Staff:

Lori Canova

President & CEO

Terry Bittner

CFO

Garett Brownlee Plantz

Vice President of Programs

Arica Avila

PROGRAM COORDINATOR: BROADWAY EAST CLASS

Karen Benker

Financial Assistant

Jorge Cisneros

Program Director: Elk Class @ Kalmia Housing Site

Meg Clymer

AmeriCorps Program Coordinator

Lupita Crespo

Program Director: Alicia Class @ Alicia Sanchez Elementary School

Cendy de la Torre

Development Coordinator

Lucía Díaz

Program Coordinator: Phoenix and Broadway East Classes

Claudia Fernandez

Director of College and Career Programs

Elyana Funk

Notre Dame Mission Volunteers AmeriCorps Site Director

Holly Gordon

PROGRAM COORDINATOR: ASPEN CLASS

Rachel Hartgen

Director of Development and Communications

Seth Hays

Program Director: Aspen Class @ Timberline PK-8 School

Travis Herbert

Senior Director of Secondary Programs & Prevention

Jaimie Kerka

Program COORDINATOR | GRIFFIN CLASS

Tracy Leffingwell

Program Director: Oak Class @ Casey Middle School

Carlos Lerma

Director of Parent Partnership

Carla Maniscalco

Director of Volunteers

Mario Martinez

Program Director: Griffin Class @ Centaurus High School

Francisco Medina

Program Director: Diagonal Class @ Diagonal Court Housing Site

Olimpia Mejia

Program DIrector: Rocky Mountain Class @ Trail Ridge Middle School

Francisco Mejias

Program Director: Phoenix Class @ Boulder High School

Elena Mendoza

Senior Program Director of Primary Programs and Academics

Gary Moore

Assistant Volunteer Coordinator

Sophia Oliveira

Grants Manager

Katharine Reece

Donor Relations Manager

Regina Reyes-Zaragoza

Volunteer Manager

Lupita Sanchez

Program Coordinator: Oak Class

Aurora Santos

Program Director: Carbon Valley Class at Thunder Valley K-8 School

Beatrice 'Bea' Salazar

Program Director: Griffin Class at Centaurus High School

Katie Scolari Borden

DREAM BIG PROJECT MANAGER

Jessica Sharley

Development Manager

Anakary Valenzuela

Community Engagement Specialist

Paulette Warembourg

Office Manager

Lori Canova

President & CEO

303-444-3636 x116 | lori.canova@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Lori has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation of Boulder County (IHDF) since 1997. Under her leadership, the organization has grown to serve over 1,100 students and their families in four communities (Boulder, Lafayette, Longmont, and Carbon Valley) within two of the largest school districts in Colorado (Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley), providing services and awarding over $3 million in college scholarships. Lori helped start the local Mentors Matter group which focuses on recruitment of mentors, especially mentors of color. She also helped launch a county-wide collaborative school supply drive, Crayons to Calculators, and is a co-founder and co-chair of the Dream Big Initiative, which focuses on closing the achievement and opportunity gap in Boulder County. Lori has a Master of Social Work from the University of Denver and completed her undergraduate work in Social Work at Colorado State University. She has served on the board of directors for Foothills United Way and Volunteers in Prevention. She currently serves as a board member for the National “I Have A Dream” Foundation in New York City, is a member of the Sanchez Foundation Board, and was recently appointed by the Boulder Board of County Commissioners to serve on the Boulder County Housing and Human Services Advisory Committee. Lori has received the Woman of the Year award from the Boulder Professional Women’s Group, the Partnership Award from Boulder Housing Partners and the Women Who Light the Community Award from the Boulder Chamber of Commerce.

Terry Bittner

CFO

303-444-3636 x118 | terry.bittner@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Terry is responsible for the organization’s financial management and information technology. He graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with a Master in Business Administration. He owned his own businesses before joining IHDF in 2006.

Garett Brownlee Plantz

Vice President of Programs

303-444-3636 x112 | garett.brownlee.plantz@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Garett leads IHDF’s program staff and partnerships. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Speech Communications from Utah State University and a Licensed Master of Social Work degree from the University of Texas-Austin. She served as an AmeriCorps member with IHDF for three years before eventually joining the staff in her current role in 2016.

