Denver, CO (720) 431-9296

About Kramerica Gives

Kramerica Gives was founded in 2015 to provide financial assistance to those in need in the community. Currently, we are focusing efforts toward providing college scholarships to high achieving high school students. The students selected for a scholarship have worked hard and have demonstrated a commitment to pursue their opportunity to attend college. Unfortunately, these students face financial hardship, yet show an incredible amount of resilience and willingness to raise money and commit to their dreams. At every chance they get, these students give back to their community through service. They understand what it is to be part of the community. Even with hard work and persistence, they can’t do it alone.

Kramerica Gives is providing you the opportunity to help. Please consider contributing to the success of this scholarship so as many students as possible receive funding.

If you choose to contribute financially, here are some examples of where the money would go and the following estimates were taken from CSU’s current rates for one semester.

  • A backpack and school supplies – $100
  • Books for a semester – $500
  • Laptop – $1000
  • Tuition for a semester – $5000
  • A full scholarship for an entire year – $10,000

Kramerica Gives has not only created a scholarship fund, but has fulfilled its mission to give back to those in need in the community. Since its inception, Kramerica Gives has provided scholarships as well as donating to Camp Courage, Angelica Village, and Goodwill.

With your support, we will positively impact future generations by providing an opportunity to further many amazing young people’s education.


Erin Neil

As a native to arid Grand Junction, I grew up with the keen understanding that water is one of our most precious resources. I moved to the Denver Metro area for my college education at the Colorado School of Mines: I hold a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, a Master of Science in Environmental Engineering, and I am a licensed Professional Engineer. I work for an engineering consulting company, designing industrial and municipal wastewater projects for clients in Colorado and its surrounding states. I am grateful that my profession involves maintaining and protecting our water resources.

Outside of work, I enjoy being active and helping others be active. I co-lead the Denver chapter of November Project: a nonprofit organization that organizes free, year-round outdoor workouts in 52 cities around the world. I enjoy trail running, rock climbing, stand-up paddleboarding, camping, mountain biking, hiking, traveling, volunteering, and photography.

Jenn Nash

Jenn Nash

Jenn Nash is the Operations Director for Early Milestones Colorado, a nonprofit organization working to advance best practices in early childhood development in Colorado. Jenn has an extensive background in operations and management for both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Jenn holds a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of Denver. Early in her career, Jenn had the opportunity to travel and work with an international organization, allowing her to build on her leadership and operations skills both in the United States and abroad. This sparked her love for travel and she has had the opportunity to visit nearly all 50 states as well as 21 countries (and counting!).
Jenn has mentored high school students for over six years and values the connections made with students of all ages and backgrounds.

Bethie Walters

Bethie Walters was recently a Youth Services Specialist with Goodwill Industries of Colorado. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Colorado State University. She has been involved with mentoring, mission trips and working with youth for the past 6 years and is currently the Program Director for Kramerica Gives.

Katy Driscoll

Katy Driscoll has been in Denver for three years, coming from Boston. She attended Wagner College in Staten Island, NY where she was a collegiate swimmer. Katy works in finance at a tech company downtown. She is an avid triathlete and baker of cakes. She believes that being a member of the community includes creating a supportive environment for the children within the community.

Jason Buijs

I’m an entrepreneur who has many interests and enjoys thinking outside the box.
Exploring the outdoors, reading about current events, reading and giving back are several of my interests.
I’ve always had mentors growing up to help me along the way and I hope I can return the favor.

Board of Directors

Alysen Cowan (Chair)

Alysen Cowan is a Denver native and DPS (TJHS) and University of Colorado graduate. Alysen is very active in the Denver community and has long been looking for the perfect non-profit board to be on! She works for in marketing for Comcast and also has her Real Estate license.

Connor Cantrell (Vice Chair)

Is a Firm shareholder with The Hustead Law Firm. With his work ethic, passion for the law and broad range of experience, Connor gets to the core of his cases quickly and efficiently. Possessing a wealth of courtroom and deposition experience in Federal and State Court, the key to Connor’s success is finding the answers quicker than his opponents, which puts Connor’s clients in the driver’s seat from the start.

