“Iliff was a good grounding time for me,” Sue Mohrman (MDIV ’89) said. “There were many options presented to consider – but not presumed – from a faculty that was available to us whether we were taking classes with them or not. It was a wonderful opportunity to explore diversity and subjects in depth, develop basic skills, and build a spiritual foundation that could take me anywhere.”
Mohrman has taken her Iliff experience and passion for helping people to executive director positions at Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, Inc., American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado and now, as CEO of Warren Village in Denver.
“My strengths seem to lie, not so much in serving people in line for food, as they are in making sure the food line happens,” Mohrman added. “I was deeply involved, along with my family and young kids at Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church in urban Cincinnati, OH. We were involved in afterschool and summer programs for a neighborhood that was basically Appalachian and African American children. I also volunteered in a United Methodist retirement home ministry at Scarlet Oaks, helping elderly residents prepare for trips to the podiatrist. Both experiences pushed me to earn my bachelor degree and move toward ministry. I had wanted to go to Denver for most of my life. Coming to Iliff to pursue areas of social justice and social change was a great fit.”
“While attending Iliff, I served as an associate pastor at Burns United Methodist Church – preaching, counseling, visiting parishioners and developing membership cultivation programs,” Mohrman commented. “When I was ready to graduate from Iliff, I applied for a position at Mother’s Against Drunk Driving. It was clear in my interview that they needed a director. After conversations about how I could work from the position they were offering into the directorship they needed, I was hired to lead what turned out to be a nine county agency through all facets of the start-up process. I developed grant proposals and corporate contracts resulting in funding for the previously un-funded organization, initiated a donor solicitation program, volunteer recruitment and training seminars, and worked with state agencies to identify effective measures to reduce drinking and driving.”
In the five years Mohrman has been at Warren Village, the Early Childhood Education Center has earned national accreditation and for two successive years, earned the highest possible rating for excellence in Qualistar, Colorado’s premier rating system. She noted, “Our children are from our single parent families as well as children of our graduating residents, and low-income children from the community. The message we want to send is that children matter – and low income children deserve the very best in early childhood education.”
In Warren Village’s 35 year history, it has been cited as a national model for its holistic approach in self-sufficiency programs. The Warren Village Transformational Housing Model provides safe, affordable housing; intensive case management and on-site family support services; and a quality child care.
Mohrman oversees 93 housing units occupied by single adult families with up to six children in one, two and three bedroom units. The program provides housing, education for up to 130 children in the learning center, and gives parents the opportunity to change and improve their lives through vocational assessment, life skills classes, child-enrichment activities, mentoring and resident-initiated leadership opportunities.
“Every day, it is rewarding to watch our single parents and children change, thriving in a stable environment. As they are empowered, they begin to discover their dreams. It is amazing to see hope and empowerment in action.”