Our Team

RACHAEL GAZDICK

PRESIDENT & CEO

Rachael Gazdick is president and chief executive officer of Colorado “I Have A Dream Foundation” (CIHAD), an organization that has impacted more than 1,000 students in its 30-year history, and currently serves close to 700 youth. She brings to the organization 24 years of experience in education and advocacy, and leads the foundations expansion efforts in ensure education equity for Colorado students. Prior to joining CIHADF, Rachael served as the Executive Director of Say Yes to Education Syracuse, a program housed within Syracuse University’s School of Education. The district-wide organization served more than 22,000 students in 31 schools. (more…)

STEPHANIE COSTNER

VP OF PROGRAMS & EVALUATIONS

Stephanie Costner joined the Colorado “I Have A Dream Foundation” (CIHAD) team as the vice president for programs and evaluation in 2014. She leads a team of educators and clinicians who deliver academic and extended day programming, as well as wrap-around and clinical supports to Dreamers in elementary through college. Stephanie also manages grants, program data and evaluations to support funding and growth initiatives for the organization. (more…)

STEPHANIE DREILING

VP OF FINANCE AND OPERATIONS

Stephanie Dreiling joined the Colorado “I Have A Dream Foundation” (CIHAD) team in 2008 as the office manager after returning to Denver from Maui. She has been with the organization over 10 years, and during that time has expanded her role into an administrative director, followed by director of finance & operations and now currently as the Vice President of Finance & Operations. Prior to her return to Denver, she worked with Paradise Television and the Pacific Whale Foundation in Maui. (more…)

ASHLEY ALVAREZ WALSH

VP OF DEVELOPMENT

Ashley Alvarez Walsh has over 12 years’ experience in non-profit development and private sector sales. Most recently she served as the Director of Corporate Relations at the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas where she focused on annual, capital and special events revenue to serve more than 26,000 girls in Northeast Texas. During her tenure she successfully developed new donor relationships and fundraising strategic plans that resulted in the largest corporate giving year in Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas’ history. (more…)

MADELINE WILLIAMS

DIRECTOR OF POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Madeline Williams is the director of post-secondary education and workforce development at Colorado “I Have A Dream Foundation” (CIHAD). In her current role she oversees workforce development and college retention services for students and their families. (more…)

BERENICE AGUIRRE

K-5 DIRECTOR, STRIVE PREP RUBY HILL

Berenice Aguirre joined Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHAD) 2018 as the new K-5 Director at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. Before joining the CIHADF team, she taught for three years within the STRIVE school network . As a teacher, Berenice developed and implemented English Language Development curriculum. In addition, as part of the school’s family council, she helped lead culturally responsive family engagement practices. (more…)

MEL KAIEL, LPC, NCC

Clinical Director - STRIVE Prep Ruby Hill Elementary

Mel is currently  the clinical director at Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHAD), where she works to enhance and promote youth mental health and social emotional services to all Dreamers a STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Colorado and is a Nationally Certified Counselor. Mel has years of experience providing individual, family and group therapy to clients with a wide range of severe emotional and behavioral issues; working in residential, school and in-home settings. (more…)

SHAUN RICHEY, LCSW

CLINICAL COORDINATOR, STRIVE PREP RUBY HILL

Shaun is  a clinical coordinator with Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHAD) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. In her current position, she  is responsible for creating a grief program to  provide greater structure and support to the students and families with bereavement needs. Shaun  is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of Colorado who has dedicated her career to working with diverse populations, including juvenile sexual offenders, adolescents with severe emotional and behavioral issues and  individuals and families in hospice at end of life. Through her work, Shaun has utilized evidence-based practices through a trauma and attachment lens to provide individual, family and group therapy. Shaun specializes in grief and trauma work and is passionate about supporting children and families through their grief journey. (more…)

CHANTEL AGUILAR

OPERATIONS COORDINATOR

Chantel Aguilar is the operations coordinator for Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHAD) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing CIHAD’s STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill finances, human resources and building operations and coordination of materials. In addition to her work as operations coordinator, Chantel acts as a senior S.T.E.A.M. instructor and Academic Day Support Staff member. She has worked with the organization in all these capacities for three years. (more…)