Connor was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, raised in Oklahoma City, and almost all his family resides in Oklahoma. Connor was awarded a full academic scholarship to attend Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts with a double-major in Spanish and Political Science. During college, Connor spent a semester in Segovia, Spain and traveled throughout Spain’s beautiful countryside. He is fluent in written and spoken Spanish. If he’s not in the office, Connor is on the golf course – rain, snow or shine. Connor is a horseracing fan and Kentucky Derby Veteran; his family breeds and raises thoroughbred racehorses in Oklahoma. Connor and his wife, Kimberly, live in Parker with their young son and 2 dogs.

Keylen Villagrana (Secretary)

Keylen Villagrana is currently the Marketing and Media Coordinator with an emphasis on the Hispanic Market for the Better Business Bureau Serving Denver/Boulder. Her focus is on expanding awareness of our services by building partnerships with local non-profits and media outlets aimed at advancing the progress of the Latino community.

Keylen is passionate about giving back to the Latino community and embracing her Mexican roots as a first-generation graduate. Born and raised in West Denver, she graduated from West High School and makes it a personal goal to help future generations believe in their potential. She obtained her B.A. in Journalism and Communication from the University of Denver

Jason Buijs

I’m an entrepreneur who has many interests and enjoys thinking outside the box.
Exploring the outdoors, reading about current events, reading and giving back are several of my interests.
I’ve always had mentors growing up to help me along the way and I hope I can return the favor.

Michelle Jacobson, M.D.

Michelle is currently a Pediatric Hospitalist for the Colorado Permanente Medical Group. Prior to medical school she was a student and then later an employee of the international educational youth organization, Up with People. Through Up with People she had the opportunity to travel and meet people from all walks of life. She was struck by how alike we all are. From that knowledge and being a pediatrician, she strives to make life better for all children. She believes every child should have the opportunity to pursue his/her dream. Michelle is proud to be a part of Kramerica Gives to help provide this dream.

Ivette “Michelle” Silvestre

Ivette “Michelle” Silvestre is a first generation graduate from Metropolitans State University. Has worked for Children’s Hospital Colorado for over six years under population health. Her main goal is to support families and break down social barriers to access health. Michelle is the oldest of four siblings and is a natural leader. Michelle enjoys family time, exploring new places and being social.

In addition, Michelle has been involved in the community where she works and was raised. Michelle is committed to supporting individuals to grow and support them. Michelle is not only a former member of the program but believes in the mission and vision of the program, as she knows it will make a difference in students’ lives.

Andrea Manion

Andrea Manion is a Colorado native who has lived in Englewood since 2003. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Regis University and a Master’s Degree in Taxation from the University of Denver. After a decade of experience in various roles with government, public, and corporate accounting, she established her own company Manion & Associates LLC in 2014 to help aid individuals, nonprofits, LLCs, sole proprietors, and corporations with managing their tax filings and keeping accurate books. Andrea is also a Certified ProAdvisor with QuickBooks and is a consultant and facilitator with the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center. When Andrea is not working she enjoys traveling, hiking and camping with her husband and son Daniel.


Mike is a Colorado Native and the lead Realtor of Bruce Homes Colorado at Keller Williams Realty Downtown. He enjoys family and helping clients achieve their Real Estate goals! On his downtime, he can be found biking, fishing, snowboarding, and just about anything Colorado has to offer!

Mike recently joined the Board of Directors for Kramerica Gives! He is also is a member of the Leadership Council at Keller Williams Realty Downtown, and North Area Chair for DMAR`s Board of Directors.


Angela is a native of New Mexico but has been in Colorado since 2006. She is thrilled to be a part of an organization that helps bring amazing life-changing opportunities to kids of diverse backgrounds and economic statuses to help prepare them for life after high school. With a background in Human Resources, she sees the value in exposing these individuals to leadership development, service opportunities and career exploration to help them establish a plan and a path to potential success in their future.

