James has worked in community development for over eight years and has a passion for cultivating healthy communities through community engagement. James’ career has focused on the development of community-guided neighborhood assets through full integration of community voice, coupled with the urban planning field's best practices of placemaking.
James is also finishing a Master of Urban & Regional Planning at the University of Colorado, Denver.
Juvenile Justice Impact Director
For over 17 years, Heidi has worked to identify the intersectionality of multiple systems, specifically between juvenile justice, child welfare, mental health, education, environment, and community. She has a successful track-record of bringing partners together to remove community barriers. She has worked in Northeast Park Hill and the surrounding communities her entire career.
Heidi also serves as the Facilitator for CU Boulder’s Youth Violence Prevention Center - Denver.
Katalina Garcia splits her time working with the Office of Representative Herod and Park Hill Collective Impact. Previously, she worked at the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce and Colorado Workforce Development Council, assisting with the TalentFOUND initiative, events, and other projects. She is involved with the State Youth Council and the Denver Opportunity Youth Initiative. While in school, Katalina interned at the Denver District Attorney’s Office and at the Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Clinic. Other work experience includes food service, corrections, and retail.
Katalina is passionate about being an advocate for workforce opportunities for youth and adults continuing their education. She aspires to continue her education in Political Science and Legal Studies and become a Judge for the supreme court. On the way, Katalina wants to be involved in her community, and help neighbors identify how they could be involved and get them connected to organizations in the community.
Vanessa is a Denver native and recent graduate of the University of Colorado with a B.S in Psychology. Her passion for working with marginalized populations and interest in healthcare and have inspired her focus on better understanding the systemic and social factors that contribute to building a healthy community. She hopes to one day build a career as a certified nurse midwife.
Isaiah has had a quick start in community work showing his ability to become a young leader. He is highly motivated to get higher youth engagement in organizations that outreach to help communities. Isaiah has been driven on the development of youth positions in the city via avenues such as social media, events and community centers.
Isaiah is also finishing a Certificate of Entrepreneurship at the Community College of Denver.
Adnan comes from a healthcare and research background with experience from internships at local hospitals and clinics and through several labs. His drive for serving underserved populations has motivated him to understand and improve systemic issues that can impact population health in Park Hill and utilize data to support the community. He someday hopes to serve as a physician-researcher.
Adnan holds a BS in Public Health from the University of Colorado Denver and also serves as a researcher through the CU Denver Health Decision Research Lab. He is currently pursuing his MBA at the University of Colorado Denver.
Kanku is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado Denver with a B.S in Human Development and Family Relations. Her life experiences and her passion for seeking justice, equity, and opportunities for marginalized groups is what drives her to community engagement efforts that promote resiliency and community empowerment.
Kanku will be starting her Masters of Public Health at the Anschutz Medical Campus in the Fall and plans to pursue a public health career working with community and mental health efforts on a global scale, while also focusing on international maternal and child health efforts.
High School Interns
I love Park Hill because…
the neighborhood is so friendly and the area is beautiful
What gets me out of bed in the morning…
going on a run or going to see friends because that is what I enjoy
For fun, I…
enjoy spending time with my friends, listening to music and playing sports.
My favorite artist is…
Board of Directors
University of Colorado, Denver - Clinical Assistant Professor, Urban Community Teacher Education
Office of Children’s Affairs, City of Denver - Executive Director
The Hope Center - President & CEO
STRIVE Preparatory Schools - Sr. Director of Strategic Initiatives
Denver Health - Physician, Director of Medicine Curriculum
The Barton Institute - Director of Community Partnerships
2018 Candidate for Governor of Colorado, Colorado General Assembly - Former State Senator, District 33
Past Board of Advisor Members
Anna Jo Haynes
Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers - President Emeritus
Colorado Department of Higher Education - Chief Student Success and Academic Affairs Officer
Colorado Health Foundation - Program Officer
Change Matrix - Founding Partner
Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute - Executive Director