Hameeda Abdul Kadir
Outreach & Engagement Coordinator
Hameeda has been a part of the Building Bridges Legacy since 2013, joining the Building Bridges MEUS (Middle East US) program when she was only 16. Later, she returned to join our Alumni Fellowship in 2016 . Hameeda is passionate about justice, conversation, and youth empowerment.
The Building Bridges Experience has played an essential role in her career path and journey so much so that she has earned a Bachelors in Human Services with a concentration on Youth. She believes in the power of listening and wants to give each young person that comes through our doors the Building Bridges experience that made her who she is today.
She spends her free time laughing with friends, eating food from around the world and travelling to new places.
Ellie Adelman is the founder and director of The Village Institute – a live/learn/work center that invests in refugee women through housing, mental health services, childcare, language learning, and career development opportunities. She also works as a therapist in a private practice, specializing in trauma recovery, anxiety management, and adjustment to major life changes. Over the course of her career, Ellie has worked as a facilitator, a therapist, a designer, a community health educator, a gender equity advocate, and a mediator. Ellie completed a BA in Conflict Resolution and Spanish at Salisbury University, an MA in International Peace Studies from University of Notre Dame, and most recently, an MSW from the University of Denver. Ellie’s own journey towards anti-racism is grounded in a spiritual connection, including exploring her Jewish identity and tradition.
Facilitator + Board Member
Celeste is a former participant of the Building Bridges Transform program. She graduated from Gateway High School in 2020. Currently, she is majoring in Social Work at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She’s very passionate about making change in the world, social justice, and advocating for human rights. Her hobbies include reading, listening to music, and creating colorful makeup looks!
Jocelyne (she/her/ella) is originally from Mexico but has lived in Denver for most of her life. Jocelyne graduated from DCIS in 2019. She is currently pursuing her B.A. in Anthropology and will graduate in the spring of 2023. She hopes to someday pursue public defense as a career but has a number of career interests across disciplines (education, social work, conservation, and non-human primate research, to name a few).
As of 2020, she has been engaged with Building Bridges for 3, almost 4, years. Her journey with Building Bridges began when she was a participant in the 2017-18 Transform cohort. She instantly fell in love with the transformative methods used by Building Bridges, primarily intentional listening. Transform offered Jocelyne the opportunity to recognize herself as a leader in her community. Now, as a facilitator, Jocelyne hopes to empower youth and create a space for transformative, honest, and empathetic conversations.
Outside of school and Building Bridges, Jocelyne is a participant of her school’s MEChA (Movimiento Estiduantil Chicanx de Aztlan), Undergraduate Prison Project, an intern at the Office of the Municipal Public Defender, a middle child, and a dog and plant mom.
My name is Melanin Armendariz. I graduated from the Denver Center for International Studies in 2019, and I am now attending my second year at Colorado State University. I still have not declared a major but I am thinking of double majoring with Spanish and HDFS (Human development and Family Studies) or Early Childhood Education with a minor in Chinese. I am passionate about social and restorative justice in education as well as fighting for undocumented, newcommer, and refugee communities. Overall just about creating a positive change in the works and standing against systems of oppression. I love doing makeup on myself and especially on other people. I love enhancing their beauty and seeing their reactions after. I also enjoy drawing and painting although I am not very good at it.
Born on July 5, Megan has spent her life making sure to never miss another party. Her brightest fireworks include endless curiosity, the ability to have fun doing absolutely anything, and an apothecary cabinet of knowledge she’s tucked away in her brain. At home, her wife Alyssa says Megan is the family’s MVP of patience, being brave, faking it until we make it, and task completion.
Megan knows at least a little about a lot and has a dynamic skill-set that ranges from baking pies to “almost right” home improvement to organizational change management. She leads the incredible team at Building Bridges, which gives her the chance to inspire, mentor, connect, plan, and – most importantly – be held accountable to continue growing as a social justice leader. It’s hard work and so very worth it.
Megan received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Denver and her Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from the University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign.
Amara was born and raised in Colorado. She is a recent graduate of Colorado Mesa University where she received her Bachelor of Social Work, and is currently obtaining her Master of Social Work in Organizational Leadership and Policy Practice at the University of Denver. Amara’s passion has always centered around improving the lives of others and striving to create inclusive environments, which is why she was eager to join the Building Bridges team.
Amara has previous experience within the public health realm, where she studied how social determinants of health impact individuals, families, and communities to better advocate for healthy community development which inspired her obligation to equitable work. Amara is committed to being part of a team that is working towards transformational leadership, and is dedicated to social change and empowering others.
In her free time she enjoys spending time with those close to her, traveling, listening to podcasts, trying out new recipes, and baking goodies.
Born and raised here in Denver, Maggie took a 10-year hiatus to check out both coasts before returning to her beloved home. She received a scholarship to play Division I soccer at Duke University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with minors in Business and Sociology. After a brief stint in DC working in government public relations, she worked for several years for a whistleblower law firm in San Francisco, assisting attorneys in litigating fraud against the government. Back in Denver, Maggie earned a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution at the University of Denver, where she found her love for facilitation and mediation. It was here that she learned about Building Bridges, and she applied their foundational approach to conflict to her budding Restorative Justice program for undergraduate students facing conduct violations. Maggie now works in nonprofit for a local collaborative, Mile High Connects, focused on building a racially equitable, resilient Metro Denver through affordable housing, accessible transportation, and economic opportunity.