SYDNEY BOZEK

EXTENDED DAY COORDINATOR

Sydney is an extended day coordinator for Colorado “I Have A Dream Foundation” (CIHADF) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. She is primarily responsible for coaching instructional staff, developing curriculum and building partnerships with external organizations to create outstanding programming for CIHADF’s Dreamers. She hopes to continue to improve CIHADF’s STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill provision of extracurricular services by creating a safe space where Dreamers can explore diverse learning opportunities. (more…)

ANASTASIYA TKACHENKO

EXTENDED DAY COORDINATOR

Anastasiya is an extended day coordinator for Colorado “I Have A Dream Foundation” (CIHADF) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. She is responsible for overseeing the ST.E.A.M After School Program, data management and curriculum development. Additionally, she is the Liaison for the Academic Day Support Program and provides instructional coaching during the extended day. (more…)

MAGNOLIA MALDONADO

EXTENDED DAY COORDINATOR

Magnolia is an extended day coordinator for Colorado “I Have A Dream Foundation” (CIHADF) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. As an extended day coordinator, she oversees the communication channel between STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill teachers and CIHADF staff. Magnolia has worked for CIHAD for over a year, building relationships with students, helping with academic day supports and leading clubs during afterschool programming. (more…)

FRAN TRUJILLO

INSTRUCTIONAL COACH

Fran is an Instructional Coach for the Colorado “I Have A Dream” Foundation (CIHAD). Prior to working with CIHADF she served as a school principal for 25 years, the last four in urban charter schools.   She would tell you her favorite part of that work besides the children was to support teachers and parents through training and coaching. Fran’s own training came from some of the best in non verbal communication, mentoring, coaching and instructional analysis and evaluation.  Prior to being a principal, she was not only a teacher but also led several organizations including a national curriculum project, state educational associations, an educational foundation and university support for rural and small schools. (more…)

JESSICA MORUA

FAMILY ENGAGEMENT ASSISTANT COORDINATOR

Jessica is a family engagement assistant coordinator at Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHADF) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. Her commitment is to positively change the outcome of family engagement. As a family engagement assistant, she specializes in reaching out and assisting families in need. She would like to see families benefit from all the services CIHADF offers. Jessica finds joy in being a member of the CIHADF team. (more…)

LILIA BARRAGAN

FAMILY ENGAGEMENT ASSISTANT COORDINATOR

Lilia is a family engagement assistant coordinator at the Colorado “I Have A Dream” Foundation (CIHADF) STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. Lilia coordinates events that brings information to the families at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill . Lilia also assists families with wrap-around services that are offered through CIHADF and collaborative partnerships that support the school’s families. Lilia participated as an instructor for the girl empowerment club that is part of the after-school program. (more…)

ASHLEY PORTER

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL COACH

Ashley began her career at Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHADF) STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill as a social work (BSSW) intern and now is a social emotional coach, providing individual and group therapy, as well as social-emotional development services to Dreamers and their families. In her free time, Ashley volunteers with Phenomenal Woman Inc. a group of young women professionals who empower, encourage and uplift other women by providing educational support, conducting motivational workshops, and offering leadership development and networking opportunities. (more…)

MARRIAH CARLOS

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL COACH

Marriah began her career at Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHADF) STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill as a social work (BSSW) intern and now is a social emotional coach, providing individual and group therapy and social-emotional development services to Dreamers and their families. She is focused on providing social emotional support services to help students manage barriers that negatively impact their academic, social and emotional success at school. Marriah entered the social work field to explore her passion for social justice, human relationships and community involvement. (more…)

EBONY QUINONES

S.T.E.A.M. INSTRUCTOR

Ebony currently works as a S.T.E.A.M. instructor at Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHADF) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. Since joining CIHADF, the most rewarding part has been watching Dreamers thrive in the program followed by seeing the growth that the team has made. Ebony currently works as an afterschool coach and instructional lead. Ebony entered the academic world to explore her passion for nurturing skill development and healthy bodies through active movement. (more…)

PRUDENCE FLORES

S.T.E.A.M. INSTRUCTOR

Prudence is a S.T.E.A.M. instructor and social work (BSSW) intern at Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHADF) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. Prudence is a Dreamer from the McLoraine Class class. She is interested in working with at risk youth in public school systems. Prudence enjoys creating jewelry pieces and speeding time with friends and family.

Prudence currently attends Metropolitan State University of Denver where she is working towards earning a Bachelor of Science degree BSSW.

