CSU International Studies students had the opportunity to tour and learn more about the Posner Center in Denver and what purpose it serves in the community. The tour was lead by Jess Harig, an employee with the Posner Center, and she was able to give more history and reason as to how the Posner Center came to exist.
The Posner Center is located close to the heart of Denver within a neighborhood that has remained there for decades. The building that the Posner Center is located in was formerly used as a barn for horses that provided transportation in the 1800s. When cars became relevant and horses were no longer needed the building was consumed by the city of Denver and it remained unoccupied for many years until a group of individuals decided to use the building’s original structure and create the Posner Center.
The purpose of the organization is to create and promote relationships among international development NGOs. The creative use of space within the building allows for these relationships to take place. The Posner Center currently hold 60 tenants within the building, however it is also linked to additional NGOs in other parts of the United States.
During the tour CSU students were able to interact and learn from organizations such as Africa Development Promise and Children’s Future International. Monica Brown is the current director of Africa Development Promise and described the purpose and challenges of the organization. Africa Development Promise dedicates their efforts to promoting and sustaining entrepreneurship within countries such as Rwanda and Uganda. Brown hopes that this tactic can help farmers become more business savvy in order to establish a regular flow of income. This approach by the organization has been a work in progress, however they have been able to make several successes despite the challenges.
Children’s Future International is an NGO currently working to educate children within Cambodia while providing them with the tools they need in order to be successful. Melissa Theesen (executive director) and David Asseoff (co-founder and chair of board of directors) spoke to the students about their mission and the tactics they use in order to achieve their goal. The NGO helps children in rural parts of Cambodia by providing a learning center and supporting their academic career through college. The NGO is prompted by the Cambodian genocide that took place in the 1970’s, which was responsible for eliminating the educated citizens of Cambodia. As a result, the country still faces challenges and Children’s Future International’s role is to help restore balance to Cambodia by making education a possibility.
The Posner Center tour ended with these two presentations, after which CSU students were provided the opportunity to apply for internships at these organizations. Harig ended the tour by reminding students that international development does not have to be something that only takes place in Washington D.C.; these organizations can be found anywhere in the United States.
To find out more about the Posner Center, visit www.posnercenter.org