In collaboration with Hemera Foundation



I am passionate about almost everything. One of my best features is competition, it’s also one of my worst features. I care about equal chance to be educated, helping people to step back and make a more researched choice instead of impulse. Eliminating bias in situations can be hard but taking things at a different angle can be more beneficial. I wish they knew I struggle too, being deemed the smart kid is nice; but there’s a pretty constant expectation to be good at everything.

My name is Diana and I come from an Ethiopian, Muslim family. Some issues I care about include the Tigray genocide, BLM, and other issues that affect innocent people for just existing. Something I wish people knew is how overprotective i can be over people I care about.

Hi, I’m Gaby! I care about mental health because it’s important and essential for leading a happy life. I wish people knew that I love to ski!

My name is Gracie Lizbeth Orenday-Ortiz and I am a 14-year old high school student who is a young artist and an aspiring animator with a love for space, anime, musicals, and my dog. An issue I care about is solving homelessness for LGBT+ kids who have ended up with nowhere to go because of homophobic intentions, and I care because I am a part of the LGBT+ community and I was lucky enough for my parents to have accepted me. And something I wish people knew about me is that I am a unique person.

My name is Hailey Pulis and my interests include swimming, running, and reading. I really care about access to affordable health care and student loan debt. Hopefully people will get to know why I am so organized and why it’s beneficial

Hello! I am Katie Smits and I am a 10th grader at East High School! As someone living in the city, I care a lot about the homeless issues in Denver. I wish people knew how outgoing I can be, sometimes I can seem shy at first but as you get to know me I am pretty outgoing!

Hi! I am Margaret Freeman. I am a Junior at Northfield High School and I love theater, writing, baking, and reading. The issues I am most passionate about are LGBTQ+ rights, women’s rights, environmental protection and education reform.

I am in the 10th grade, I don’t have many hobbies but I like to cook/bake, listen to music and also sing too. An issue I care about is Mental Health because it’s something that I struggle with daily, and I think it’s important that people are more aware of people’s struggles, and for many people (mainly teens) can get help or at least have support with their struggles. I don’t know what I wish people knew about me, but I do want people to try and make an effort to know me better.

I am someone who is socially awkward and has struggled with finding my place not only within my community but society as a whole. So currently I am on a self discovery journey, hoping to find where I fit in and my purpose. This actually connects into my #1 issue that I care about which is bullying because I’ve been there and I know how it feels. Having someone be there for me and understand me is all I would’ve wanted. Something I wish people knew about me is my heart and my intentions.

I care about mental health and suicide awareness and prevention as well as helping animals!!

The 2022-2023 Hemera Beacons cohort is currently fundraising for their chosen community needs. See their needs below and get involved by donating or volunteering!

2022-2023 Impact

Creating Opportunities for a Boundless High School Experience

Check back in Spring 2023!

Check back in Spring 2023!

Download last year’s impact report here.

YouthRootsHemera Beacons