Staff Biographies

Teacher/Mentor

Representing UpLift since 2016...

matrujillo@coloradouplift.org

Favorite UpLift character quality is caring because for the close work we do with students, they need more adults that genuinely care about them and their future. I also love that staff cares for one another as well.

My favorite quote is "Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.” Charles Spurgeon.

A fun fact about me: I am continuously surrounded in a house of males, even my dog is male. I was raised as the only girl in a house of four boys by my father and I have three boys of my own, two step sons and an older step daughter.

 

Teacher/Mentor

. . . Representing UpLift since 2014

 BBrabec@ColoradoUpLift.org

Random Fun Fact: I really enjoy exploring and traveling! I've been a part of 2 international weddings and hope to visit every continent...except the cold ones.

Favorite Quote: "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." ~Howard Thurman

Favorite Day at UpLift: My favorite day at Uplift was when we had students share life maps they created.  They were very open and courageous sharing deep into their lives to build stronger relationships and trust in the classroom. 

Area Director - North

. . . Kicking it in her Jordans at UpLift since 2007

CCardenas@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite Adventure Activity with Students: Anything adventurous or crazy because it shows us both that we can conquer anything we put our minds to.

Favorite Quote: "People don't care about how much you know, until they know about how much you care." ~Theodore Roosevelt 

Fun Fact: I've been break dancing since I was 11 years old.

Coordinator, Accounting & Human Resources (Former Colorado UpLift Student)

...Representing UpLift since 2016

LCastillo@ColoradoUplift.org

Favorite Quote: "The only time you should ever look back, is to see how far you’ve come."

Random fact: I have terrible eyesight, but I won’t wear contacts because I freak out about touching my eye. Nope. Not happening. So glasses have become an accessory.

UpLift's Impact on my life: Uplift has impacted my life in such a tremendous way. My mentor Sirena inspired me to go to college; she was a young Latina who grew up in my neighborhood. If she could go to college, what stopped me? So I worked hard and she stood beside me every step of the way. She was there at my high school and college graduation. Without Uplift, I wouldn’t have found someone who I could relate to that inspired me to defy being what the statistics in my neighborhood said I should be. 

Coordinator, Marketing & Communications

. . . Representing UpLift since 2016

VCdeRaya@ColoradoUplift.org

Favorite UpLift quality: My favorite UpLift quality is caring. One cannot truly make a positive impact until they open their eyes and care about the people and the world around them. It is this caring and love that drives us to be our best because we are no longer striving just for ourselves, but for others. 

Favorite quote: "For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone." ~Audrey Hepburn

Random fun fact: I’m a movie buff and a dog lover. 

Area Director - Southeast

. . . Representing UpLift Since 2007

RCurington@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite UpLift Character Quality: Positive Work Ethic is my favorite character quality because it backs the very foundation of why I do what I do.  I also like it because it is not about results or a finished product. Nor is it about the destination. It’s all about the process… About the Journey. About the next step you take with or without being able to see the top. ..And the empowerment to stay on course... 

UpLift’s Impact On My Life: UpLift has impacted my life because as a younger student, I knew that impact was missing. So now that I'm older I can be the one to fill that void for students feel the same way about their life.

Favorite Saying: Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

 

Site Supervisor - East (Former Colorado UpLift Student)

. . . Living UpLift since 2009

IDaCunhaNeto@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite UpLift Character Quality or Life Skill: Integrity because it is the foundation from which on can demonstrate respect, responsibility, etc. It is the driving force of ones character.

Favorite Day at UpLift: Graduation because you are able to celebrate the hardwork and dedication that it took our students to finish high school. Many of them are the first individuals in their families to graduate or they may have not anticipated on graduating on time or at all, so being able to see them conquer what once they were fearful of is amazing.

Favorite Quote: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." ~Marianne Williamson

Site Supervisor - Southeast

. . . Representing UpLift since 2013

ADalstra@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite UpLift Character Quality: My favorite character quality is Courage. The reason being is with some of these students’ stories and what they have to go through day in and day out. Then to continue through it all with a smile on their faces, and to trust the UpLift staff must take all the courage they can muster every day.  

