DPS Hires Longtime Community Leader to Strengthen Support Services and Safety Efforts

Feb. 6, 2020
 
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Elbra Wedgeworth Will Launch Coordinated, Multi-Agency Initiative To Address Issues of Youth Violence

Denver – January 31, 2020 – Elbra Wedgeworth, a former senior leader at Denver Health, is joining Denver Public Schools (DPS) as a senior adviser to support schools and lead the coordination of a multi-agency partnership that will work with communities being affected by recent incidents of youth violence.

Wedgeworth brings to DPS a wealth of experience from more than 30 years in public service. She was the Director of Community Relations and Philanthropic Affairs at Denver Health and Hospital Authority before serving Denver Health as Chief Government and Community Relations Officer. She also served on the Denver City Council from 1999-2007. The Denver native and graduate of Manual High School launched her career as a City Council Senior Analyst. She has served on many boards of directors and was named a Woman of Colorado by 5280 Magazine, one of Colorado’s Most Influential Women by the Denver Post, and one of Denver’s Most Powerful Women by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. In 2014 Wedgeworth was named into the Blacks in Colorado Hall of Fame by the Denver Public Library.

“Elbra is an outstanding community leader and a tireless advocate for children and families,” DPS Superintendent Susana Cordova said. “We want to make sure we’re doing everything we can for communities that are being affected by youth violence, and Elbra’s deep knowledge and experience will help us mobilize and coordinate district, city, and community resources to strengthen our outreach and safety efforts.”

Wedgeworth will be developing the coordinated, multi-agency effort, making connections and partnerships across the city. She will also identify available resources to support DPS staff and students in both the immediate and long-term.

In addition to having Wedgeworth join the team, Denver Public Schools has also launched a grant program in conjunction with the Mayor’s office for schools to fund after school programs. This additional programming supports the wellbeing of students, helping to keep them safe and engaged during after school hours.

Grants will be about $5k per participating school, and multiple schools or regions may choose to collaborate on a proposal together to receive a larger grant award. Examples of programming include:

  • After school programming, either academic or co-curricular.
  • Opportunities with existing DPS partners and/or vendors.
  • Any other creative or proven idea to improve the safety and wellbeing of our students.