Technical Assistance (TA)

Mentoring programs across the United States can apply for no-cost training and technical assistance to support them in more deeply incorporating evidence-based practices, ultimately leading to greater positive outcomes for young people. 

MENTOR Colorado staff and other experts in the field provide no cost Technical Assistance (TA) through the National Mentoring Resource Center (NMRC), a project of The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and MENTOR. This youth mentoring resource is no-cost for programs and aims to strengthen mentoring quality and effectiveness. Examples of potential technical assistance that might be requested include: development of high-quality mentor training materials; guidance and consultation on mentor recruitment plans and screening strategies; analysis and improvement of match support processes; and recommendations on best practices for serving challenging youth populations or designing innovative service models. Questions about whether or not your project would qualify? Contact Lindsey Cali for more information.

MENTOR Colorado's Technical Assistance Providers

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Preston Adams

For nearly 15 years, Preston has worked as an educator, chaplain, mentor, and transition worker to young people who have been justice-involved, gang-involved, and who have faced significant oppression and trauma. Most recently, Preston co-founded Fully Liberated Youth (FLY), an organization that provides mentorship, therapy, and wraparound services to justice-involved and gang-involved young people. Preston has dedicated his life to this work because of the transformative experiences he has had with his young people. Preston desires to see a just, equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist society, one where his youth are leading the way forward. 

He graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Northern Colorado and earned his Master’s degree in Urban Ministry from Grand Canyon University. He is also a graduate of the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative. Preston is married to his best friend, Francine, and they have a beautiful son, Uriyah.

Lindsey Cali

Lindsey Cali joined MENTOR Colorado in 2019 and is currently working as Executive Director and Technical Assistance (TA) Lead.

A former teacher, Lindsey is dedicated to education and ensuring that all young people have access to the support and resources necessary to succeed. Working with young people, specifically in communities that have been traditionally marginalized, has always been her passion and is what brought her to become a teacher. Lindsey is enthusiastic and committed to the mission of MENTOR Colorado of impacting young people on a large scale by working with mentoring programs to increase their capacity and quality.

Lindsey earned her B.A. in Elementary Education from Arizona State University.

Heather Coulter

Specializing in nonprofit data/evaluation, strategic planning, research design, and data utilization for program improvement; Coulter brings nearly 20 experience and a passion for helping people and organizations collect quality data and (most importantly) truly utilize data.

Coulter has served as Research and Evaluation Director for a nonprofit collective impact partnership comprised of 5 school districts and over 50 youth-serving partner agencies all serving roughly 120,000 students. In this role, she was responsible for facilitating “action networks” in all research and data activities for the partnership’s large-scale efforts to improve “cradle to career outcomes” through data-driven decision making. This included facilitation of data collection plans, theory of change/logic models, and utilization of results through a continuous improvement framework. More recently, Coulter has served as an independent consultant providing data and evaluation planning and implementation for youth-serving nonprofits in Colorado and nationally.

Additionally, she has served in grant management and evaluation for school districts; including the development and launch of a new program offering intensive “tier 3” supports for underserved middle school students. Coulter also has experience as a research associate and statistician for two social research/evaluation companies. Prior to her data and evaluation work with schools and youth-serving nonprofits, she spent 10 years studying social psychology and neuroscience, conducting research, and teaching statistics and research methods at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research focused on how race and gender stereotypes influence our perceptions and actions toward others, and strategies that might reduce biased thinking and behavior.

Areas of Specialization:

  1. Research design across a wide spectrum methodologies and theoretical approaches (including longitudinal designs and complex data modeling) 
  2. Facilitation and coaching for groups of various sizes through all steps of developing and executing Action Plans, Data Monitoring Plans, and “SMART Goals”
  3. Logic Model and/or “Theory of Change” Development
  4. Establishing data metrics (short-/long-term; outcome metrics, process metrics, fidelity measures).
  5. Development of data collection protocols in alignment with logic models and analysis plans
  6. Execution of all phases in the research process from data collection through analysis, reporting, and facilitating the use of data for taking action toward improvement

Shalelia Dillard

Shalelia is a Denver native and founder of SCD Enrichment Program, a local nonprofit that has a mission to recruit and support secondary students of color in advanced coursework. She is also the CEO of SCDEP Equity Consulting, LLC, an equity firm for schools and school districts to guide schools in creating equitable learning environments, advanced coursework and beyond.

