by Dean J. Miller
Dr. Rosenna Bakari is a published author, speaker, consultant and UCCS visiting assistant professor dedicated to helping others find and develop resilience. She is a respected community leader who credits much of her success to the El Pomar Emerging Leaders Development Program, a pathway to leadership and civic engagement.
New to the Pikes Peak region in August 2017, Bakari was challenged to establish a network and find community that would support her career change. She had a vision for her future, but it was blurry.
A survivor of childhood trauma, Bakari was on a mission to raise awareness and support for others. Her challenge was to transform her nonprofit work into a sustainable business model.
Her new vision required strong business skills. El Pomar’s ELDP connected her with experts at the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center where she completed the Leading Edge™ program for entrepreneurs developing new business models.
“Talking through challenges and having experts fill in the gaps was critical,” said Bakari. “I needed smart networking to meet the right community leaders who could put me before key audiences.”
With her business plan in sharp focus and a supportive network behind her, she published five books, was named a Woman of Influence by the Colorado Springs Business Journal and has performed transformational poetry at major Colorado Springs events.
She recently served as a diversity consultant to the Head Start program, sits on local boards, and her demand as an inspirational speaker is constantly growing.
“The experiences gained through ELDP have empowered me to represent the Colorado Springs community – a woman, a survivor, a minority business owner – everyone needs a voice at the table. No one can do everything, but when the community invites you to step forward and serve, you do it. Where we can, we must each find and share the light.”
“Dr. Bakari inspires others to step forward and understand the importance of leadership,” said Theo Gregory, El Pomar Foundation Senior Vice President and outreach programs director. “She is a great example of what is possible when training, network and empowerment come together. It was a pathway to everything she hoped to achieve.” Learn more at: elpomar.org.