UpLift’s Impact On My Life: Uplift has impacted me in more ways than I can count. The staff that are pounding the pavement and not giving up inspires me to do more and to be more. I look up to a few staff to be as great of a father/role model to my kids as they are to theirs. That's real inspiration, the dailies and doing the job with care and integrity. 

Favorite Day at UpLift: One of my favorite days at uplift is when I had a student graduate and go off to the college of his dreams. On his spring break he drove all the way back to Colorado with buddies to see me, to celebrate each other, and to toast to what dreams have been accomplished and ones that we are looking forward to. It was an amazing and simple, but dynamic night. That night was filled with faith, hope, and most importantly love. 

Teacher/Mentor

. . . Representing UpLift since 2015

REasterling@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite Character Quality: Respect... I think without having respect, we will not do so for ourselves as well as with others. We have to treat others how we would like to be treated.

Randon Fact: I love outdoor adventures, working out and spending time with people close to me. I also play in an Ultimate Frisbee league. 

Favorite Quotes: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

"My life is not insignificant. My life matters." ~Unknown 

 

Teacher/Mentor

. . . Representing UpLift since 2016

IGonzalez@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite Quote(s): "The expert in anything was once a beginner" - Helen Hayes

Favorite Dat At Uplift: My favorite day at UpLift was a camping trip I took as a student called UTE trail. That was the first time I experienced "real" camping, from drinking water from rivers/creeks, to sleeping outside in a sleeping bag and more! It was definitely an experience to remember and being able to enjoy the beauty of creation was amazing!

Random Fun Facts: My favorite color is brown.
I learned how to French braid with my eyes closed.
My birthmark is shaped like a heart.
I would rather use a spoon than a fork.

 

Controller

. . . Representing UpLift since 2014.

CGrabau@ColoradoUpLift.org

Random Fun Fact: I loves to have adventures all over the world! I have been to Mexico, Thiland and Africa, and once ate quail balut in Vietnam.

UpLift’s Impact On My Life: In the short time I’ve been with UpLift, I’ve been reminded of the incredible difference one positive relationship can have on a person’s life, and the urgent importance of investing in and caring for today’s youth.

Favorite Quote: “Be done with small dreams.” ~Frances J Roberts

Teacher/Mentor

. . . Representing UpLift since 2015

BHill@ColoradoUpLift.org

Random Fact: The average person laughs 10 times a day 

Favorite Day at UpLift: My favorite day at UpLIft was the first day of classes. 

Favorite Saying: "Live life to the fullest~Unknown

Area Director - West

. . .  Representing UpLift since 2006

JLucero@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite UpLift Character Quality: My favorite UpLift character quality is Integrity. It includes honesty, being honorable and keeping promises.

Random Fun Fact: I have a weenie dog named Louie.

UpLift’s Impact On My Life: UpLift impacts my life on a daily basis. My students really help make me a better person. I try to live by the character qualities and skills we teach to our students so I can lead by example. By no means am I perfect, but I try to lead by example so my kids can see the world differently. 

Director

. . . Representing UpLift since 2007

ALucero@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite Adventure Activity with Students: My favorite adventure activity with students is paintballing!

Favorite Day at UpLift: My favorite day at UpLift was when we went on an overnight rafting trip, and I was able to witness our students’ lives being changed first hand.

Favorite Quote: “I complained that I didn’t have any shoes, until I met a man who didn’t have any feet.” ~Unknown

Site Supervisor- Skinner

. . . Caring for UpLift since 2013

TMartinez@ColoradoUpLift.org

My favorite quote: "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style." ~Maya Angelou 

My favorite character quality: Caring because caring takes you where logic leaves you.

My favorite adventure activity with students: White water rafting day that's held in the summer. I enjoy it when students who have never gone rafting go because they don't know what to expect. 

Senior Executive Assistant to the CEO

. . . Learning and growing at UpLift since 2014

NMartinez@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite UpLift Character Quality: Courage – it really takes a lot of courage to speak up and stand for what you believe and hope that someone will take the time to listen.

Favorite author: Mary Higgins Clark – love a good mystery!!

Quote to live by: “Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” – John Wesley.

