Who I am…
I am a former social justice attorney (inactive), a heart-centered advocate, and a visionary agent of change. For over 30 years I have worked toward a vision of creating a more compassionate, just, and sustainable world that supports our most vulnerable populations to nurture them into our most valuable leaders. I have been a leader, a helper, a healer, an advocate, a manager, a teacher, and a writer. But my greatest joy is when I can connect exceptional people and big ideas together to better serve humanity.
My vision for humanity is a more compassionate, just & sustainable world created through trauma-informed, heart-centered leadership. By preventing and healing the toxic trauma and shame imposed by misaligned systems, organizational dysfunction, and interpersonal relationships, we create a meaningful & accessible experience of equality and justice for all.
My mission is to create meaningful, trauma-informed social change through heart-centered leadership and empathetic decision-making. I help the helpers, our most valuable asset in creating a more just and compassionate world. I serve as a bridge to ensure that voices of vulnerability become our most valued leaders.
What’s my story
What Do I Believe In?
I believe in supporting and strengthening our connections to one another so we can better support not just our most vulnerable populations but our most valuable leaders as well. Bringing a passion and a vision for a more compassionate world, I share my strategic advocacy and leadership skills for individuals and organizations that seek to make a difference.
Recognizing that many of us are wounded healers, I am sex-positive, BIPOC, trans and sex worker inclusive, LGBTQ and lifestyle aware.
I build bridges between communities in order to nurture greater collaboration and prosperity for a trauma-informed approach to social change.
My Formal (and Informal) Education
My undergraduate education was completed at Loyola University of Chicago, I worked in the Office of Student Diversity and held leadership positions in Alpha Chi Omega and the Latin American Students Association. Graduating cum laude and with departmental honors, I earned my bachelor of arts degree in sociology with a minor in political science in 1999.
Upon returning to Colorado, I worked in law and public policy as an aide to both Joseph E. Losavio, Pueblo’s former district attorney, and the Honorable Abel Tapia, one of Pueblo’s representatives in the state legislature. These opportunities exposed me to valuable lessons in both litigation and legislation that inspired my passion for politics and public policy.
I obtained my Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. I have been lucky enough to work in both the public and private sectors, in both private business and nonprofit.
Specifically calling upon my skills as an advocate, mediator, trainer, and evaluator, I have integrated the best practices into strategies and approaches that prioritize nimble processes that allow individuals and organizations to be more adaptable to sudden change or longer-term challenges. I’m always thinking ten steps ahead and integrating new tools to initiate transformation for peaceful social change.
My Background, Interests and Loves
Born and raised in Pueblo, Colorado I learned early lessons in the impacts of inequality and injustice and was active in both politics and philanthropy. I was the daughter of mixed faith heritages: devoted Mexican Catholic and humanistic Rocky Mountain scientist.
In 1990 I was spiritually called to live my life as a message of Love to build a more empathetic, equitable world through public service. I am a frequent guest on the Buddhist Biohacker podcast with Lisa Gunshore on YouTube promoting different trauma-informed and socially-conscious ways to lead humanity.
I currently live in Denver with my partner of nearly 20 years, our children, two cats with big personalities and one dog with an insatiable appetite for love. I enjoy gardening, writing my blog, deepening spiritual wisdom through meditation and crocheting. Much of my own philosophy, ethics and vision is mirrored in my love of sci-fi and fantasy including: Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Harry Potter and so much more. I bring out the geek in nearly all my interactions.
My successes include:
- Restoring pre-recession funding levels and securing additional capital construction funding commitments for Colorado Charter Schools
- Maintaining a 70% approval rate for initial SSI/SSDI applications for adults with severe disabilities
- Leading a team of navigators to an 86% approval rate for initial child SSI/SSDI applications and 57% for adults on the initial filing and 87% approval on appeal.
- Providing technical assistance and advocacy with community partners to create trauma-informed public policy, by updating misaligned systems, regulations, and forms for Colorado’s Aid to Needy Disabled (AND) program including the creation of a state-wide SSI application assistance program (HB19-1223).
Served as the Denver Metro Lead for SOAR (SSI/SSDI Outreach Access & Recovery). Led a department of 25 navigators that assisted over 1300 people/yr with wrap-around services to support self-sufficiency and job retention. Services included navigation of federal & state housing, health care and basic cash assistance programs. Secured additional grant and contract funding to support departmental objectives including training and infrastructure improvements.
Rose Solutions (Mediation & Parenting Coordination)
In private practice, I offered mediation & conflict resolution services to families, schools, policy makers and non-profit entities. I specialized in LGBTQ and non-traditional family structures. I have mediated over a hundred cases ranging from landlord-tenant to small claims, divorce & child custody to school bullying.
By engaging with conflict directly, honestly and compassionately, we are able to uncover solutions and move forward in ways that we never thought was possible.
Colorado Disability Benefits Support Program (now closed)
2015 – 2017
Screen, develop and submit initial SSI/SSDI applications on behalf of clients who have applied for financial and medical assistance in Jefferson County as part of the HOPE (Helping our People Excel) Program. Former advocate with the AND pilot program where I maintained a 70% approval rate on the initial application.
Colorado League of Charter Schools
2004 – 2006
Lobbied Colorado Legislature and Colorado Board of Education on charter school issues. Testimony, bill drafting and daily contact with stake-holders were an integral part of the position. Additionally, I worked to educate charter school leaders on their rights and duties as public school employees. My primary function was to protect Colorado’s charter schools and create opportunities for growth and reform through public school choice. Collaborated with BOCES, State Department of Ed and Office of Civil Rights to identify and resolve barriers to high quality services for special needs students.