We recently interviewed Maddie and Paul Voge, who completed the 5280 Fellowship, a nine-month leadership program in spiritual formation, professional development, and civic engagement.
Maddie began the 5280 Fellowship working as a freelance copywriter for a small company in Boulder, Colo., and is transitioning to a tech company this fall. Paul began the 5280 Fellowship working as an associate for Saturn Five Ventures, a venture capital firm in Denver.
Here’s what Maddie and Paul shared with us about their experience in the 5280 Fellowship.
Why were you initially interested in the 5280 Fellowship?
Maddie: We felt we were missing real intellectual growth. That was the big draw to the 5280 Fellowship — that it would provide that kind of community.
Paul: We were also looking for a group that could help us grow in our faith. We looked to the 5280 Fellowship to help us bridge the gap between faith and work, as well as create a strong community.
What about your life and work before the 5280 Fellowship felt incomplete?
Maddie: Before the 5280 Fellowship, I felt like I was lacking structure in my work and intentional goal-setting for myself. The Fellowship provided opportunities to set goals — both personally and professionally. It helped me to actively think about my future.
Paul: I’ve always been an entrepreneurial person. Before the 5280 Fellowship, I thought that maybe God didn’t actually care about what I was doing. After the 5280 Fellowship, I realize God does have an interest in my work. It’s less about what I’m doing, but how and why I’m doing it.
How have your beliefs about work changed through the 5280 Fellowship?
Maddie: The 5280 Fellowship completely changed my perspective on my career and my interests. I came away knowing there was a storyline to my career and it wasn’t separate from my relationship with God. It wasn’t separate from God’s purpose for me.
How do you think the 5280 Fellowship will influence you in the next stage of your career?
Paul: The 5280 Fellowship changed the questions I ask myself and the way I reflect. Rather than viewing my career with surface-level reflection questions, I began and will continue to ask myself deeper, emblematic questions that move from the “what” of my work to the “why” and “how” of my work.
How has the 5280 Fellowship impacted your marriage and relationships with others?
Maddie: It’s been deeply maturing. I feel really blessed that we were able to go through this program early in our careers and our marriage. It’s also aided us in digging ourselves out of areas of complacency within many areas of our lives.
Paul: Our cohort discussions were more intellectual and brought more self-awareness than probably most conversations we’ll have the rest of our lives. The depth of discussions has opened the door to more meaningful conversations with others in my life.
What did the 5280 Fellowship help you accomplish?
Maddie: Denver Institute as a whole is really unique and a huge asset to Denver. Hearing from local speakers — people in different industries and different career stages — and doing deep dives into the history of Denver have made me fall in love with the city of Denver.
Paul: There’s a saying: “Think globally, act locally.” It felt like the 5280 Fellowship did just that. The program was a mix of helping me understand who I am, what I want to do and why, and how I can do that in the place I am right now.
We are grateful for you for partnering in our mission to make these types of experiences impactful for the future civic leaders of our city and country.
Olivia serves as Denver Institute’s development associate and 5280 Fellowship coordinator. Prior to joining DIFW, Olivia worked in technology sales, event planning, and nonprofit ministry. After living abroad in Italy, Olivia has a deep appreciation for a large scoop of gelato, a nice glass of Chianti, and experiencing other cultures. She graduated summa cum laude from Texas Christian University, holding a BBA in Marketing from the Neeley School of Business, and is pursuing her MA in Christian Formation & Soul Care from Denver Seminary.