Arica Avila

PROGRAM COORDINATOR: BROADWAY EAST CLASS

303-444-3636 | arica.avila@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Arica has a bachelor’s degree in History SETS (Science, the Environment, Technology, and Society) and master’s degree in Education from Montana State University. She spent three years working as a school counselor in Montana before joining IHDF’s Broadway East Class as a Program Coordinator in 2019.

Karen Benker

Financial Assistant

303-444-3636 x117 | karen.benker@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Karen has a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of Montana, with coursework in Economics and Public Administration from George Washington University and University of Colorado-Denver. She worked in government finance and for Colorado Workforce before joining IHDF in 2018.

Jorge Cisneros

Program Director: Elk Class @ Kalmia Housing Site

720-295-5541 | jorge.cisneros@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Jorge is Program Director for the Elk Class. He has a bachelor’s degree in Computing Systems Engineering from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He worked for international corporations and in various Spanish language media production roles before coming to IHDF in 2016.

Meg Clymer

AmeriCorps Program Coordinator

303-444-3636 x121 | megan.clymer@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Meg has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and a minor in Sociology from Baldwin Wallace University. She served two terms as a Notre Dame AmeriCorps member at IHDF starting in 2016 before joining the staff. She worked with the Rocky Mountain Class and the Programs department before assuming her current role in 2018. 

Lupita Crespo

Program Director: Alicia Class @ Alicia Sanchez Elementary School

720-491-2181 | lupita.crespo@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Lupita serves as Program Director for the Alicia Dreamer Scholars at Alicia Sanchez Elementary. She is a Longmont, CO native and graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Business. She has been working directly with local youth for over 5 years and joined IHDF in 2018.

Cendy de la Torre

Development Coordinator

Cendy was born in Jalisco, Mexico and moved to the U.S.A. at the age of 5. She earned a degree in Ethnic Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she developed a passion in advocating for the needs of students in marginalized communities. Before joining IHDF, Cendy applied her strengths and experience within the financial aid realm of higher education, as she supported students and their families in better understanding financial tools and resources to achieve their educational goals. She is very excited to begin her journey with IHDF and continue the work towards making higher education more accessible for students with underrepresented identities.

Lucía Díaz

Program Coordinator: Phoenix and Broadway East Classes

303-444-3636 | lucia.diaz@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Lucía came to IHDF in 2019, serving both the Phoenix and Broadway East classes. She is originally from Mexico City, Mexico. In 2015, she graduated from Universidad Centro Eleia with a Psychology degree, where she had various internships in both a clinical and school classroom setting. In addition, she recently earned a diploma from The Montessori Institute in Denver.

Claudia Fernandez

Director of College and Career Programs

303-444-3636 | claudia.fernandez@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Claudia has bachelor’s degrees in Psychology & Women’s Studies from Florida State University and a master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University. Her broad experience ensures IHDF’s post-secondary students have wide-ranging college and career guidance with individualized support. She joined the IHDF team in 2018.

Elyana Funk

Notre Dame Mission Volunteers AmeriCorps Site Director

303-444-3636 x121 | elyana.funk@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Elyana leads IHDF’s Notre Dame AmeriCorps team. She has a bachelor’s degree in Comparative Area Studies: Latin America & North America, and minors in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish from Duke. She joined IHDF as an AmeriCorps member in 2000, and was previously the Sanchez Class Program Director for 12 years before serving in her current role.

Holly Gordon

PROGRAM COORDINATOR: ASPEN CLASS

Holly came in IHDF in 2019. She has worked in Education for the last ten years, from teaching English and Leadership abroad, to creating a college prep program for low-income high school students in Denver. Recently, she moved from Jackson Hole, Wyoming where she served as an Americorps member and an Instructor at Teton Science Schools, teaching outdoor place-based education. She enjoys adventuring in the mountains year-round and experimenting in the kitchen. She has a B.A. in International Studies & Spanish, with minors in Leadership and Gender Studies.

