The Shaka Franklin Foundation for Youth began when 16-year-old Shaka Franklin took his own life. This tragic incident sparked a light in his father, Les Franklin, who believed that suicide among youths was growing at increasingly alarming rates.
Since its inception in 1990, the non-profit has fought tirelessly to address suicide among youths in Colorado and to those across the nation.
The organization helps the youth, by providing appropriate education, support and awareness to those in need.
Les Franklin - Founder & Chairman of the Board
Marianne Franklin - President
Alexander Austin - Vice President, Treasury Management Officer, Bank of Colorado
Darryl Collier - Assistant Vice President, Empower Retirement
Dr. Kenneth Crichlow, DDS - Private Practice
Rick George - Intercollegiate Athletics, CU Boulder
Brent Hubbell - Senior Vice President, FirstBank
Ronnell Jackson - Manager of Logistics, Willow Industries
Kevin Koser - Founding Member, Tyton Group
Honorable Dianne Briscoe McKenzie - Judge ret, City and County of Denver
Rebecca Ringenberg - Major Markets, Paychex
Joseph Sadozai - Manager, CoorsTec
Andrew Sherman - Owner, Monument Ice Rinks
Dr. Jose Silva - The Silva Family Foundation
Johnnie Williams - Counselor, Criminal Justice Specialist
James Willis - Non-profit Consultant
Robert Willis - Assistant Vice Chancellor, External Operations
Honorable Wellington Webb - Former Mayor of Denver, CO
Dr. Evie Dennis - Former Superintendent, Denver Public Schools
Mark Haynes - Disability Examiner, State of Colorado
Rachel Kuzmich, MSN, RN-BC - HCA Healthcare
Edward Robinson - Robinson Dairy, ret.
Richard Robinson - Robinson Dairy, ret.
Britta Sanger - Owner, Pix Locks
Lou Vairo - Director of Special Projects, USA Hockey
Montel Williams - Actor, Writer, Talk Show Host
A sponsor of Colorado Rampage Youth Hockey in Monument, CO. Two vans and a trailer are provided for their use. Players in need of financial support can request a scholarship.
Sponsor of the Western Regional Elite Youth Hockey Camp for three years - 2014, 2015, 2016. Supported a student at the University of San Diego with a four-year scholarship. This student graduated in 2016
SHAKA On the MOVE program was launched in 2015 which is a mobile unit that will travel to school campuses with information on suicide, depression and mental health
The DyLussi-Austin Scholarship for Figure Skaters was established in 2011 in memory of DyLussi-Austin who started the SHAKA I.C.E. learn-to-skate and figure skating program. First recipient was awarded in 2014
Founding board member of the Colorado Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Established a branch in Johannesburg, South Africa by feeding 540 students in a rural school.
Through partnerships with the Institu-Design Architecture and the University of Colorado Graduate School of Architecture created a concept to rebuild a rural school in South Africa.
Shaka’s Place Youth Technology Center opened in 1999 as an educational and creative place for children and young people. A second building was renovated as an extension of youth programs and focusing on physical fitness, exercise and proper nutrition. Programs at Shaka’s Place: All About Choices – prevention and intervention for young people. (2) introduction to audio/visual technology, music production, lyricWriting, film production.
SHAKA I.C.E was started in 1997 as a development program for ice hockey and figure skating.
Co-Founder of the National Organization of People of Color Against Suicide (NOPCAS)
Appearances on 12 television shows to discuss suicide: Montel William(4), Bryant Gumble (Today Show), 400 Club, Rolanda Show, Phil Donahue Show, Colorado and Company, Lou Gossett, Jr. television special – Images and Realities, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Gordon Elliott Show.
Recipient of the El Pomar Foundation Outstanding Youth Organization Award in 1998, and the El Pomar Foundation Shrine of the Sun Award of Excellence in 2001.