Founding Team

Kipp Kramer (Founder)

Kipp Kramer is the Founder and Executive Director of Kramerica Gives. Kipp has an extensive background in supporting and empowering Colorado’s youth. Kipp worked for Goodwill Industries for nearly six years where he led and grew the Student Advisory Council in which 150 students representing 23 different schools in the Denver area learned and enhanced their leadership abilities. This was done in a variety of ways including participation in the Leadership Program, volunteering in the community, Career Development, College Readiness, Job Shadows, and conversations with a mentor. In 2015 under Kipp’s leadership, the Student Advisory Council received the prestigious “Bright Future Award” at Goodwill’s Power of Work Luncheon. Kipp has also spent several years coaching and empowering students through teaching tennis lessons in Colorado and various programs throughout the East Coast. Kipp believes that “Every student should have the opportunity to live up to their full potential”

Michelle Fuller

Michelle loves working with amazing nonprofit organizations and helping people connect to them in a meaningful way; which is why she founded Philanthropy Field Trips Michelle has volunteered and worked in the nonprofit sector for over 30 years, and has her Masters of Nonprofit Management degree from Regis University. When Michelle is not trying to save the world, she enjoys hiking, biking, reading, and spending time with her family.

Rachel Mullen

Rachel Mullen believes in doing good well. She loves people– especially young people and people who are passionate about applying their talents and skills to help others. Rachel believes we get more done together in community, and that asking why and being curious is how we can be most effective accomplishing anything. A consummate strategist and optimizer, for the past eleven years, Rachel has loved doing work focused in education and learning. She’s been told she is extremely positive, which makes sense, because she is regularly surrounded by people who support one another and want to make life better for others. She thrives in environments with frequent change, and loves working with a team to problem solve and create things together. Rachel is currently working a consultant, focused on philanthropy, community engagement, and education, and is thrilled to be a part of the Kramerica Gives Founding Team.

Irene Mendelsberg

Although she’s traveled much of the world, Irene is a Colorado native and here to stay. After being art director at a few advertising agencies, she started her own graphic design firm over 21 years ago and has been designing locally, nationally and internationally ever since. She is quite possibly the only Denverite that has never once skied, but instead enjoys tennis, golf and yoga. As a devoted mother to three daughters, Irene is a firm believer in empowering our youth and helping them achieve their dreams.

Stacey Cha

Brian Nelson

After nearly 20 years working as an environmental engineer, Brian joined his wife (and little dog) in the family business assuming the role of Chief Operating Officer at Nelson Literary Agency. Brian is an avid tennis player, a novice yogi, and he thinks that math is the answer to most of the world’s problems.

Nicole Cogan

I am honored to be part of a program that provides encouragement and support to young members of our community. It’s both overwhelming and inspiring to listen the students’ experiences and passion as they follow their dreams. My hope is that we help them activate their limitless potential!

Eric Lentz

Is currently the Sr VP I Artistic Director for Up With People. Eric has been involved in UWP productions since 1986, and has been an integral part of the production team since 1991 as a songwriter, lead vocalist, master of ceremonies, director and producer.
Eric grew up in Western Europe, where he gained an appreciation for and love of international music and cultures. His background includes an education in music and theater, and he is pursuing a master’s degree in nonprofit management. Eric is involved with many Denver area performing arts groups, and has served in leadership roles on the board of directors for several non-profit music and theatre organizations. Eric is married to Jill, and they have two energetic boys ages 13 and 10.

Kristen Morel

After graduating from University of Iowa, I joined Up With People to have a chance to experience the world through travel and meeting diverse people. After six years of travel on the road, I decided to make Denver my home. I went back to my original goal of working in public schools; I continued my education by receiving a Masters in Early Childhood Education. I believe all people learn best when given high quality experiences and support to learn from them; it was true when I traveled the world with young adults and it is true in the middle of the block center with a 3 year old. My husband and I enjoy living in Colorado for all it has to offer us and our two children; who also keep us very busy.

Ryan Lane

Currently works in marketing for Comcast and has been in the telecom industry for the past 10 years. He has volunteered with Goodwill’s Student Advisory Council for 7 years and was blown away by the potential of the students in the program. He is honored to be a part of Kramerica Gives and hopes to see more and more students impacted by such an awesome organization. He’s married with a 5 year old daughter and 2.5 year old son and loves spending time with them at the pool in the summer.

Ken Lane

Is a Citizen, scholar, adventure capitalist

Adrienne Young

Adrienne Young grew up in northeastern Ohio. She moved to Colorado to study sociology at the University of Colorado in Boulder. After doing development work for non-profits for a few years, she returned to school to get a master’s degree in social work at Catholic University of America in Washington DC. Adrienne has worked in various settings that focus on youth or refugee programming over the last ten years, and has experience in program management, grant management, technical assistance, capacity building and program evaluation. She enjoys all the fun that Colorado has to offer and spends free time playing outside in the mountains as much as possible.

