Current Staff

 Current Staff
Katie Armstrong
Office Manager
With Girls Inc. Since: 2016
School(s)/Degree(s): University of Georgia, Bachelor's Degree in Therapeutic Recreation
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Favorite Thing About Living In Denver/Colorado: It's beautiful and there is always something to do! I also love the snow!
What I Wanted To Be Growing Up: A garbage woman so I could ride on the back of the truck!
When I'm Not At Work I Like To: Cook, walk my dog, ski, watch TV, read, and listen to music
I Am Most Proud Of: Graduating college, living in 3 different states, purchasing a home on my own, and helping those with special needs
Girl or Woman Who Has Had A Positive Impact On My Life: My Great Aunt Polly
If I Were A Crayon, I Would Be: Purple
Words To Live By: : "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
Favorite Food: Italian, Mexican, Chinese, ice cream, cereal, grits. I love food!
Favorite Board Game: Candy Land
Pets: Luna- 3 year old lab mix.
Pet Peeves: When things are a mess and being late
Worst Job: Receptionist at Great Clips
Job(s) I Wouldn't Do In A Million Years: Nail tech, dentist, massage therapist
If I Could Have One Super Power/Talent It Would Be: To fly.
My Motto: Everything happens for a reason, even when you can't see what that reason is. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.
The Last Time I Challenged Myself: Taking the new job at Girls Inc!
Melina Bixler
Director of Programs
With Girls Inc. Since: 2015
School(s)/Degree(s): BS Psychology, University of Colorado at Denver; MA Gender, Culture and Media, Goldsmiths University of London
Hometown: Manitou Springs, CO
When I'm Not At Work I Like To: Swim, bike, climb or go to slam poetry events
Words To Live By: "It always seems impossible until it's done." -Nelson Mandela
Favorite Food: Indian or Turkish
Favorite Board Game: Pictionary
Coffee or Tea: Black tea with milk
If I Could Have One Super Power/Talent It Would Be: Teleportation-so I could visit friends and family any where in the world at any time.
Natasha Budlong
Community Educator
With Girls Inc. Since: 2016
School(s)/Degree(s): James Madison University - B.S. in Psychology, University of California Santa Barbara - Master of Education, Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Hometown: Richmond, VA
What I Wanted To Be Growing Up: A librarian or a psychiatrist
If I Were A Crayon, I Would Be: Fiery Orange
Favorite Board Game: Scrabble
If I Could Have One Super Power/Talent It Would Be: To play the cello magnificently
My Motto: "Be the girls who decided to go for it."
JJ Dearmore
Manager of Social Enterprise
With Girls Inc. Since: 2017
School(s)/Degree(s): Colorado State University - BS Business Management
Hometown: Denver, CO
Favorite Thing About Living In Denver/Colorado: The people, food, and vibrant energy.
When I'm Not At Work I Like To: Distance running, hanging out with my dog.
Favorite Food: Tacos
Coffee or Tea: Coffee! of course
Re Gupta
Elementary School Programs Coordinator
With Girls Inc. Since: 2016
School(s)/Degree(s): FSU-_Recording Engineering/Production Reinforcement, SNHU- Social Psychology with a minor in Community Sociology, concentrated on Urban Adolescent Females.
Hometown: Detroit Rock City
What I Wanted To Be Growing Up: Independent
Girl or Woman Who Has Had A Positive Impact On My Life: My dance-mama, Deborah Roe; she was my teacher, mentor, proxy-mother, therapist, nutritionist, drill sergeant, role-model, and now my guardian angel. I owe much of who I am entirely to her.
Words To Live By: Only those brave enough to dance in uncertain darkness see the stars…
If I Could Have One Super Power/Talent It Would Be: I DO have superpowers and talents!
My Motto: What other people say about me is none of my business
Sara Hazel
Director of Development
With Girls Inc. Since: 2017
School(s)/Degree(s): University of Oregon, BS in Sociology, DePaul University, Masters in Public Service Management
Hometown: Lawrence, KS
What I Wanted To Be Growing Up: A novelist/writer.
When I'm Not At Work I Like To: Read, hike, travel, and spend time with family and friends.