She has a BA in Psychology from Hampton University and is currently completing a Master’s in Educational Psychology and Gifted and Talented endorsement at the University of Northern Colorado. With over 15 years of teaching BIPOC students, she is dedicated to creating spaces for Black and Brown students to thrive in learning environments and beyond. Shalelia is a wife and mother of two amazing boys and enjoys creating all types of art in her spare time.

Susan Duncombe

Susan Duncombe has over 22 years in the nonprofit sector – ranging from intern, volunteer, therapist, program staff and executive in various settings including mentoring, residential and day treatment, educational settings, and low-income housing. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, bilingual in English and Spanish. 

Susan was most recently VP of Operations with Denver Kids, and prior to that was Associate Director of Denver Urban Scholars, where she supported the organization through two successful mergers (first merger with CYAR; second merger with Denver Kids). During her twelve years with Denver Urban Scholars/Denver Kids, her experience ranged from working with middle and high school students and their families; recruiting, screening, training and managing mentors; overseeing program design and evaluation, Human Resources, organizational culture, performance evaluation, day-to-day operations, finances and budgets, grant reporting, and strategic plan implementation.

Susan grew up in the South and Midwest but moved to Denver in 1999 to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the Globeville, Elyria-Swansea neighborhoods. Other than a brief stint in Taos, NM, and backpacking for several months from Mexico to Panama, she has called Denver “home” ever since.

Lana Hailemariam

As a StandUP leadership and organization coach, Lana Hailemariam brings a thoughtful, generative, authentic approach to every group experience. She is a graduate of the Smith School of Business at University of Maryland, College Park (Go Terps!), a Gallup Certified CliftonStrengths Coach and an Energy Leadership Master Practitioner. 

Lana is a master at tapping into life’s challenges to lay the foundation for meaningful conversations that positively impact individuals, teams and organizations. Drawing on 20+ years of combined experience in both for-profit and nonprofit sectors (education, ministry, teen mentoring, health & wellness, sporting events, sales and HR), Lana expertly guides clients to relentlessly pursue, and voice their purpose. She sees value in every single human and wants to help them see it too. 

To sum up her coaching philosophy…

“Everybody is a genius. But If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” —Albert Einstein

Lana brings her east-coast flair to the Colorado mountains with a particular passion for advocating for young people, small business and inspiring community action. When Lana isn’t working, she is doing other things she loves such as raising her teen daughter, living out her purpose and enjoying her rare moments of “me time”.

Chris Imsland

Chris has over 20 years of non-profit management, fundraising, special event planning and marketing experience. Since 2015 he has been principle owner of Imsland Consulting LLC, providing organizations with grant and proposal writing, fundraising strategy, organizational management, and business development services. He has also served as Executive Director for Partners Mentoring Youth, as Senior Management Consultant and Development Manager for the National MS Society-Home Office and the National MS Society-Colorado Chapter, respectively. Before his nonprofit career, Chris worked in the event planning and marketing arena in Minneapolis, MN as an independent contractor.

His experience in both non-profit and for-profit sectors offers a broad perspective in fundraising and sales, project management, organizational and team development and strategic planning. His experience has taught him how to mobilize and work with teams, how to move effectively through transition, and how to successfully meet deadlines and goals.

A native of Minneapolis, MN and a graduate of the University of WI-Madison, Chris landed in Colorado in 2000 and currently lives in Fort Collins, CO with his wife, two children and two dogs. 

Dr. Janiece Mackey

Dr. Janiece Mackey is a wife and mother of 4 children. At 25 years old, she created an organization entitled Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism (YAASPA) to provide a conduit for BIPoC youth to reclaim academic, career, and civic spaces.

She earned awards from Colorado Black Women for Political Action, Denver Urban Spectrum, 2021 Nonprofit Women to Watch Award, 40 under 40 Denver Business Journal award, is an inaugural grantee of the Colorado Health Foundation nonprofit executive director sabbatical awards and beyond. Due to her converging interests in education and policy, she is a race scholar activist who has published many chapters and articles about race in education and public administration including the editing of the book entitled Black Girl Civics.