PFLORES@CIHADF.ORG

MYRKA GONZALEZ

S.T.E.A.M. INSTRUCTOR

Myrka currently works as a S.T.E.A.M. instructor at Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHADF) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. Myrka has worked in this capacity since February 2018 and has since led classes ranging from Legos to basketball. Myrka is committed to creating fun and rigorous educational experiences for Dreamers, of which she believes every child is deserving. Myrka’s work with CIHADF has been part of her career path towards becoming a teacher and advocate for elementary aged youth. Prior to working with CIHADF, Myrka volunteered her time and gave back to her community by working with The Gap Foundation, the Rotary Club of Denver, Friends of the Haven and Brent’s Place. In her free time, Myrka enjoys trying new things, making new friends, spending time with her dogs, video editing and graphic design.

MGONZALEZ@CIHADF.ORG

RIVERZ FLORES

S.T.E.A.M. INSTRUCTOR

Riverz is a S.T.E.A.M. instructor at Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHADF) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. Outside of working, Riverz loves playing Nintendo video games, running, and riding bikes.

Riverz currently attends Metropolitan State University of Denver where he is working towards earning a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in Mathematics.

RFLORES@CIHADF.ORG

SYLVIA FERRALES

S.T.E.A.M. INSTRUCTOR

Sylvia is a S.T.E.A.M. instructor with Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHADF) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. Sylvia is a Dreamer from the Weill class and is excited to be a part of the journey of Dreamers attending STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill , but also seeing how many families CIHADF can positively impact and reach. Sylvia is a very family-oriented person who spend time with them.

Sylvia attends Metropolitan State University of Denver where she will look to earn her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Spanish.

SYLVIAF@CIHADF.ORG

GRANT SHELPUK

S.T.E.A.M. INSTRUCTOR

Grant currently works as a S.T.E.A.M. instructor at Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHADF) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. Grant began working with CIHAD in 2017, assisting with after school classes and now leading classes. When not at school or CIHADF, he works in film production in Los Angeles or Atlanta.

Grant currently attends Metropolitan State University of Denver, studying general study courses.

GSHELPUK@CIHADF.ORG

JESSICA AGUILAR

S.T.E.A.M. INSTRUCTOR

Jessica is currently a S.T.E.A.M. instructor and Academic Day Support staff member at Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHADF) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. Jessica thoroughly enjoys helping kids feel safe in an environment where they can have fun and learn at the same time. Jessica has spent most of her career working in healthcare, gaining experience in areas such as communication , social skills and medical specialties. Her goal is to provide Dreamers with a unique and valuable experience through CIHADF. In addition, Jessica hopes to utilize her experience with CIHADF to enter the field of pediatric medicine. Thus far, CIHADF has helped Jessica develop crucial rapport building skills, a holistic approach to wellness, and exposure to working with diverse populations. In addition to her passion for pediatric healthcare, Jessica enjoys playing soccer, softball, and volleyball in her spare time. She also enjoys Pokémon, Disney, and spending time with family and friends.

JAGUILAR@CIHADF.ORG

ASHLEY THOMAS

S.T.E.A.M. INSTRUCTOR

Ashley currently works as a S.T.E.A.M. instructor at Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHADF) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. She began with CIHADF in January 2017 as a education intern from the University of Colorado Denver (UCD). After interning, Ashley was hired as a summer camp leader in literacy. Since then, Ashley has chosen to focus most of her instructional time on the growth of literacy fluency and creativity. (more…)

CAIN COX

S.T.E.A.M. INSTRUCTOR

Cain currently works as a S.T.E.A.M. instructor at Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHADF) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. Cain is a Dreamer from the Denver Active 20/30 class. He focuses on the arts from drawing to filmmaking. Outside of his job he has an interest in comic books, movies and dungeons and dragons.

CAINC@CIHADF.ORG

PHUONG TRAN

S.T.E.A.M. INSTRUCTOR

Phuong currently works as a S.T.E.A.M. instructor at Colorado “I Have a Dream” Foundation (CIHADF) at STRIVE Prep – Ruby Hill. She enjoys spending her work days with her fellow CIHADF co-workers who she would describe as considerate and hardworking; she also loves the Dreamers. To be a part of this program makes her happy because of the great work environment, as well as the opportunity to implement programs through CIHADF that makes school and learning fun and interactive. (more…)