Before moving to Colorado in 2014, Annetta and Louis Potts lived in the Kansas City area for 43 years. In that time, they had their respective careers: Lou as a professor at the University of Missouri – Kansas City and Annetta found her way into non-profit work. They also became supporters of 20/20 Leadership.
Annetta first met Marilyn Alstrom, founder and executive director of 20/20 Leadership through the Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City. She initially took on the role of visiting with high school principals and inviting students to apply for the program. Lou also provided assistance by using his role at UMKC to help facilitate on campus visits by 20/20 Leadership students.
Another relationship that has impacted 20/20 Leadership is the one Lou and Annetta had with Gene Denton. They attended church with Gene and once they began sharing the impact of 20/20, he was on board with his support. “He seemed like the perfect fit and was very supportive of young people,” Annetta said.
At the time, Gene was serving as the County Administrator for Johnson County, Kansas. Once 20/20 Leadership was established as its own 501©3 organization, Gene served on its first board of directors. He passed away in 2011 and in memory of his service to 20/20 Leadership, a scholarship was named in his honor. The Gene Denton Memorial Scholarship is awarded each year to a graduating senior pursuing a career in public service. Lou and Annetta, along with Gene’s widow, Gigi, make annual donations to the scholarship fund.
Lou and Annetta continue to believe in the power of 20/20 Leadership and its ability to impact the lives of teenagers in the Kansas City area. “The students are gaining an awareness of the community on a larger scale and their eyes are being opened to opportunity.”