Youth Justice Apprentice

Maya Padilla

Growing up, Maya has always been drawn to activism and making her voice heard. As a young Native woman, Maya acknowledges that she, and others like her, has an exceptional target on her back. Because of that she considers her heritage to be a blessing and wants to help guide youth to finding where they come from is as well. Being a graduate from North High School and now a student at CCD, she has directly observed the harm that’s been done to her community and is on a mission to fight that harmful system. She embraces both of her identities, being a part of the Northern Arapaho tribe and also a Chicana. She grew up primarily in North Denver but often visits her home on the Wind River reservation in Wyoming. She believes her experiences of living both on the reservation and living in an urban environment have shaped her view of the world greatly. All of these experiences have informed her passion for helping her community and standing up for social, environmental, and economic justice. She was brought on the team as a Youth Justice Apprentice in January and felt drawn to the organization because of its values of cultural healing and dismantling white supremacy. She wants to continue to guide other youth like her and pursue her passion for activism through her work with CCFC.

Youth Justice Apprentice

Arturo Villa

Arturo Villa, born and raised in Denver, Colorado, is the son of immigrants from Chihuahua, Mexico. Having been fortunate to watch a couple family members attend and complete a higher education, Arturo followed in their footsteps and attended the University of Denver. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in both Psychology and Spanish. There, Arturo experienced multiple challenges, like culture shock, discrimination, and tokenization, that helped him understand how little resources and support are available to underrepresented students in the higher education system.

In light of that, he is committed to helping underrepresented youth, like him, accomplish their goals either during high school, after high school, or in higher education. Arturo excels in being a role model and leader, and he is motivated to share the knowledge, wisdom, and resources he has to support future youth. Being aware of the inherent racism that exists in society and its negative impact on communities of color, he hopes to work towards true equity and liberation for and alongside his community. Arturo believes that by working with CCFC to achieve transformative justice for youth impacted by the school to prison pipeline, we can create opportunities for youth to share their stories and live their lives free of criminalization.

Youth Justice Apprentice

Lacee Winn

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.

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