Youth Justice Apprentice
Lacee is an African American and Creek native born in Chicago. She moved to Colorado when she was eleven years old. When she started middle school, she immediately realized how differently people treated her based on her race. Lacee also noticed how racism and lack of resources impacted her close and distant relatives.This played a huge role in her joining organizations and extracurriculars that focused on healing and empowering the BIPOC community, and it opened her mind to more opportunities to help the community.Lacee joined the CCFC community to push her understanding of anti-racism even further and help BIPOC youth like herself to survive and thrive in a country built to support only one majority. Working at CCFC is a great way for her to gain leadership skills, teamwork skills, and make a difference while working towards studying Criminal Justice at CU Denver this fall and eventually becoming a defense lawyer. When she’s not working or finishing up her senior year at DSST: CGHS, she enjoys reading and writing short stories.
Youth Justice Apprentice Manager
Being the oldest daughter of two Mexican immigrants and growing up in the Northside of Denver, Montbello, and Green Valley Ranch, Ashly is profoundly influenced and fueled by the love she has for her communities. Her experiences being raised in these communities have shaped her into the relentless advocate she is today. She is a mindful and visionary leader that works to make transformative change by using a racial justice lens in all the work she does. While at the University of Colorado Boulder, Ashly studied International Affairs and Ethnic Studies while earning a minor in Arabic and began to intentionally seek out ways to understand and dismantle systems of oppression in every part of her life. Her education and personal experiences have allowed her to understand that policy has historically not been accessible for her communities and many others, and she is dedicated to changing that reality. Currently, Ashly is a first year, first generation law student at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. With her law degree, Ashly hopes to be able to do her part to make the law more accessible and equitable to her communities. No matter where she goes, her goal is simple — to empower and uplift the stories of those who have historically been ignored, and she aims to continue that work in her role as the Youth Justice Apprenticeship Manager at Colorado Circles for Change.
John has been working with the Colorado Circles for Change Program (CCFC) for the last 5 years.
He understands and believes in the mission at CCFC which emphasizes La Cultura Cura (The Culture Cure) and supports youth in marginalized communities dealing with generational trauma. In John’s many years of serving youth, his social awareness has changed to a more culture centered approach filtered through his own lived experiences which requires the reclaiming of cultural identity. John is a Denver Chicano native and his sacred ancestry allows him to support not only his community, but other communities to reclaim a sense of lost cultural identity. John has over 24 years of experience working with youth in various systems which includes the Department of Youth Corrections, Probation, Diversion, and residential treatment programs.