Tonoa Manuel

Tonoa Manuel, is the Founder and Lead Project Strategist at SIYG Consulting Firm and brings over 10 years of Project Management and Risk Mitigation in the private and public sector & 4 years of experience in nonprofit and educational consulting and coaching.

Her mission: Creating a sustainable business starts with understanding the value of your strategic plan. Whether you’re a solo-preneur or multi-member team, I believe your plan is the most essential part of your business. We will work together to establish clarity and direction. Focusing on aligning your vision, diagnosing your overall objectives and processes, and planning for execution. Align + Vision + Diagnose + Plan + Execution + Optimize.

As an advocate for her community and believes in accessibility and sustainability for all regardless of their story and believes in giving the community the opportunities they need to learn, grow, and thrive. Tonoa was chosen to exhibit at TEDXMileHigh: Humankind in June 2019, and now sits on the Exhibits Board for TEDxMileHigh. Tonoa also works closely with MBSK Colorado’s Wellness program as the VP of Health and Wellness as well as with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Racial Equity and Strategic Planning. SIYG Consulting Firm LLC (at the time Second Impressions Youth Garden) had the opportunity to show how society can bridge the gap with our differences to elevate and grow to the next level, with their Community Mapping Experience. In addition, Tonoa was selected to facilitate a workshop at the 2020 National Mentoring Summit in Washington, DC. Recently, being a part of community dialogue as a speaker for Imperfect Pixels where she spoke on Restorative Practices and Mental Health in a series called Art & Justice. She is also a staunch community advocate and supporter of small businesses and community!

Natawsha Mitchell

Natawsha Mitchell is a passionate educator, advocate, and creative with deep roots in the Mountain West. She brings a decade of experience in youth serving nonprofit organizations, K-12 schools, and higher education program administration and curriculum development to the MENTOR Colorado team.

Natawsha specializes in advancing JEDI work through strategic planning, facilitation, and the co-creation of environments where young people are empowered to make positive change in their lives and communities. She has completed graduate work and significant professional training in social justice, restorative practices, health education, violence prevention, career and leadership development.

Jessie "Jess" Nance

Jessie “Jess” Nance is an experienced facilitator, curriculum writer, and innovative program designer. Driven by a passion for equity, she takes pride in challenging power dynamics and systems that isolate and silence marginalized communities. As the Founder of Luminance Consulting, Jess works with numerous organizations to strengthen their innate ability to strategically embed diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in their program design and organizational structure.

She started her career as a bilingual educator in her community in Denver, Colorado, and then spent five years at the U.S. Soccer Foundation. These experiences have solidified her commitment to making space for transformative and courageous conversations to create safer and brighter spaces for all.

Michelle Petix

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.

Ericka Porter

Ericka, a Denver native and graduate from Southeastern University, B.S. in Youth Ministries, has worked with and for urban and under-served students for the last 20 years in various capacities including work with public school districts, faith and community based organizations, and churches across the country.

Her move back to Denver afforded her a role with Denver Public School’s Career & College Success Team as Manager of the Coach Mentoring Program, designed for high school students to explore careers and college options through mentoring from professionals in high-demand industries. Ericka also leads equity and inclusion efforts within DPS to ensure all students have access to high quality programming and education. Ericka is also a recent graduate with the Devos Urban Leadership Initiative. Just for kicks, Ericka is the oldest of five sisters, an avid Denver Broncos fan, and up for sushi or pho at a moment’s notice.

Sarah Provino

Sarah Provino joined MENTOR Colorado as Program Quality Specialist in July of 2021 but has been a part of the organization since its inception, serving on the initial task force, advisory council and most recently as a TA provider and NQMS reviewer. Sarah is a strong advocate of the mentoring movement and is passionate about working alongside mentoring agencies to build capacity and expand the quality of mentoring across Colorado.

Sarah’s experience working in the nonprofit world spans over 15 years working together with youth, families, and community level prevention programming, with 10 years directly in the mentoring field. She values building relationships and brings a small community perspective to the organization.

Sarah has a wide range of understanding of mentor program design and implementation utilizing the Elements of Effective Practice. She is an enthusiastic, committed, and trusted leader and has utilized her professional experience to help mentoring organizations achieve a range of outcomes.

