2022 Summit Workshop Presenters

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Natalie Baddour

Co-Founder, Fully Liberated Youth
As a first-generation Palestinian, Natalie’s story has been restored by the relationships of those deeply impacted by gang and system involvement. These relationships allowed her to find truth and meaning within her own experiences and brought her back to her truest self. Natalie is a licensed therapist (LPC), trained in EMDR and MI, and strongly believes in connecting experiences, trauma, and systems to our personal narratives. Through her own personal and professional history, she recognizes that systems of trauma (epigenetics, racism, oppression, poverty, and unhealthy power), impact our mind, body, and larger collectiveness. Natalie is the Co-Founder of Fully Liberated Youth (FLY), a community nonprofit servicing the Denver-Metro Area. FLY specifically works with young people who have been deeply impacted by systems of trauma. FLY seeks to see a healthy, equitable, and restored world, one where our young peoples' stories are liberating the world.
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Sadie Butler

Program Manager of Community Mentoring, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado
Sadie Butler is currently a Program Manager of Community Mentoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado. Sadie has held several roles with BBBSC, including being a Program Specialist and Team Lead before moving into her current role as Program Manager. Outside of her normal responsibilities, Sadie is the Committee Chair of the BIPOC Mentor United affinity group. Sadie is also a Big Sister in the Sports Buddies Mentoring program at BBBSC.
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Erica Castro

Joyful Spaces Manager, Joy as Resistance
Erica (they/she) came to Joy as our first MSW intern. They graduated in June from Denver University's GSSW's Master's of Social Work program. At DU, Erica ran the Shades of Brown Alliance and is conducted research on supporting LGBTQ+ with UCLA. With many years of experience as a teacher and in the youth engagement field, Erica is excited to lend their expertise to all aspects of Joy as Resistance’s work.
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Shalelia Dillard

Founder & Executive Director, SCD Enrichment Program
Shalelia Dillard is a Denver native and has been a teacher and educator for over 15 years. A Daniels Fund Scholar and survivor of situational homelessness, Shalelia has used her life circumstances to give back in the area that saved her life, education. After receiving her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Hampton University, she moved to Austin, Texas to become a teacher. During her 11 year teaching career, she taught math, science and private school education in underserved populations in Austin and Denver. Shalelia has a deep passion for community, cultural education and creating pathways for students to reach their educational potential despite any circumstances. Shalelia is the Founder and Executive Director of SCD Enrichment Program, which recruits and supports gifted students of color in advanced coursework. She is an alumna of the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado, The Denver Foundation’s Executive Directors of Color Institute, Moonshot edVentures cohort 3 graduate, a member of the Colorado Gifted Education State Advisory Committee (GE-SAC), the vice president of the Denver Metro Hampton Alumni Association, and is currently completing her Masters in Educational Psychology at the University of Northern Colorado with a Gifted and Talented Endorsement. She is also the CEO and founder of SCDEP Equity Consulting, LLC, an agency that specializes in equity services and Gifted and Talented program development.
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Angela Govig

Senior Team Lead, Denver Public Schools
Angela Govig is a Senior Team Lead at an elementary school in Denver, Colorado. Her educational experience includes being an elementary classroom teacher and instructional coach for the past twenty-four years. Govig is the founder of New Horizons Mentorship Program, a mentoring program that facilitates direct connections between high level professional mentors who represent minority and marginalized communities and underserved youth. Govig is passionate about making sure arts are an essential part of students' education. With this program, students are able to pursue their interests in the arts while connecting with their mentor. Govig is a proud mother of two (Braxton and Hadley). She enjoys interior decorating, traveling, and live music.
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Michel Holien

Director of Dissemination, Fostering Healthy Futures
Michel Holien is the Director of Dissemination for Fostering Healthy Futures (FHF), which is an evidence-based, preventive intervention for children with current or previous child welfare involvement due to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Michel is tasked with disseminating FHF locally, nationally, and internationally. In addition to working at FHF, Michel has worked at Clinica Family Health Services as a Behavioral Health Professional and Program Manager, Boulder County Public Health as a part of the management team with the Boulder County Prevention and Intervention Program, and most recently, for 7 years at Denver Public Schools as the founder and manager of the Prevention Services team, which includes Substance Use Prevention, and Alternatives to Suspension. Michel has a BA in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MSW from the University of Denver. Her areas of focus and expertise include upstream prevention, shared risk and protective factors, and positive youth development.

Lenard Jones

Youth Mentor Specialist, Aurora Youth Options, Aurora Mental Health Center
Lenard Jones is a native of Aurora, Colorado. After graduating from High School, he attended Fort Lewis College, playing collegiate football, studied business finance, and public administration. Wanting to do something adventurous after college, Lenard applied and began working with rural Alaska youth, teaching life skills and High School math. When the camp was over, he knew working with youth was his calling, and 14 years later he remains committed to doing just that. Lenard has been a middle and high school teacher, career guide, a coach, and residential coordinator at a treatment center. Now, working with Aurora Youth Options (AYO), with a team that loves watching youth grow and support their community.
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Greg Mirelez

Homeless and Migrant Youth Advocate, Adams 12 Five Star Schools
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Cara Nord

Youth Empowerment Attorney, Office of the Child's Representative
Cara’s interest in children’s issues began over 20 years ago when she wrote an original oratory about child abuse for her junior high forensics team. After earning a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude in American Politics and Philosophy/Prelaw, Cara taught fourth grade in Washington, D.C. through Teach for America, an AmeriCorps program. Her teaching experiences afforded her the opportunity to attend law school on a full-tuition public interest scholarship. During law school, Cara interned at a public defender’s office where she represented children in At-Risk Youth (ARY) and Child in Need of Services (CHINS) proceedings, interned with TeamChild, and completed Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) training. After graduating from law school summa cum laude, Cara clerked for the Washington State Supreme Court and volunteered as a Big Sister. She then spent over 10 years litigating child welfare trials and appeals as an Assistant Attorney General in Washington State and as an Assistant/Senior Assistant County Attorney in Colorado. Cara joined OCR in February 2017.
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Michelle Petix