Girl or Woman Who Has Had A Positive Impact On My Life: My grandmother, who was an amazing woman and a poet!
Words To Live By: "The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Robyn Jackson
Manager of High School and College Programs
With Girls Inc. Since: 2017
School(s)/Degree(s): University of Northern Colorado - BA African Studies, University of Denver - MA Higher Education
Hometown: Denver, CO
What I Wanted To Be Growing Up: Marine Biologist
When I'm Not At Work I Like To: Play video games.
I Am Most Proud Of: My family.
Girl or Woman Who Has Had A Positive Impact On My Life: Michelle Obama.
Words To Live By: "Injustice anyone is a threat to justice everywhere." - MLK, Jr.
If I Could Have One Super Power/Talent It Would Be: Read people's minds.
My Motto: You got this!
Beatrice Lara
Middle School Program Assistant
With Girls Inc. Since: 2017
School(s)/Degree(s): Metropolitan State University of Denver - BA Psychology
Hometown: Colorado
Favorite Thing About Living In Denver/Colorado: Being able to see the mountains and be out in nature after a stressful day.
When I'm Not At Work I Like To: Read! Reading is my favorite thing to do!
I Am Most Proud Of: Being the first person in my family to complete college.
Adrianna Menchaca
Community Educator
With Girls Inc. Since: 2017
School(s)/Degree(s): MSU Denver, B.A. Psychology, Minor in Elementary Education
Hometown: Fort Collins, CO
When I'm Not At Work I Like To: Hang out with friends and family, be outdoors and read.
If I Were A Crayon, I Would Be: Green
Favorite Food: Rice and meat
Coffee or Tea: Tea
If I Could Have One Super Power/Talent It Would Be: Ability to fly like a bird.
Patricia Brijida Ramirez
Programs Administrative & Evaluation Coordinator
With Girls Inc. Since: 2005
School(s)/Degree(s): San Jose State University, B.A., Sociology/Criminology; University of Colorado at Denver, M.P.A., Public Administration.
Hometown: Salinas, California
Favorite Thing About Living In Denver/Colorado: The snow.
What I Wanted To Be Growing Up: A veterinarian.
I Am Most Proud Of: Myself!!
If I Were A Crayon, I Would Be: Brown
Words To Live By: "Si se puede!"
Favorite Food: Menudo
Pets: 4 legged female wolf...or at least she is indigenous of the wolf family
Coffee or Tea: Both
The Last Time I Challenged Myself: Every day!
Marlene Rodriguez
Community Educator
With Girls Inc. Since: 2017
School(s)/Degree(s): University of North Texas, Rehabilitation Studies
Hometown: Arlington, TX
When I'm Not At Work I Like To: Spend time with family and friends, take naps, watch movies, and explore new places.
I Am Most Proud Of: Having a positive impact on youth.
Girl or Woman Who Has Had A Positive Impact On My Life: My mother, Margarita, and my three sisters - Monique, Melissa and Marina.
Favorite Food: Anything my mom makes, or sushi.
Pets: Two pups - Nox and Lumos.
Jess Romero
Community Educator
With Girls Inc. Since: 2017
School(s)/Degree(s): University of Iowa, B.A. in English, Non-Profit Management Certificate
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
What I Wanted To Be Growing Up: A veterinarian, then a writer.
When I'm Not At Work I Like To: Go for walks with my fiancé, listen to loud music, and eat good food.
Girl or Woman Who Has Had A Positive Impact On My Life: My mother!
Favorite Food: Pozole
Worst Job: Washing dishes for a semester at the University of Iowa.
Angel Shabazz
Community Educator
With Girls Inc. Since: 2011
School(s)/Degree(s): Criminal Justice, Minor in Human Service
Hometown: Denver
Favorite Thing About Living In Denver/Colorado: The beautiful weather and the mountains.
When I'm Not At Work I Like To: Hangout with my kids and eat good food.
I Am Most Proud Of: Going back to school.
Girl or Woman Who Has Had A Positive Impact On My Life: My sister and best friend.
Coffee or Tea: Sweet Tea!
Worst Job: Construction with high school boys.
If I Could Have One Super Power/Talent It Would Be: Being super strong and super smart.
My Motto: I will believe it when I see it!