Casey Shank

Casey Shank is a mental health professional with 8 years of experience in higher education. She has worked in a variety of settings from high school to community college and university. She is very passionate about self advocacy and teaching students the skills to find valuable resources. She is very excited to work with the Kramerica Gives scholars to provide the tools necessary for a successful transition from high school into college.

Christine Gallager (Secretary)

Christine Gallager is a NJ native who has made Denver her home since serving 2 years with AmeriCorps NCCC in 2011. She has her MSW and looks to bring social work, social justice, and being social into all parts of her life. Christine is the Associate Director of the Center for Professional Development at the University of Denver and loves that she has been able to make a career in higher ed. When not at work, Christine shares her time with a few local Denver nonprofits, drinks craft beer, and plans her next adventure. She hopes to leverage her insider knowledge of higher education systems, as well as connections in the Denver community, to support scholarship recipients as they prepare for their college journey!

Tommy Cowan

My family means everything to me. I’ve always had great aspirations for my career, but i’ve always DREAMED of being a Father and Husband. My amazing Wife Alysen makes me a better man every day and my Son, Tommy, has given me a sense of purpose that nothing else in this world has. My wife and I just introduced our newest addition, our second son, Clyde Jeffrey Cowan. Clyde was born on my 30th birthday! My wife is my best friend, I have two beautiful sons… man, I am one lucky guy.

Everything I do in my life involves passion. Whether it be with a camera in my hand or watching my beloved Broncos, passion is present. Being passionate is a must for me because it is such a driving force in my life. I’m always looking for new ways to achieve great things and that doesn’t happen without having passion.

I want to be a mentor because I want to help kids with the challenges of being a young adult in today’s day and age. I’ve always wanted to look back at my life and know that I helped people along the way. Helping a kid set goals and a clear path to their life is something I’ve always wanted to do and I hope to do that with Kramerica Gives.

Robyn Purvin

She moved to Colorado in 2008 with her best friend. Since her arrival, she has worked in nonprofit healthcare and education. When not working with youth, she tries to head towards the mountains, enjoy the music scene, and walk her dog!

MaryClaire Fey

MaryClaire is a middle school teacher from the suburbs of Washington, D.C. She majored in geography at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. During the summer you can find her swimming, and in the winter she enjoys snowshoeing and watching reruns of Parks and Rec.

Keylen Villagrana

Keylen Villagrana is currently the Marketing and Media Coordinator with an emphasis on the Hispanic Market for the Better Business Bureau Serving Denver/Boulder. Her focus is on expanding awareness of our services by building partnerships with local non-profits and media outlets aimed at advancing the progress of the Latino community.

Keylen is passionate about giving back to the Latino community and embracing her Mexican roots as a first-generation graduate. Born and raised in West Denver, she graduated from West High School and makes it a personal goal to help future generations believe in their potential. She obtained her B.A. in Journalism and Communication from the University of Denver.

Cat Portillo

Cat Portillo is a HUGE fan of Kramerica Gives and got her first professional job with the help of Kipp Kramer. She believes that young people are capable of big things when given opportunities that build confidence and trust in themselves. She graduated from Fort Lewis college with honors, and enjoys doing career readiness trainings and running girls groups. Currently, she manages a mentoring program that supports teens in creating a post-secondary plan. Yes, she loves cats. And hiking. And happy hour.

Marcee Mygatt

Marcee was raised in the small town of Carbondale on the western slope of Colorado. This is where her love of the mountains, the thrill of downhill skiing and the passion for road biking all started. She spent her senior year of high school in France and then attended Colorado State University where she majored in French and minored in Spanish. Following college, she taught both French and Spanish to students for Boulder Valley School District. Combining her love of languages with her interest in young people was the perfect fit. Today Marcee is self-employed as a certified personal fitness trainer and can be found at either Orange Theory, CycleBar, or in a yoga class during her free time.

Marcee is happily married to her husband, Chris. Their daughter, Lindsey, is a senior in college and together they love to travel, explore different cities and countries and meet new people. It is only fitting for Marcee to be involved with Kramerica Gives. She was looking for a meaningful way to reconnect with your people outside of a classroom and is honored to be part of something so impactful after having significant mentors of her own who helped navigate her way!