If you get a call from an unknown number from the 303 area code, take a chance, and pick up. It might be me calling you to talk about one of my favorite subjects, Destination Imagination (DI).

For those of you who don’t know me, I am the Director of Educational Alliances and Training for Destination Imagination. Recently, I have been calling Team Managers, team parents, Appraisers, and other DI supporters to learn more about why you love Destination Imagination as much as I do and to talk about increasing financial support for the DI experience. As my calls will be about getting to know you and why you love DI as much as I do, I thought it might be helpful to share a little bit about my journey with this incredible organization. That way, when we do talk, you’ll know a little about me too.

Too many years ago to count, my oldest son came home from his fourth-grade class with a flyer from the South Metro region of DI Colorado for a meeting about something called Destination Imagination. It sounded very similar to the Junior Achievement program I did in high school where we ran our own company, made our products, sold stock, and sold products. We had guidance from adults, but we did the work and the planning ourselves. I wanted that type of experience for my own children.

I attended that meeting, agreed to become a Team Manager, and my life and the lives of my children were transformed. I learned that my kids were capable of so much more than I realized. I learned all about their friends and what was going on at school. I learned about ways to build teamwork and project planning that I was able to use in my actual job. My kids learned that other adults were trustworthy. My husband and I adopted our kids from social services, so this was extremely important for them to learn.

My kids also learned how to work with a team. They learned what they were good at and what they needed to work on. They learned perseverance, communication, and STEM skills. They learned how to use tools, how to listen to teammates, how to present their ideas persuasively, and how to let go of their ideas for the good of the team.

I was a Team Manager in a lower socioeconomic area near Denver for 15 years with 22 teams. Every one of the team members learned everything my children learned and more. Watching all of them grow into amazing young people has been one of the most rewarding parts of my life.

As employment opportunities opened, I decided to move my nonprofit career to working for the organization that I love so much. First at DI Colorado and then Destination Imagination headquarters (DIHQ). Even though I am a DIHQ staff member now, I continue to donate on a monthly basis to DI Colorado and also to DIHQ. I would like to ask you to join me and do the same.

Donations to your local Affiliate help keep DI Affiliate fees and tournament fees low. Donations to DI headquarters help us continue to create Challenges that are engaging to our students, help us find new ways to reach students living in under-resourced communities around the world, and help us keep DI sustainable for future unforeseen circumstances and challenges that we can’t predict.

When I was a Team Manager, I noticed the huge difference DI made in the team members’ lives. I believe that all students should have access to the learner-centered educational opportunities that DI offers.

So, I hope the next time you get a call from an unknown number in the 303 area code, you answer it and we can talk about your DI experiences and how you can join me in financially supporting Destination Imagination. You can also get started right away and make a donation here.

I hope to talk with you soon!

Kris Beisel

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