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Fostering Collaboration

Bilingual Generation, Justice Heritage Academy, The Teaching Well, & Valley Settlement

The Impact of Collaboration Grants

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In 2022, after seeing the ways in which Margulf grantees were naturally connecting and building on one another’s strengths and endeavors, we launched a grantmaking area called Collaboration Grants. Margulf’s pilot provided more than $700,000 to current grantees interested in working and learning together. These grants were an attempt to spur community building and support the creative ways our grantees suggested partnering with one another. Below we share two Collaboration grant examples and their impact.

Bilingual Generation and Justice Heritage Academy

Margulf grantee since 2022, Bilingual Generation (formerly, Language Preservation Project) is a movement to reverse the trend of language loss by helping bilingual youth stay connected to heritage languages and culture. Bilingual Generation partnered with Justice & Heritage Academy (JHA), a school in rural Antonito, Colorado rooted in social justice education, and a Margulf grantee since 2021. Bilingual Generation provided professional development to JHA’s teaching staff and supported the design and development of a Spanish course for JHA students. JHA and Bilingual Generation were recently interviewed by Colorado Public Radio about this collaboration and plan to present at the National Association for Bilingual Education.

Reflecting on this collaboration, Aaron Abeyta, Co-Founder of JHA shared, “JHA is forever grateful for the vision, mission, and the work which Bilingual Generation brings to their curriculum, preservation of culture, identity and belonging through the study of language. JHA is doubly blessed to have worked with Vero and Beck [Bilingual Generation]; we gained not only knowledge but friendships that will endure and serve faculty and students alike for the journey that is lifelong learning and discovery… The examination of language, its history, the hegemonies it promotes and the civilizations and cultures it serves to marginalize was an epiphany, the life altering kind.” 

Bilingual Generation founder Veronica Benavidas shared, “Working with the students and staff at JHA was a transformative experience for our organization. Along with making life-long friends and connections, we deepened our understanding of the nuances and importance of preserving heritage languages and cultures. This collaboration stretched us and sharpened our craft by allowing us to work in two new spaces: secondary settings and rural communities. We are forever grateful to JHA for inviting us into their space and we look forward to the continued partnership.” 

This Collaboration grant allowed the leaders to both develop new relationships and deepen their own work, tapping into even more meaningful ways of honoring the strengths and needs of youth. 

The Teaching Well and Valley Settlement 

The Teaching Well (TTW), a Margulf grantee since 2020, works in partnership with schools and nonprofits nationwide to provide tools for healthy dialogue, emotional literacy, and mindful stress management for educators. TTW partnered with Valley Settlement, a Margulf grantee since 2021 that works with immigrant families in the Roaring Fork Valley to promote early childhood development, advance economic opportunity for families, and reduce barriers to accessing vital community resources. Through the grant, TTW provides Valley Settlment’s staff with professional development around stress resilience, tools for communication and resolution, and wellness coaching. 

Of the experience thus far, TTW’s Executive Director Lindsey Fuller expressed, “TTW has been honored to partner with the Valley Settlement team as they center their healing and wellness journey. Utilizing somatic practices, culturally affirming interventions, and a bilingual approach to executive coaching, we co-created opportunities for teammates to show up as their full selves. Starting with an asset-based orientation, our focus on connected communication has allowed us to tap into the many gifts of the team. Through our services, we amplify their leadership and create conditions for sustainability and alignment. In a recent, multi-day leadership retreat, we increased cohesion and deepened relationships. Overall, the team has shared that our partnership contributes to increased trust and fortifies their ability to more effectively actualize their mission.” 

On the collaboration’s impact, Maria Tarajano Rodman, Executive Director of Valley Settlement, shared "The team at Margulf Foundation really launched us on our journey of wellness and self-healing, and our collaboration with TTW has been an incredible support as we continue on that journey. When we first connected with the TTW team as a fellow grantee, we knew there was something there: a spark of recognition in our shared values and approach that, with nurturing, grew into a powerful relationship. Their team has supported ours as we put intentionality around how we relate to one another and ourselves, how we set boundaries and establish trust, how we repair harm when we misstep, and how we establish shared commitments to support one another's growth. Together, we have explored what practices support us at the individual level, the collective level, and the organizational level to get us where we want to be." 

Through access to learning and opportunities to try new things, Collaboration Grants give grantees the possibility to pilot creative approaches, reflect on their learnings, and incorporate more effective practices into the fabric of their work. 


Today, guided by the belief that grantees’ collective genius has an even higher potential for impact than their individual genius, we continue to encourage collaboration among our grantees. We see that building relationships among grantees allows them to develop a stronger network of like-minded leaders. Through these connections, leaders develop, test, and incorporate new mindsets and skill sets, equipping them with additional tools to meet the needs of their communities. Buoyed by the impact of these collaborations, we continue to intentionally create spaces and provide resources for grantees to build relationships, share learnings and challenges with each other, and deepen their impact together.

Four Margulf grantees share their reflections on the impact of Margulf’s Collaboration Grants.
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