Executive Assistant to the President

. . . Representing UpLift since 2015

YMontoya@ColoradoUpLift.org

 

 

Favorite Quote(s): "Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it" ~ Charles R. Swindoll

Favorite day at UpLift: When I first started at UpLift…two weeks into my job, I attended the Annual Gala.  Hearing the stories from the young students and past students really had an impact on me.  I was so amazed and impressed on how such a relatively small team could do so much and commit their time on and off the clock to mentor and help kids here in Denver.

Random or Fun fact: I’m left handed and I’ve had Chickenpox twice.

 

Specialist, Data & Research

. . . Representing UpLift since 2015

DNaudain@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite Character Quality: Integrity is my favorite Uplift character quality. It is the backbone of forging positive relationships. 

Random Fun Fact: When I was 13, I lived in Singapore for a year. My brother and I went to an “American” school there but there were students from all over the globe. Singapore is centrally located in Southeast Asia, so we were able to travel to a bunch of different countries while we lived there. I loved every minute of it and one day, I will go back. 

Favorite Quote: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ~Arthur Ashel

Senior Area Director - East (Former Colorado UpLift student)

. . . Inspiring generations of change at UpLift for 24 years - since 1991

VNellum@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite movie quote: "Every man dies...not every man lives."  William Wallace, Braveheart

Uplift’s impact on my life: I feel like I'm truly a part of a legacy because I've been involved with UpLift for 32 years and it has helped me become the man and positive role model I am today. Not only do I get to work with and be colleagues with my first mentor (the first employee of UpLift) but I get to work with and be colleagues with half a dozen staff that used to be students I mentored.

Fun fact: In the 2015-2016 school year, my entire family (my wife and our four kids) will be active participants in the organization. My wife and I are both staff members, my two high school sons are Lift Leaders, my youngest son is in 5th grade Little Lift and my daughter is in 4th grade Little Lift. Now that's living William Wallace, that's living.

Director, Advanced Leadership

. . . Representing UpLift for 19 years - since 1996

QNellum@ColoradoUpLift.org

UpLift’s Impact on My Life: UpLift has impacted my life because they took in my husband at a young age, invested in him, and turned him into who he is as a man. Because of UpLift I am married to one of the most extraordinary men around. UpLift is family for me and always will be.  I love being a part of this family!

Favorite day at UpLift: When I met with Kent Hutcheson and Jim Baller along with my husband at a restaurant at Dozens, and they offered me a job with UpLift over breakfast and sealed the deal with a "handshake and a hug."

Favorite UpLift Adventure with Students: When I first started at UpLift we took a group of students who were all gang members to a camp with a high ropes course. This was the first time they left "the hood." This changed their lives because being forced to rely on each other on this high ropes course changed their perspective on each other. I as well grew very close to those students. Even though they were in the gangs they were my students and they felt valued and loved and encouraged.

Manager, Adventure Program

. . . Representing UpLift since 2012

TNguyen@ColoradoUpLift.org

Random or Fun Fact: I have been with Outward Bound for over 17 years as a Tennis Pro.

Favorite Day at UpLift: I love taking students on an adventure outig, seeing them experience the great outdoors, and seeing their resilience in the activity.

Favorite adventure activity with students? Rafting and Snowboarding

Favorite Quote: "Do or do not, there is no try." ~Yoda

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." ~ Frodo

UpLift’s Impact on My Life: UpLift has given me the opportunity to serve both staff and students.

Chief Executive Officer

. . . Leading UpLift for more than 10 years - since 2005

MPainter@ColoradoUpLift.org

About our CEO

Michael G. Painter is the CEO of Colorado UpLift. He has been working in the youth service industry for over 35 years, starting in 1979 with an organization called Student Venture in Boulder, Colorado.  In 1984, he assumed the role of Executive Director of Student Venture in Boulder, and in 1998 was promoted to the national leadership team, and became the National Development Director.  In 2005 he joined Colorado UpLift as the first Executive Vice President. He became President and CEO one year later and continues to provide leadership as our CEO today.

Under Mike’s direction, Colorado UpLift grew from having an impact on 3,000 youth to over 5,000 youth in less than 10 years. He also played a key role in strengthening the board, adding a development board, launching a young professionals’ group and tripling the size of the UpLift budget. He was also responsible for launching the first replication efforts nationally, which has now become a separate training organization, Elevate USA.  Mike’s experience has given him a deep appreciation for strengthening and seeking ways to engage others in Colorado UpLift’s program - that is improving the quality of life for our nation’s youth.