In her new role, Sarah looks forward to working alongside mentoring organizations, providing support, as they engage in the National Quality Mentoring System.

Dedrick Sims

Currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Sims-Fayola Foundation. The mission of the Sims-Fayola Foundation is to improve the life outcomes of young men and boys of color through direct programming and by increasing the capacity of those who serve them.

Dedrick’s career in urban education began in a high school classroom over 20 years ago as a substitute and has since served in roles as a High School Biology and Chemistry Teacher, Secondary Curriculum Administrator, Master Lead Teacher, Technology Coordinator, Alternative School Teacher, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal and Principal of both traditional and charter public schools (Co-Ed and Single Gender), and school Founder.

As an education and civic leader, Dedrick has engaged in selective and respected professional development like Leadership Denver, University of Kentucky’s Superintendent Program, KIPP Principal Leadership Program, New Leaders for New Schools Principal program, Gulf Coast Business Leadership Council, as a TeachNOLA’s Master Teacher Corps Selector, Harvard’s Project Zero, SUPES Superintendent Academy in Hartford Connecticut, Denver’s Get Smart Schools Leadership Fellowship Program, and Colorado’s Leadership Exchange with Nashville’s top leadership with the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Foundation.

Dedrick’s commitment to education extends outside the classroom as well. As a published author of two books as well as numerous professional articles, Dedrick uses his experience to build the capacity of others to serve students with informed excellence. As the CEO of the Sims-Fayola Foundation, Dedrick provides professional training to educators around the country in areas of single-gender learning and school design through an equity lens.

Dedrick’s community involvement having served as an appointed member of the Governor’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Council, a Youth Commissioner for the city of Aurora, past member of the Denver African American Philanthropists, President of the Board for Hill Harper’s Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, past Board President of the Young Philanthropists Foundation, past board member for the Bridge Project, current board member for the Don Burns Center for Homelessness and Poverty at the University of Denver, advisory member for MENTOR Colorado, and currently serving as the Senior Education Advisor to Mississippi State Representative and recent Congressional Candidate Jeremy Anderson. Dedrick recently was selected by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the 100 Modern BE Men of 2018. Dedrick has served his country as an officer in the United States Army and is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Dedrick is an avid golfer and loves to read, travel, and do karaoke.

Sally Stoker

Working on behalf of kids and families has been Sally’s focus throughout her entire professional career.  She has degrees in elementary education, psychology, and  social work. Her first career was working in the public schools as both an elementary teacher and middle school counselor.  While in the schools she became interested in bullying prevention and is the author of two prevention manuals in the Bully-Proofing Your School series for both middle and high schools.

After her education career, Sally moved into the mentoring field and had the opportunity to work with and advocate for youth, families, mentors, and staff as the Director of Education and Training for Big Brothers Big Sisters Colorado for ten years.

Her years in the mentoring field helped her explore and understand the key elements of successful mentoring programs and gave her the opportunity to develop resources and processes that maximize the mentoring relationship for everyone involved. Currently, as a consultant with MENTOR Colorado, Sally enjoys working with like-minded colleagues who are all about supporting each other in creating excellent, impactful mentoring programs that make a difference in peoples’ lives.

In her spare time, Sally volunteers with Reading Partners and tutors a delightful second grader in the Denver Public Schools. She also volunteers in the Fossil Lab at the Museum of Nature and Science cleaning and repairing fossils which are millions of years old – which helps Sally keep things in perspective! She also stays young by hiking, biking, and hanging out with her grandsons who remind her how important it is to have fun and dream big.

Brad Strong

Brad began his career as a teacher, college instructor, and trainer while living and working in remote communities in the Arctic, Micronesia, and Africa. With a passion for social and emotional learning, Brad transitioned to the nonprofit sector and worked at an international development organization. Through his work in education and international development, Brad led capacity building initiatives with nonprofits and ministries of education in Asia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. Brad also led an instructional design process to create curriculums and trainings in early childhood development, holistic child development, health education, conflict resolution, and leadership development. 

More recently, Brad was the Executive Director for a mentoring agency in Toronto focusing on coaching and service-learning before moving to Colorado. In Colorado, Brad was the founding Executive Director for MENTOR Colorado, the statewide mentoring partnership before starting his newest venture, the Wheelhouse for Nonprofits.