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Service and education is changing lives in northern Colorado





“That place (ELTC) practically got me this job. I feel so proud. I was able to show my kids that if their situation wasn’t good, they could change it.”

Sam’s experience with the Education & Life Training Center (ELTC) is just one of the success stories playing out in a small non-profit organization in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Sam is one of the people that attended classes at ELTC and turned his new skills into a job, a better job —a job he was proud of as a single parent of three. Through help, service, and education from ELTC, Sam changed his life. Not only does that type of help change peoples’ lives, that type of help changes families and communities.

ELTC is a non-profit organization focused on job skills training and literacy education. Through teaching and mentoring, ELTC helps people that need and want to make a better life. The global economic crisis has been extremely difficult for many families, companies, and communities. ELTC is an organization that is stepping up to help folks get back on their feet—people that need some help—people that we, as a community, have an obligation to invest in. ELTC is changing lives in northern Colorado. 

I visited ELTC earlier this week and was amazed at the compassion, passion, professionalism, and humility of the staff and volunteers. Each person exuded peacefulness many people long for.  Their focus and connection with the students was, well… beautiful.  I interviewed Diane Cohn while I was there. Diane’s passion to be of service to something greater in life inspires me to my core.  A couple years ago Diane was noticing news in the Coloradoan about poverty increasing in Larimer County.

“I felt I had a responsibility to help. I love this community and I didn’t want to just stand by when I live well, have good work and know that I can make a difference.”

Diane quit her high-tech corporate job and took on the role of computer program manager at ELTC. Despite the negative tone in the evening world news, there are good stories in this world, in our community, and this is one of them!

Seth Godin, bestselling author, noted in a recent blog post,

 “Irrational passion is the key change agent of our economy. Faith and beauty and a desire to change things can't be easily quantified, and we can't live without them.”

ELTC is a “non-profit” and we can’t live without their irrational passion to be change agents in our northern Colorado community.  

Non-profit—who are we kidding?

Although "non-profit", it takes money, it takes people, and it takes an unbelievable amount of dedication for organizations like ELTC to be in a position of service to people in our community.  Most folks attending classes at ELTC are either unemployed or are partially employed. In all cases, these folks are taking an active, accountable step in improving their skills to get a better job. That’s impressive and that’s worth getting behind. 

How You Can Help and a Call to Action

You can volunteer, donate equipment, and use your checkbook to make a difference right here in our amazing town of Fort Collins.

Education & Life Training Center
401 Linden Street, Old Town Fort Collins, CO. 80524
Phone: (970)482-4357

If you donate $100 or more to ELTC, I will give you a free copy of my ebook/toolkit titled, Lead Change by Design: A Toolkit to Make Ideas Happen. This ebook is currently selling into corporations throughout the world for $48. You donate $100; you’ve got yourself a powerful toolkit to lead change in work and life and ELTC can go on doing what they do best—service and education to change lives in our community.  Shoot me an email at and let me know that you made a donation and I'll send you the link to my ebook.

At ELTC, people that need help and take initiative to make a change are a symbol of the obligations of a community. Let us help. Let us ignite the passion of ELTC to be change agents in our community. Let us honor the faith and beauty and desire of those that take an active, accountable role to make a change.

It is in great delight and gratitude that I write this article for my friend Diane. You inspire me.


  • Tracy 5 years ago

    Melissa, thank you for taking the time to visit us and for writing this beautiful article. And be careful hanging out at ELTC, we will put you to work! :)

  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    It truly is a wonderful place, full of wonderful people, doing a wonderful thing! Please donate!

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