Teacher/Mentor

...Representing UpLift since 2016

apowell@coloradouplift.org

Favorite Quote:  Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.  -Dr. Seuss

Favorite Day at UpLift:  Being a former student there are many great memories, but the best one so far would be the day I was officially hired to be a teacher/mentor for UpLift. Now I can look forward to making many more memories as a staff member for UpLift!

Impact of UpLift:  UpLift has given me the opportunity to be apart of many things that otherwise I wouldn't of done. I've been able to develop my leadership, build healthy relationships, and learn how to better serve those around me. Now as a staff member I look forward to passing down what I learned from my mentors to my students.

 

Vice President, Development

. . . Representing UpLift since 2016

TPrim@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite Uplift Value: Passion.  The UpLift staff (on all levels) is dedicated, caring and driven.  We need more people like this to make the children in our communities a priority and I am grateful to be a part of a mission that recognizes the value of our youth and is committed to their success.
    
Fun Fact about Me: I love sports and I’m pretty competitive, in fact, I have my own fantasy football team and I set a Final Four March Madness bracket each year.  I’ve won 3rd place in a skeet shooting tournament and 1st place in a poker tournament in Las Vegas.  The unexpected is always most fun!

Favorite Quote: “Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.  Peace means to be in the midst of all those things and still be calm in your heart.” ~  Unknown.

Area Director - Aurora

. . . Representing UpLift since 2004

LPulley@ColoradoUpLift.org

My favorite adventure activity with students: Hands down whitewater rafting with Noah’s Ark. It is a definite memorable moment for all students. It’s scary, it’s adventurous, it’s FUN!

My favorite day at UpLift: It was a Beach Day at summer day camp and we were at Bear Lake. We were grilling the burgers, hamburger buns were lined up ready to grab, and kids were lining up to eat.  Suddenly there was a strong gust of wind and the hamburger buns went flying high and far and Max Garcia (former UpLift staff) yells “Grab your buns!” Everybody started cracking up and laughing hard. I don’t know why it seems corny looking back, but that has been a favorable moment of mine. 

How has UpLift impacted you/your life? I am so honored to be a part of Colorado UpLift because of the powerful platform and opportunity for influence on the students. We have the honor and privilege of cultivating the lives of young people. The relationships that we are able to build and foster are amazing and they are for a lifetime. I love when a student gets it! They have that deer in the headlights moment and the lightbulb clicks on and I see it in their eyes, they understand something finally or got a revelation. I am able to be a part of this amazing journey with students. 

Senior Ambassador

. . . Leading UpLift for 33 years - since 1982 (very first employee)

MRiley@ColoradoUpLift.org

Fun Fact: I was a guest at a Broncos game in Chicago along with 3 UpLift students. We got to hang out with the players and go onto the field during the pre-game.  It was great!

Favorite Day at UpLift: My favorite day at Colorado UpLift is the day I met Kent Hutcheson.  It was June 11, 1982. UpLift was then called “Getting It All Together.” We would rename it "Colorado UpLift" a month or two later.  The “LIFT” in UpLift stands for “Leadership Involvement for Teens”.

UpLift’s Impact On My Life: UpLift has impacted me by fulfilling my calling in life.  Colorado UpLift has never been just a job to me - it is my life’s work.  It is indeed a rare privilege to have worked at the same company for over 33 years. 

Manager, Middle School Operations

. . . Interacting and leading UpLift students since 1994

IRobinson@ColoradoUpLift.org

UpLift is a 2-way experience: The students at UpLift have impacted my life by allowing me to be a part of their lives. I am privileged  to be a part of their lives in many ways which include weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, college graduations parties and many more joyous occasions with countless stories. But I have also been a part of their tragedies and heartaches; those are extremely tough and also apart of life’s journey. To allow someone access to the intimate parts of a life is precious to me… an undeserved blessing.

One of my favorite movie quotes: from “A League of Their Own” (when life gets tough… and it will)  Player- “It just got too hard”  Coach- “It is supposed to be hard, if it wasn’t hard everyone would be doing it - and that’s what makes it Great!”

