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Community Innovator Spotlight

During the 2016 Imaginarium Design Challenge, Tessa Zimmerman, founder of ASSET Education, won $9,000 to pilot and implement ASSET Education in two DPS schools. Tessa Zimmerman grew up with severe anxiety. When she would ask her teachers or guidance counselors for help, the only tool they could offer her was a stress ball.  Anxiety and stress are rising in students. ASSET Education was founded to equip teachers with tools and lesson plans to teach students how to effectively cope with stress and anxiety, not only in the classroom setting but in life. ASSET was designed to incorporate a variety of coping mechanisms, including mindfulness and positive psychology. Tessa believes that what will truly make students successful in life will be the ability to face adversity using effective coping strategies to mitigate stress and anxiety.

With the help of the Imaginarium to find 8-10 of what she labeled “Denver’s Most-Promising Educators” Tessa launchedand  the summer institute using the $9,000 she won at the 2016 Imaginarium Design Challenge to provide a stipend for their time and feedback. ASSET’s summer institute received 21 applications for its 8-10 spots. Originally, ASSET had advertised as a program for “high school only” but received 7 applications from either elementary or middle school teachers. Applications were also received from a College Counselor, an Education Supports Manager, a MTSS Coordinator, a Senior JROTC Instructor, and a Social Worker. Teachers of all subjects applied, including: Special Education, Math, Physics, Humanities, Environmental Science, Critical Skills, Science, Reading, Writing, PE/Health, and English.