Our Story


Challenge Denver was founded in 2007 by Betsy Leighton and Tracey Brummett, two concerned parents and community members, to ensure that every student feel safe, loved and empowered at school. The organization grew out of an urgent need to address high levels of trauma and bullying in schools, which contributed to a tragic increase in suicide among adolescents across the Denver-metro area. Over the past decade Challenge Denver has supported social emotional programming in over twenty-five schools in Denver and Aurora.


Our programming begins with a grade-wide Challenge Day. This 6.5 hour, high-energy learning opportunity invites students to share life experiences and feelings, helps students strengthen social emotional skills, builds trust between students, staff, and community members, and connects students with critical mental health resources.


Building on the momentum of Challenge Day, our programming continues throughout the year with school-specific follow-up opportunities, including teacher training and coaching in restorative practices and student-led “Be The Change” Teams.