Rachel Hartgen

Director of Development and Communications

303-444-3636 x114 | rachel.hartgen@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Rachel joined IHDF in 2019 to oversee the development department, including communications. She has a dual master’s in economics and international development from the University of Denver, with a focus on non-profit management. She has over a decade of experience in fundraising, communications, program management, and monitoring and evaluation for organizations working in Colorado and abroad with a passion for increasing access to educational and economic opportunities. 

Seth Hays

Program Director: Aspen Class @ Timberline PK-8 School

720-480-4499 | seth.hays@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Seth joined IHDF in 2013 as Program Director for Longmont’s Aspen Dreamer Scholar Class. He has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Colorado Christian University and a master’s degree in Earth Sciences from the University of Northern Colorado.

Travis Herbert

Senior Director of Secondary Programs & Prevention

303-444-3636 | travis.herbert@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Travis joined IHDF in 2018 and oversees our middle and early high school sites and prevention programs.  He has over 20 years experience working with youth. He has a Master’s in Social Work from the University of New England and a bachelor of science in Recreation Management from Appalachian State University. He is a registered psychotherapist in Colorado and working toward his LCSW licensure.

Jaimie Kerka

Program COORDINATOR | GRIFFIN CLASS

303-444-3636 | jaimie.kerka@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Jaimie Kerka spent the 2018-2019 academic year as a Notre Dame AmeriCorps Service Member with the Griffin class, implementing programming and working closely with Dreamer Scholars and their families. She joined the Griffin Class at the Project Coordinator in summer 2019. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Wakefield University.

Tracy Leffingwell

Program Director: Oak Class @ Casey Middle School

303-444-3636 | tracy.leffingwell@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Tracy joined IHDF in 2015. She has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Colorado–Boulder and a master’s degree in Foreign Language with a Teaching Emphasis from the University of Northern Colorado. She worked in education and as a teacher before coming to IHDF.

Carlos Lerma

Director of Parent Partnership

303-444-3636 | carlos.lerma@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Carlos joined “I Have A Dream” in 2019 as the Director of Parent Partnerships. Carlos comes
with a wide range of experience working with parents and communities in several organizations, bringing with him experience in authentic connection, confidence in an inclusive process, and the ability to convene others around shared goals. He is also a Dreamer Scholar Alumni from the Broadway Class, adding additional program experiential value.

Carla Maniscalco

Director of Volunteers

303-444-3636 | carla.maniscalco@ihaveadreamboulder.org

As Director of Volunteers, Carla brought more than 20 years of working with volunteers in a variety of organizations, and of all ages and backgrounds, when she joined IHDF in 2018. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Behavioral Science from Metropolitan State University and a Certificate in Volunteer Management from Metro Volunteers and the Points of Light Foundation.

Mario Martinez

Program Director: Griffin Class @ Centaurus High School

mario.martinez@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Mario is Program Director for the Griffin Class. He served as the La Vista Program Director at Alicia Sanchez Elementary before assuming his current role. He earned a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs with minors in Leadership and Political Science from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Prior to joining IHDF in 2018, Mario worked with at-risk students in Boulder County.

Francisco Medina

Program Director: Diagonal Class @ Diagonal Court Housing Site

303-323-5422 | francisco.medina@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Francisco is Program Director the Dreamer Scholars at the Diagonal Court housing site in Boulder. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Women’s Studies from University of Colorado-Boulder. He worked locally with juvenile offenders before joining IHDF in 2018. 

Olimpia Mejia

Program DIrector: Rocky Mountain Class @ Trail Ridge Middle School

720-369-3442 | olimpia.mejia@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Olimpia “Oli” joined IHDF in 2014 as Program Director for the Rocky Mountain Class in Longmont. She graduated from the Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Mexico. She spent several years in bilingual education and programming before coming to IHDF.

Francisco Mejias

Program Director: Phoenix Class @ Boulder High School

720-564-0819 | francisco.mejias@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Francisco “Cisco” has a bachelor’s degree in Education and Bilingual Education from Metro State University. After working as a teacher, he joined IHDF in 1999 as Program Director for the Broadway Class until 2009 and served as Iris Class Program Director from 2008-2018. He is now the Phoenix Class Program Director.

