becoming a psychologist and helping others with their struggles. All of the recipients had stories that were just as amazing. The eleven recipients: Joanna Burciaga, Amanda Dowd, Julianne Dumond, Amanda Letcher, Tonya Jantzen, Danielle Johnson, Sir Desmond Lay, Miriam Madrid, Orlando Perez, and Marissa Viaene truly are making the most of their lives. Project PAVE (Promoting Alternatives to Violence Through Education) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering youth to end the cycle of relationship violence. Relationship violence is emotional, sexual or physical violence experienced within a family or interpersonal relationship. PAVE’s goal is to stop the generational cycle of violence by teaching youth positive social skills and counseling children and youth who have experienced such violence. Prevention and intervention are key steps in breaking the cycle of violence and Project PAVE started a Safe School Community Program, taking it to schools to educate and teach children. The program utilizes expert staff, which goes into schools and conduct school-based violence prevention education, sexual harassment awareness training, teen dating violence prevention sessions, and healthy family workshops. At the luncheon, PAVE honors schools that implement and see results. Concerned about escalating domestic violence in Denver, Linda Fischer, Elizabeth McDonough and Elaine Connelly founded Project PAVE in 1986. That same year, Denver attorney Jeanne Elliott was shot and paralyzed by her client's estranged husband during divorce courtroom proceedings- and Jeanne soon became PAVE's first board chair. Although Project PAVE began as a small, community-based organization using grassroots, door-to-door fundraising, it has grown to be an incredibly diversified organization, helping to prevent violence in many ways. The non-profit offers teaching to teens and children about violence prevention, provides counseling for children and families in crisis, serves children of battered women through area safe houses, intervenes with violent offenders, gang members, and other perpetrators, responds to crisis like the Columbine High School killings, and of course, honors youth survivors of violence with scholarships. The 2006 Scholarship Recipients have lived and overcome the horror of severe physical and sexual abuse, homelessness, and neglect. Today, they are high school students that are performing at the top of their class and are continuing onto college. Thanks to both their determination to rise above the violence they had known, and this amazing program, these kids have a bright future ahead of them. Project PAVE's goal for the future, and its next 20 years, is to produce creative strategies to ensure that they can end the cycle of violence in the children, youth, and families they are privileged to work with.

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