Our History

2020

2020 – Begins offering online classes

When in-person classes came to an abrupt halt due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Intercambio pivoted to online classes using the Confidence and Connections curriculum.

2019

2019 – Launches new Confidence and Connections curriculum

Intercambio’s very own curriculum, Confidence and Connections, was launched in 2019 for our local program and 600 partner organizations nationwide.

2015

2015 – Purchase Longmont Building

Opens a campus in Longmont, featuring 7 classrooms, 7 offices, a childcare room, community space and kitchen. At capacity, the space can hold 111 students in classes at one time!

2014

2014 – Chosen as Pilot for Social Enterprise Investment SVP Program

Intercambio was selected to receive enterprise assistance from Social Venture Partners in Boulder County for one year to help build capacity through hiring additional staff for managing their educational resources and develop a national partnership strategy and improve marketing efforts.

2012

2012 – National Program Offers Curriculum and Resources to Other Organizations

National Program reaches across the country to sell curriculum and all other Intercambio immigrant resources to similar organizations.

2011

2011 – Distributes over 20,000 copies of The Immigrant Guide

Intercambio shares their award-winning model and The Immigrant Guide with communities n Michigan, Georgia, Missouri, Rhode Island, California, Oklahoma and Arizona.

2007

2007 – Purchases Boulder Office and Completes New Curriculum

Intercambio now owns its main office in Boulder, Interactive English Adult ESL Curriculum is ready to go to press, and receives more awards from a grateful community: Boulder Champions of Diversity Award from YWCA Innovation IQ Award from Boulder County Business Report Nonprofit Business Citizen of the Year Award from Microbusiness Development Corporation.

2006

2006 – Longmont Office Opens and Curriculum Under Development

Intercambio begins to develop its own adult, life-skills-focused curriculum to be taught by volunteers.

2005

2005 – English Classes Offered to Immigrants from All Countries

2005 – English Classes Offered to Immigrants from All Countries

2004

2004 – Lee Shainis Receives Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Lee Shainis, Executive Director and co-founder of Intercambio, receives the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, University of Michigan Business School.

2003

2003 – Affordable English Expands to Lafayette and Longmont

Efforts to reach more immigrants expands the program to Lafayette and Longmont. Intercambio receives NOVA Award from Community Foundation for Education Innovation and Excellence.

2002

2002 – First La Fiesta Celebration Draws 1,300 People

The First La Fiesta celebration draws 1,300 people.

2001

2001 – Lee Shainis and Shawn Camden reach out to Latin American immigrants to begin to teach them English

Intercambio was born from a desire to connect immigrants and volunteer teachers in Boulder County to lift lives and strengthen our community. Lee and Shawn learned that language was a huge barrier but not the only one — immigrants expressed feelings of deep loneliness and alienation. They also possessed great talents that were underutilized for the community. At the same time, volunteers were excited to teach English and connect with newcomers, so they created a simple, safe platform to connect these segregated populations through English classes.