Random fun fact: I married my mom's best friend’s son (they have been friends since Jr. High School).  I have known my husband my entire life.

Associate Director, Post Secondary

. . . Representing UpLift for 18 years - since 1997

SRodriguez@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite UpLift Character Quality: My favorite UpLift quality is goal setting because I enjoy helping students set their career and life goals and inspire a vision for their future.

Favorite day at UpLift: My favorite day at UpLift was when Sue Erickson hosted a breakfast for the female staff at her house in Boulder, and taught me how to make a breakfast chile relleno casserole. I have made it every year for Christmas morning ever since. It’s a family tradition now.

Favorite Quote: My favorite movie quote is “You see us as you want to see us—in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain...and an athlete...and a basket case...a princess...and a criminal…Sincerely yours, The Breakfast Club.”

Site Supervisor

. . . Representing UpLift for 20 years - since 1995

KRodgers@ColoradoUpLift.org

Random or Fun fact: Neuroplasticity: We can actually change the physical structure of our brains by changing our habits of thought (source: www.nih.gov). Two thoughts: Yes, I am a nerd and two, “It’s never too late to start where you are.”

How has UpLift impacted you/your life? “If you want to learn something, teach it.” As an UpLift Program Staff member on and off since 1995, I have seen that teaching the 13 Character Qualities and Life Skills is not just a one-way street.  Between myself and the students I mentor and teach, there is a synergy in which I learn almost as much as they do.  I have to say that, although there is much room for growth in me,  I have learned as a husband, as a father, and as a human being from teaching and mentoring the UpLift students in these last 20 years. I am truly grateful to have been, and still be, a part of their life story in this great organization.

Favorite movie quote, book quote or saying: “To everyone I want to be a blessing, from everyone I want to learn a lesson.”

Office Manager/Client Relations

...Representing UpLift since 2016

eromero@coloradouplift.org

Favorite Uplift memory: Going on a service trip to Orlando, FL with Colorado Uplift’s Advanced Leadership. We went to this old trailer park to help multiple families in need. These trailer parks were in very  bad condition, each house looked like it was going to fall apart. We picked up trash, washed each trailer to re- paint, fixed the all the doors, windows, and gutters. Man was it exhausting especially in that 100 degree weather! After we finished we provided lunch, and gave the children in that neighborhood toys and school supplies. Some parents were crying because they were so  happy and blessed that they would have a better environment to raise their children. After all our hard work the Advanced leadership Teachers rewarded us by taking us to the beach to have a little fun! This experience was very humbling and made me so grateful for the things I have, something I will never forget!

Favorite quote: "Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best."     -St.Jerome

Fun Fact: I love to play poker. One day I hope to become a poker pro!

 

Teacher/Mentor

. . . Keeping it real at UpLift since 2014

MSaenz@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite Quote: “If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.”  ~Mark Twain

Favorite UpLift memory: Telling my old UpLift mentors that I’d now be working with them.

UpLift’s Impact On My Life: UpLift was there with me every step of the way in high school and after, even when I wanted to quit on myself. 

Teacher/Mentor (Former Colorado UpLift Student)

. . . Representing UpLift since 2014

JSalas@ColoradoUpLift.org

Fun Fact: From kindergarten to senior-year graduation I maintained perfect attendance!

UpLift’s Impact on my Life: UpLift inspired me to gain the potential to find and fulfill my purpose in life. I am doing what I love to do, and what I am best at. UpLift allows me to work with youth and show them the same thing.

Favorite Day at UpLift: Going to different service trips with my Summer Advanced Leadership Teams over two summers in New York and New Orleans.

Site Supervisor - West

. . . Representing UpLift since 2014

MSalinas@ColoradoUpLift.org

UpLift’s Impact On My Life: UpLift has impacted my life because I get to invest in kids coming from the same neighborhood, city, and culture as myself. It allows me to help them learn from my mistakes. UpLift has also impacted my life in another way. My personal family is able to be involved in the lives of our students and work. Uplift has given my wife and three children a platform to help serve our kiddos.

Favorite Adventure Activity With Students: My favorite adventure with the kids was going to Breckinridge because most of them had never even been out of Denver city limits. They were able to experience something brand new!