Dia St. John
Eureka! Program Coordinator
With Girls Inc. Since: 2017
School(s)/Degree(s): University of Arkansas - BA and MA in Industrial Engineering
If I Were A Crayon, I Would Be: Green!
Favorite Food: Mac and Cheese
Favorite Board Game: Ticket to Ride
Pets: A fat, white cat and a brown puppy.
Coffee or Tea: Both. All the time.
Pet Peeves: Animals dressed as people.
Lupe Tapia
Manager of Middle School and Eureka! Programs
With Girls Inc. Since: 2006
School(s)/Degree(s): Currently attending Metro State College (Denver), candidate for a bachelors degree in Sociology, Westwood College of Technology, Medical Assistant diploma.
Hometown: Greeley, Colorado
What I Wanted To Be Growing Up: Teacher
Girl or Woman Who Has Had A Positive Impact On My Life: My mother Melecia Tapia, my mentor Dr.Priscilla Falcon and any woman who stands up for social injustice.
Words To Live By: To tell a woman everything she may not do is to tell her what she can do. -Spanish Proverb

History is herstory, too. -Unknown
Sonya Ulibarri
President & CEO
With Girls Inc. Since: 2012
School(s)/Degree(s): University of Colorado at Denver - Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Psychology
Hometown: Thornton, CO
What I Wanted To Be Growing Up: A Mexican folkloric dancer
Girl or Woman Who Has Had A Positive Impact On My Life: My mother, sister, and daughter â" all three strong, resilient, loving, and authentic women.
Words To Live By: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." ~ Margaret Mead
Coffee or Tea: Coffee with lots of milk, sugar, and whipped cream!
Pet Peeves: Political attack ads and people who cut in line.
Worst Job: Scrubbing stains on the cement at Water Word when I was fourteen.
Josie Valadez Fraire
Community Educator
With Girls Inc. Since: 2016
School(s)/Degree(s): B.A. in Psychology, B.A. in Ethnic Studies, Certificate in Women and Gender Studies | University of Colorado at Boulder
Hometown: Tapias de Santa Cruz, Zacatecas, México
When I'm Not At Work I Like To: Spend time with family and friends, participate in community serving events, write poetry, and dance (Mexica danza)
I Am Most Proud Of: The resilience and strength of my communities, my identities, my ancestors , our ways, and our youth!
Girl or Woman Who Has Had A Positive Impact On My Life: My mama, my ancestors, womxn warriors across marginalized communities
Favorite Food: Mama's cooking and tacos
My Motto: In Lak'ech Ala K'in (I Am You and You Are Me)
Barb Valdez
Career Readiness Coordinator
With Girls Inc. Since: 2016
School(s)/Degree(s): Metropolitan State College / Behavioral Science / Minor Bilingual-Bicultural Education
I Am Most Proud Of: Being first generation Mexican American woman who is the first to graduate from college in my family of 11 children and changed the norm that "college is" an option!
Girl or Woman Who Has Had A Positive Impact On My Life: My daughter, Meaghan
Words To Live By: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." Eleanor Roosevelt
Favorite Food: If I were lost on a deserted island, I could live on Chips N Salsa alone!
The Last Time I Challenged Myself: Everyday!
Heidi Vielhaber
Manager of Volunteer Programs
With Girls Inc. Since: 2017
School(s)/Degree(s): BA Nonprofit Administration, BS Health Sciences, MA Higher Education Administration
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
What I Wanted To Be Growing Up: Veterinarian or Architect
When I'm Not At Work I Like To: Hike, volunteer, go new places with new people, and travel.
I Am Most Proud Of: Being a strong, independent women - with a community that supports me!
If I Were A Crayon, I Would Be: Lavender
Words To Live By: "If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." - Aboriginal Activists
Favorite Food: Brussels sprouts
Favorite Board Game: Scrabble
Pets: I foster pugs.
The vision of Girls Incorporated is empowered girls and an equitable society. We believe that girls have the right to be themselves and to resist gender-stereotypes, to express themselves with originality and enthusiasm, to take risks, to strive freely, and to take pride in success, to accept and appreciate their bodies, to have confidence in themselves, to be safe in the world and to be prepared for interesting work and economic independence.

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