Elena Mendoza

Senior Program Director of Primary Programs and Academics

303-444-3636 | elena.mendoza@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Elena Mendoza joined “I Have A Dream” in 2019. Elena has a master’s degree in Administration and Supervision from the University of Phoenix and bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado. Elena is an experienced school administrator with a demonstrated history of working in the education field. She is skilled in coaching, classroom management, lesson planning, instructional design, differentiated instruction, and English language development.

Gary Moore

Assistant Volunteer Coordinator

Gary came to IHDF in 2019 with a passion for service and non-profit work. He is a Colorado Native currently living in Frederick. He attended the University of Colorado at Boulder where he received his Bachelor’s in Economics and Minor in Political Science. After college, he spent two years as an AmeriCorps member traveling around the country performing disaster relief and environmental conservation efforts.

Sophia Oliveira

Grants Manager

303-444-3636 x115 | grants@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Sophia joined IHDF in 2019 to manage its large grants portfolio. As the daughter of Brazilian and Argentinean immigrants, she looks forward to motivating youth from low-income communities. She has over 5 years of experience working with and writing grants for nonprofits. She earned a BS in Biology from Rochester Institute of Tech and an MS in Environmental Studies from Green Mountain College.

Katharine Reece

Donor Relations Manager

303-444-3636 x140 | katharine.reece@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Katharine joined IHDF in 2018 to manage its large grants portfolio. She now manages the Foundation’s donor relations. She has over 10 years of experience as a writer, editor, and non-profit fundraiser. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Wellesley College and a Master of Fine Arts in non-fiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

Regina Reyes-Zaragoza

Volunteer Manager

303-444-3636 | regina.reyes.zaragoza@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Regina graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with bachelor’s degrees in International Affairs and Art History. Bilingual in Spanish and English, she worked with a variety of domestic and international non-profits before joining IHDF in 2018 to support the volunteer department.

Lupita Sanchez

Program Coordinator: Oak Class

303-444-3636 | lupita.sanchez@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Lupita came to IHDF in 2019.  She was born in Zacatecas, Mexico and raised in Boulder. She was the first generation in her family to graduate, recently earning a degree in international business from the University of Colorado, Denver.

 

Aurora Santos

Program Director: Carbon Valley Class at Thunder Valley K-8 School

720-494-3895 | aurora.santos@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Aurora grew up on a small Pacific island called Saipan, then earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology and played volleyball at West Virginia University. Before joining IHDF in 2016 as Program Director for the Carbon Valley Class, she worked in education and education support roles for a variety of organizations.

Beatrice 'Bea' Salazar

Program Director: Griffin Class at Centaurus High School

303-444-3636 | bea.salazar@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Bea brings a wealth of experience working with both high school and postsecondary students, and will be a tremendous asset to the Griffin community (and our organization at large) in helping students think about their educational journeys, postsecondary options, and turning their dreams to realities. “Helping individuals achieve their academic goals!” has been Bea’s mantra for working with students. She has aiding students and their families in the college going process, and retaining in college. She has worked at Metropolitan State, Community Colleges of Aurora and Denver and the Denver Scholarship Foundation ensuring students have resources and are supported to succeed in future goals.

Katie Scolari Borden

DREAM BIG PROJECT MANAGER

303-444-3636 x123 | dreambig@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Katie brings 16 years of nonprofit leadership, management and partnership development experience to her role as Dream Big Project Manager. Katie has developed long-term partnerships that support communities confronting issues of poverty around the globe. A Certified Nonprofit Professional, Katie holds a Bachelor’s of Science in International Politics from Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver.

Jessica Sharley

Development Manager

303-444-3636 x113 | jessica.sharley@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Jessica joined IHDF in 2018 and manages IHDF’s events, development and communications efforts, with an additional focus on database management. Jessica holds a PhD in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Anakary Valenzuela

Community Engagement Specialist

Anakary is a Dreamer Scholar Alumna from the Sanchez Class, who graduated from Centaurus High School in 2012. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Integrative Health Care from Metropolitan State University. In this role Anakary will continue to  focus on health equity activation in our North Boulder community – through partnership and outreach.

Paulette Warembourg

Office Manager

303-444-3636 | office.manager@ihaveadreamboulder.org

Paulette is the office manager at “I Have A Dream’s” central office.

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