Teacher/Mentor

Representing UpLift since 2016...

rsanchez@coloradouplift.org

Favorite UpLift Quality: My favorite UpLift quality has to be respect. I feel like without respect you can only go so far in life.

Favorite Quote: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy." -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Fun Fact: I'm so scared of heights that I've only been on an airplane once when I was 25.

Manager of Development Database

...Representing UpLift since 2016

nslyter@coloradouplift.org

Favorite uplift character quality:  My favorite UpLift character quality is integrity. Integrity is all about moral judgment and character, honesty and leadership values. All of these characteristics are the building blocks for healthy relationships, positive change, and serve as strong foundation for the mission at UpLift.
 
Favorite quote: “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.”  Rumi

Fun fact: This year I have finally manifested my beehive. I am excited about my new journey in beekeeping and look forward to reaping the benefits…happy bees, happy, garden, and honey!

 

Teacher/Mentor

. . . Representing UpLift since 2014

TSmith@ColoradoUpLift.org

Random Fun Fact: I love building forts with my kids on the weekend and watching movies

UpLift’s Impact On My Life: UpLift is something I have always wanted to be a part of. I love to be a part of the empowerment of young people in our community and build relationships that are never ending.

Favorite Adventure Activity With Students: I was able to take a student that loved basketball to her first Nuggets game at the Pepsi Center! We had a blast!

Teacher/Mentor (Former Colorado UpLift Student)

. . . Representing UpLift since 2014 (former Colorado UpLift student)

PSmith@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite UpLift Character Quality: Integrity is my favorite character quality. I think if you have integrity as a leader than people are willing to work with you on the other qualities you may lack. If a leader lacks integrity there is no other quality or life skill that will make up for it.

Fun Fact: One fun fact about me is I used to be in a competitive hip hop dance group in high school that competed regularly.

UpLift’s Impact On My Life: One way that Colorado UpLift impacted my life was exposing me to  things that I would not have been introduced to otherwise. For example no one in my neighborhood went snowboarding or horseback riding, so I figured that those would be things I would not enjoy. Through UpLift I found out I really enjoy both of those activities.  

Chief Financial Officer

. . . Representing UpLift since 2008 

BStamer@ColoradoUpLift.org

Fun Fact: After already working at UpLift, I received offers to play professional basketball but turned them down because UpLift was and is my calling.

UpLift’s Impact on My Life: UpLift has given me a perspective of the struggles students face, and the solutions to helping them through these struggles.

Favorite Day at UpLift: My favorite day at UpLift was when I went on the Advanced Leadership Trip to Orlando, and got to serve next to many of our students. 

Teacher/Mentor

. . . Representing UpLift since 2013 

ESwank@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite Adventure Activity With Students: I love going white water rafting with students!

Favorite Quote: “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” ~William Wallace

Random Fun Fact: In an average NFL football game, There are only about 12 minutes of actual play time.

 

Teacher/Mentor

Representing UpLift since 2016...

CThompson@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite uplift memory: Jumping off of a huge cliff into a lake in the mountains alongside my closest friends and Uplift mentors during my sophomore year in high school.
 
Favorite quote:  “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” –Jim Elliott
 
Fun fact about yourself:  My junior year in high school I was able to meet Tim Tebow at a Denver Nuggets game because of Uplift!

 

Site Supervisor - South

. . . Giving my all to UpLift since 2006

BTorrez@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite adventure activity with students: Overnight Rafting is my favorite activity with the kids - honestly, because I get to prank our students

Favorite saying: Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you! Dr. Seuss

Random Fact: I met my husband on the side of the road when I was 15.

Teacher/Mentor

. . . Representing UpLift for 22 years since 1993

FTrujillo@ColoradoUpLift.org

President

. . . Leading UpLift since 2012

GTrujillo@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite UpLift Character Quality: My favorite UpLift character quality is Leadership. Being an indigenous leader in Denver, I believe that indigenous leaders can influence great change in our neighborhoods. Also, I believe in passing on leadership to others so we can multiply our leadership capacities across the state and nation.

UpLift’s Impact On My Life: UpLift has impacted my life allowing me to continue to reach kids across the city. I have spent my entire career working with kids in Denver.