Shift Program Manager
Jenny stumbled upon Building Bridges during one serendipitous Google search of any and all things related to her passion, “building bridges.”
Born and raised in the great city of Elgin, Illinois, Jenny is a true Chicago-area girl at heart. She has a deep love for the city of Chicago because this is where she met her first love, education. Although she is not a public school teacher like her original college plan, she still cares deeply about impacting the education system from the outside. This is why she has spent the past five years in Denver growing as a youth developer in spaces like Young Life, the Salvation Army and DSST Cole High school.
After some time working with youth, Jenny has grown especially passionate about developing strong leadership pipelines so that youth leaders have a place to flourish as adult leaders. For this reason, Jenny is committed to working with both youth and adults in the work that Building Bridges does of equity and inclusivity work.
Maren is a former art teacher, turned artist, reiki practitioner, consultant, coach and facilitator. She is passionate, driven and committed to the work of racial and educational equity, as well as critical self-development and healing. She wants to empower humans, to be conscious, reflective, change makers. She desires to work with humans whom have the will to look inward and view the world through a critical and restorative racial lens. For the betterment of self, but also for the greater good of all.
She brings with her, 10 years of teaching experience (BA in Studio Art and MA in Education) and (as a white womxn) desires to be a message of awareness, growth and transparency in order to help uncover and name the oppressive systems at work in our lives. She looks forward to continue to build her capacity and interest in continuing to influence at different levels of systems, knowing how interpersonal and internal the work truly is. It is personal before it is professional.
Nikki has lived and worked in Denver for the last 12 years. During that time she has served youth in a variety of settings, from after-school programming, case management and counseling to now supporting teachers and administrators in applying equitable practices in the classroom. She has supported youth and adults through social-emotional character development as well as developed programs to implement more inclusive and equitable policies and practices that enrich service delivery. She currently works at Emily Griffith High School where she supports teachers and staff in Equity and Culturally Responsive Teaching practices to address the achievement gap in our public education. She has her MSW from CSU in addition to certificates in Non-profit Administration and Social-Emotional Character Development.
Born and raised in Colorado, Malcolm Lazelle Quattlebaum loves everything about this great city. However, he has recently spent time in Oklahoma attending a small HBCU called Langston University. Malcolm is in his final semester at Langston University where he has been studying broadcast journalism. Malcolm has a true devotion to the communication field especially in the realm of media. At Langston University Malcolm found great success in his major, winning multiple Oklahoma Broadcast Education Association awards as well as launching a campus-wide news program.
Malcolm continues to perfect his craft in all aspects of media. Turning himself into the “multi-media swiss-army knife. At the beginning stages in his career Malcolm is always looking to learn and listen, trying to soak up as much knowledge as he can.
With a history of theater Malcolm enjoys acting in his free time. As well as, write screenplays. His long term goal is to use his talents to become a filmmaker.
Malcolm embraces his journey as his Marathon continues.
Transform Program Manager
As a true Colorado local, Raegan first began her journey with Building Bridges during the 2015-2016 Summer Program Team. Raegan enjoys working with young people, and values youth engagement and empowerment. She fell in love with facilitation and the approach Building Bridges takes to leadership development, and she remained involved. Raegan is actively pursuing her M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She believes that social learning is the key to the success of the world.
She is family oriented and enjoys spending her free time with her parents and two younger brothers. Raegan loves board and card games, listening to podcasts, and she looks forward to her monthly dose of Cats the Musical! In another life, Raegan hopes to become a YouTuber who specializes in pre-cruise packing and planning!
Following her work in DPS as a K-8 Mild/Moderate Special Education Paraprofessional, Raegan is dedicated to working with young leaders across the Denver Metro Area. Although education is and will always be important, Raegan’s heart is in the work that Building Bridges does of empathy, communication, and transformational leadership development.
Amanda Roy-Bangoy, Facilitator (She/Hers/Them/They) – Over the last 3 years, she has worked with small businesses to gain knowledge and understanding on what it takes to Manage and run small business while also developing her own goals around entrepreneurship. Her work experience includes working with the Urban Land Conservancy and Denver Preschool Program, Outreach Education with CSU Extension and Girl Scouts, and the Bureau of Reclamation.
Facilitation has been a consistent theme in all of her professional experiences and she is now utilizing her skill of facilitation as a contractor with Building Bridges. Amanda continues to facilitate with Building Bridges in various workshop series and training sessions.
Facilitator + Board Member
Biography coming soon!
Born and raised in Texas, Casey left at his first opportunity. After completing a Bachelor of Science in Biology from New Mexico State University, he moved to Denver in 2012. Casey spent several years in Colorado’s Biotech Industry before returning to school to pursue a dual master’s degree program in Social Work and Public Health through the University of Denver and the Colorado School of Public Health. He has chosen to spend his concentration year internship in an organization committed to transformation, in the hopes that he will learn the skills necessary to become a Social Work Public Health Practitioner with the ability to create equitable organizations, systems, and institutions through transformative practices.