#WhatsUpWednesday with Elise Henson from Gary Community Ventures to share about MyFriendBen

Elise Henson is a social entrepreneur with expertise in social services, education and youth development. She believes in the transformative power of user-centered design and civic engagement and gets inspiration and joy from working directly with Colorado kids and families.

As Executive Director of MyFriendBen, a Gary venture, Elise leads a multidisciplinary team developing a technology solution to make accessing benefits and tax credits easier. Previously, as Senior Manager, Programs and Partnerships at Gary, she piloted new ventures designed to improve outcomes for Colorado kids and families. From 2021-2022 Elise led Gary’s Learning League venture, an afterschool tutoring program designed to accelerate the academic recovery of 300 Denver students following the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to her work at Gary, Elise spent six years on the Education team at Carnegie Corporation of New York, where she managed a national grant-making portfolio focused on equitable systems change. She previously supported schools and community organizations in fostering positive youth development through volunteerism at the youth division of Points of Light.

She started her career with four years as a middle school teacher at small international schools in Nicaragua, the Marshall Islands and Nigeria. Elise holds a Master’s degree in international educational development from Teachers College, Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Williams College. She lives in Lakewood, Colorado with her husband, their two young children, and their dog.

MyFriendBen is an online tool created by Gary Community Ventures, a Denver-based philanthropic organization dedicated to increasing opportunity for Colorado kids and families. Our goal is to increase benefit participation rates by making key information – like dollar value and time to apply – more transparent, accessible, and accurate.

To learn more please visit: myfriendben.org Or contact: myfriendben@garycommunity.org

If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback or suggestions for these Whats Up Wednesday videos, please email Rachel at: rkirk@earlylearningventures.org

To learn more about Early Learning Ventures or for a demo on the Alliance CORE childcare management system, click here: https://www.earlylearningventures.org...

If you have any questions about ELV or would like to learn more, please call us at 844-293-2820 or email elvclientsupport@earlylearningventures.org

To sign up for our free resource platform available to those who are in the ECE field and live in Colorado, click here: https://www.sharedeceresourcesco.org/

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