Favorite Quote (Gem of Wisdom): “Don’t let your wins go to your head or your losses go to your heart.”  ~ Grandma. I try to live by her words every day. 

Area Director - South (Former Colorado UpLift Student)

. . . From UpLift Student to Staff member since 2005

DUbaldo@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite UpLift Character Quality: My favorite character quality is Leadership! Everything rises and falls on Leadership. It is the way we are going to bring and inspire change in our neighborhoods that are struggling to strive and succeed. With a strong leadership culture we can do the unimaginable! We will bring change into our world, and to people around us.

Favorite Adventure Activity With Students: My favorite adventure activity by far is snowboarding. It is a challenging, life-pushing activity that gives our kids an opportunity to grow mentally, emotionally and personally. I have seen so many kids build confidence and self-esteem from this activity, and just to get them out in our beautiful Rocky Mountains is a life changing experience for me also.

Uplift’s Impact On My Life: Uplift has impacted my life in a major way. It has been impacting and challenging me ever since I was a student at North High School. I’m an alumnus of the program and a living testimony that having a mentor and leadership guidance can have a huge impact on youth. Uplift is worth investing my own life and abilities to work with the inner city youth of Denver.

Teacher/Mentor

...Representing UpLift since 2016

AUrbina@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite uplift character quality: Vision, because with it, new frontiers are trail blazed. The ability to see beyond one's current situation, limitations, and lack of.

Favorite quote: “For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” 

Fun fact: My wife and I love to travel. We will go anywhere for the first time.

Teacher/Mentor

. . . Representing UpLift since 2015

JValdez@ColoradoUpLift.org

Fun Fact: I used to play semi professional football for the Colorado Cobras in the Colorado Football Conference league.  

Favorite Saying: "Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breath and love as long as you live." ~Unknown- 

Favorite UpLift Character Quality: My favorite character quality I would have to say Is goal setting because you get to help students set goals for there lives and watch them successfully achieve there goals and be able to be a part of it all at the same time is life changing in it self. 

Teacher/Mentor

. . . Representing UpLift since 2010

JWalter@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite UpLift Character Quality: All of the qualities and skills we teach must be lived to set an example to our families and students. They all work together.

UpLift’s Impact On My Life: I have experienced many joys and adventures being a part of the community. Uplift has blessed me and my family in many ways!

Favorite day at UpLift: Any day that I see a student realize that there is hope, and a purpose to their life during a class or bonding activity.

Teacher/Mentor

. . . Representing UpLift since 2016

AWarren@ColoradoUpLift.org

Random Fun Fact: Dark chocolate makes me sneeze. I got to hear Nelson Mandela speak in South Africa.

Favorite UpLift Character Quality: Vision because despite ones circumstances it is important to see the endless possibilities of your life and what it can become.

Favorite Quote: "Loose lips sink ships." ~ Unknown.  Even though I grew up an army brat, it is one I always remember hearing and still say.

Teacher/Mentor (Former Colorado UpLift Student)

. . . UpLift Student morphed into UpLift Staff since 2012

CWilson@ColoradoUpLift.org

UpLift Student morphed into UpLift Staff since

Favorite Uplift Character Quality: My favorite UpLift character quality has got to be Vision. I believe that without it, you cannot even begin to touch on our other twelve qualities and skills. If you do not know where you are going, or you do not have direction, you are just stuck and incapable of real change. UpLift has taught me that when you have vision, all things are possible!

Favorite Day at Uplift: My favorite day at UpLift is Dolous! When our high school “lift leaders” meet the “little lift students” for the first time. There is just something special about the relationship created throughout the day. The very beginnings of life changes happen right before our very eyes! All of the excitement from the team building activities spills over into the staff and the elementary school. It is a very special day indeed.

Random Fact: I know a lot of Random Facts.

Teacher/Mentor (Former Colorado UpLift Student)

. . . Representing UpLift since 2012

AWoodard@ColoradoUpLift.org

Favorite day at UpLift: My favorite day is the annual banquet because I love to hear the students’ stories. It is good to hear the students talk about where came from, and where they are going.

UpLift’s Impact On My Life: UpLift gave me a father figure to look up to which I never had growing up.

Favorite Quote: "What we do in life....echoes in eternity." ~Maximums Desimus Meridius, Gladiator