Owner, Spitfire Project Based Consulting LLC
Michelle Petix has been working and volunteering for Routt County youth service organizations in a variety of positions since 1993; most recently as the Executive Director for Partners in Routt County. In 2009, as the Juvenile Diversion Coordinator for the DA's Office, Michelle became interested in Restorative Justice (RJ) as a proven strategy to reduce juvenile recidivism rates. After just one RJ circle, she was hooked and continued to practice and preach about the great outcomes that can result from bringing this ancient approach to modern-day conflicts. In August 2022 Michelle completed a thru-hike of the 2,165-mile Appalachian Trail! In September, she launched Spitfire Project Based Consulting, LLC, specializing in supporting non-profit leaders by tackling the tasks that they simply don’t have time or expertise for. Michelle has a strong passion for mentoring, everything outdoors, and finding something to laugh about (usually herself) whenever possible.
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Ericka Porter

Mentor CO Technical Assistance Provider
Denver Native and Southeastern University Alumna, Ericka Porter has had an eagerness to develop and inspire future generations from early on in her life. After graduating from Southeastern with a B.S. in Youth Ministries, Ericka has come alongside urban and under-served students in various roles over the last 20 years. She lends her voice as a speaker and facilitator for various community and faith-based organizations such as Mentor Colorado, African-American Young Ladies Summit, MOPS International, Dream Create Inspire, DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative, and Denver Leadership Initiative. Her experience in speaking, facilitating, and workshop leadership have opened up opportunities to advocate for and champion the causes she loves. In recent years Ericka dedicated her time and passion to the Denver Public School system, as the Program Manager for the Coach and Mentoring Program, a program designed to encourage and support high school students in exploring careers and college options through mentoring from high-demand industry leaders. In addition to her role as Program Manager, Ericka spearheaded the equity and inclusion efforts within Denver Public School’s office of Career and College Success, ensuring all students have access to high-quality programming and education. Ericka also currently serves as a youth leader with some of her favorite high school girls at Colorado Community Church. Some fun but just as pertinent facts about Ericka, she is the oldest of 5 beautiful sisters. Her heart is in both Colorado and Florida, as she has family in both states. However, her devotion is to the Denver Broncos. Being a pho and sushi lover, she is up for either at a moment's notice.
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Lisle Reed

Whole Child Initiatives Coordinator, Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Lisle Reed has been the Whole Child Initiatives Coordinator for Adams 12 Five Star Schools since 2017. She started her career in public service in the U.S. Navy as a Chinese Translator and Training and Education Coordinator. After honorable discharge and subsequently moving to Colorado, Lisle quickly discovered a passion for working with youth, and spent eight years in Mapleton Public Schools as a 7-12 Leadership and Social Studies teacher and then a K-8 Assistant Principal. In her current role, she oversees the district's Student and Family Outreach Program, McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Program, and Child Welfare Education Program, as well as Health & Wellness Initiatives and Restorative Practices. Lisle holds an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Colorado State University and is a certified Restorative Practitioner as well as a Positive Youth Development and Sources of Strength trainer.
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Vicki Scott

Program Manager, Aurora Youth Options, Aurora Mental Health Center
Vicki grew up and has been educated in the Denver metro area. Has developed a career and reputation of exemplary youth program development, training Positive Youth Development principals, practical uses for inclusion of D.E.I. principals and Youth Program Safety guidelines. A strategic planner, and community partnership / collaborator with unique understanding of the needs of youth, requiring communities, programs, and staff to be nimble.
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Dedrick Sims

CEO, Sims-Fayola Foundation
Dedrick is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Sims-Fayola Foundation. The Sims-Fayola Foundation's mission is to improve the life outcomes of young men and boys of color and improve the capacity of youth professionals who partner with them. Dedrick's commitment to education extends outside the classroom as well. As a published author of three books and numerous professional articles, Dedrick uses his experience to build the capacity of others to serve students with informed excellence. As the Sims-Fayola Foundation CEO, Dedrick provides professional training to educators around the country in areas of single-gender learning, working with young men and boys of color, and school and program design through an equity lens. Through the Sims-Fayola Foundation, Dedrick's work has impacted over 12,000 young men and boys of color and provided workshops and coaching to over 5,000 professionals who work with young men and boys of color. Dedrick has also been the lead designer and founding member of three charter schools in Arkansas, Colorado, and Louisiana. Dedrick is an avid golfer and loves to read, travel, and do karaoke!
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Tucker Wannamaker

CEO, Thrive Impact
Tucker is working to help solve nonprofit leader burnout as the CEO of THRIVE IMPACT. Every impactful nonprofit leader deserves to THRIVE as individuals, personally and professionally, so they can have the IMPACT our communities need from them. For more than 13 years, Tucker has been in a variety of mission-driven leadership roles including building an award-winning nonprofit marketing agency (that he sold), leading fundraising campaigns that brought millions in the door, years as an outside strategic revenue and change-management coach for nonprofits, and leading a start-up nonprofit through a challenging season of accelerated growth and onward to sustainability. A little about him: he rides an old 1980 Vespa. He has four kids that are radical. He loves taking them skiing, bike riding, and hiking – you know… Colorado! THE BEST: his wife. They just celebrated 18 years of marriage and still call each other best friends. It’s adorable… Quote that he loves: "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." - Antoine de Saint-Exupery