MONUMENT • A new nonprofit is offering Tri-Lakes area students with an interest in technology, engineering and entrepreneurship a chance to turn that interest into a passion and possibly even a future.

Monumental Impact, a Monument-based nonprofit which launched in January, has completed its first summer of internship programs.

The nonprofit looks to support many similar Lewis-Palmer School District 38 after-school programs, such as Bearbotics, CyberPatriots and DECA.

Jeanette Breton, who founded Monumental Impact, said interested students should discuss opportunities with their high school counselors to apply to MI opportunities published in the Pikes Peak Business and Education Alliance Marketplace.

Monumental Impact came from the introduction of the PPBEA’s to the LPSD Business Advisory Council, which involved connecting business, schools and students with different industries. Techno Chaos, a small, home-based business owned by Breton and her husband, Mike Hinkle, provided a technology project internship for two D-38 students in the spring of 2019 and a community need was seen, Breton said.

“In the center of Monumental Impact are the students,” Breton said. “The activities are defined and led by a student business team and student product development managers, collaborating with engineering and technology students as project teams.”

Breton and Hinkle operated a maker space/robotics center for five years in Houston, where after three years their summer-camp program sold out. They since have moved to Colorado focus on raising of their two teenage boys. They came to Monument when their son Cameron was a rising freshman at Palmer Ridge High School.

“We thought we were coming here to retire. We gave two years,” Jeanette Breton said, laughing.

With some dedicated board members on board, MI is seeking additional volunteers to serve on the board to share its journey and provide direction. There’s also a need for a dedicated space that will give students a place to work on projects together.

Monumental Impact is following leads to secure a long-term space of 5,000 square feet or more. Once a dedicated space is found, the nonprofit will be able to grow and evolve based on sponsorships, grants, donations and other funding, Breton said.

She envisions this space will hold technology equipment and a fabrication environment with a broad range of tools such as mills, 3D printers and CNC machines, which are PC-controlled manufacturing apparatus responsible for producing a majority of the world’s goods.

The nonprofit is also looking to find community partners to help provide internship-type experiences for students. These businesses can contract a portion of MI’s dedicated space for conferences or equipment for which they need space and are willing to allow students to use, Breton said.

“The goal is to learn and encourage others to learn, and help them find their passion and make them better,” she said. “It’s not about the money. It’s about providing that space and culture, environment that inspires others to find their passion with technology, engineering and entrepreneurship.”

Learn more at monumentalimpact.org.

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