Staff

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Hameeda Abdul Kadir
hameeda@buildingbridgesshift.org
Outreach & Engagement Coordinator

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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.

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Celeste Alamillo
Transform Program Specialist 

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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!

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Jocelyne Argüelles
Facilitator

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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.

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Melanin Armendariz
Facilitator

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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.

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Zenat Shariff Belkin
Facilitator

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Coming soon!

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Erica Castro
MSW Intern

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During my time spent as a high school teacher in the Denver area, I have served Latinx youth for 6 years through two educational nonprofits.

I am excited and passionate about the growth of my role as an intern in Building Bridges as facilitation and leadership is a passion of mine. I am serving through the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work program, a space where I am pushing the boundaries of liberation-focused community service through the concentration called Organizational Leadership and Policy Practice. I hope to apply and build upon my skills learned on the ground and in the classroom as I navigate learning the administrative side of nonprofit work that serves folks on the margins.

As a cisgender queer Latinx person, I take my role seriously in uplifting underrepresented community members in an authentically intersectional way that focuses on the values of transformative justice, solidarity, and abolishing systems of supremacy.

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Megan Devenport
megan@buildingbridgesshift.org
Executive Director

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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.

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Amara Hobbs
Facilitator

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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.

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Maggie Lea
Facilitator

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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. 

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Maren Miller
maren@buildingbridgesshift.org
Shift Coordinator

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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.

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Nikki Murillo
nikki@buildingbridgesshift.org
Shift Client Lead

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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.

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Amanda Seibel
Facilitator

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Bio coming soon!

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Casey Williams
Facilitator

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Casey is a Texas to Colorado transplant, who recently graduated from the University of Denver and the Colorado School of Public Health with a Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health. He hopes to use his lived experience as a transgender man organizing for queer health issues in Denver Metro, and intersectional understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion to dimantle oppressive structures and systems, increase empathy across lived experiences, and advance social justice in policy, between cultures, and within the workplace and rural communities.

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Raegan Quattlebaum
raegan@buildingbridgesshift.org 
Transform Program Manager

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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.

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Amanda Roy-Bangoy
Facilitator

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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.

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Zoe West
Facilitator + Board Member

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Biography coming soon!

Board of Directors

Photo of Celeste Alamillo smiling at the camera. Celeste is wearing a white tank top and is seated in front of an outdoor wall. On the wall, a portion of a bright mural is visible.

Celeste Alamillo
Sophomore, Metropolitan State University
Board Secretary

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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!

Celeste can be reached at cealamillo[at]gmail[dot]com.

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Liz Drogin
Independent Consultant, Drogin Ventures LLC, Denver CO

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Liz (she/her) has spent most of her career working at the intersection of education, community engagement, and social justice. After completing her doctorate in Sociology, Liz spent over a decade teaching college-level sociology and academic writing courses, first at Duke University and later at the University of Denver.

More recently, Liz has worked in both nonprofit management and nonprofit consulting. As a consultant, Liz specializes in qualitative research and writing, learning experience and meeting design, and strategic planning. Her focus areas include social-emotional learning and educational equity. In January 2021, Liz returned to DU to pursue a Master of Social Work with a concentration in family systems.

In a volunteer capacity, Liz has served on Grant Beacon Middle School’s Network and School Advisory Boards, Asbury Elementary School’s Equity Committee, and Denver Parks and Recreation’s Advisory Board. In her free time, Liz keeps active with regular swimming, biking, jogging, and more recently tennis. She also enjoys exploring the beautiful outdoors with her husband and three young daughters. She looks forward to bringing along their new puppy, Lucky.

Liz can be contacted at lizdrogin[at]gmail[dot]com. She loves connecting with new people, so please don’t hesitate to reach out!

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Ashley Jaramillo
Student Events Coordinator, Community College of Denver
Board Treasurer

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Biography coming soon

Rachel Lynn

Rachel Lynn
Legal Director, Heska
Board Chair

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Rachel is an attorney at Heska Corporation, in Loveland, Colorado. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Rachel graduated from Colorado State University with a B.S. in accounting and political science. Rachel graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School in May, 2016.

In the community, Rachel has participated in Impact Denver, a program that links young professionals with a nonprofit for a 6 month project improving the nonprofit’s business processes. Rachel also coaches a Girls on the Run of the Rockies team, which gives 8-10 year old girls the opportunity to participate in physical activity after school and teaches lessons on empowerment and self-image.

Rachel serves as Building Bridges’ Board Chair. She brings innovative thinking and collaboration skills. With an accounting and corporate law background, Rachel is experienced in identifying business as well as legal issues that may need to be addressed.

Rachel can be reached at rachel[dot]lynn[at]heska[dot]com.

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Aili Miyake
Legislative Aide, Colorado General Assembly

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Aili is an alumnus of the Building Bridges Middle East/US program and a former facilitator for their Transform summer intensive. Her involvement with Building Bridges sparked her passion for creating a more just and inclusive world through building interpersonal relationships and changing oppressive institutions.

Aili recently graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology and a certificate in Peace Conflict and Security Studies. During her time in Boulder, she volunteered as a restorative justice facilitator and was a mentor for the Miramontes Arts and Sciences Program, an inclusive academic community that supports first-generation and traditionally underrepresented students. She is now working as a legislative aide in the Colorado State House of Representatives. In her free time, she enjoys creating art projects, baking, and playing the ukulele.

Aili can be reached at ailimiyake[at]gmail[dot]com

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Robbie Roppolo
Independent Living Program Director, Atlantis Community, Inc.

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Robbie Roppolo was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in the 1900s and learned to fish before he learned to walk. He spent his last 2 years of high school in San Francisco. Robbie served in the United States Air Force as a Crew Chief on a B-1B Bomber.

Robbie moved to Denver in 1996 and started working in the Disability Community on a part time basis shortly thereafter. He joined Atlantis Community, Inc. in 2016 as an Independent Living Specialist and is currently the Independent Living Program Director. Robbie is an activist with Atlantis ADAPT/National ADAPT, and has participated in numerous local, regional, and national actions fighting for the rights of people who experience disabilities, and people experiencing homelessness.

He is also passionate about dismantling White Supremacy and crushing the Patriarchy. He is a roadie for The Wayfaring Band and has traveled across 11 states as well as Paris and Portugal with them. In his spare time, Robbie volunteers for the All Sacred Tattoo studio at their quarterly events, the money raised is donated to other non-profits in the Denver Metro area. He also volunteers at the Transformative Freedom Fund’s annual fundraiser.

Robbie also enjoys fishing, rafting, traveling, cooking, cross-stitching, hanging out with his friends, and getting tattooed. Robbie’s pronouns are He/Him/His. Robbie can be reached at nolaboy5280[at]gmail[dot]com

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Awah Tilong

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Biography coming soon

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Zoe West
College Freshman

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Zoe is an alumn of the Transform and Alumni Fellowship programs. She enjoys facilitating with Building Bridges and hopes to continue community facilitation after university. Zoe participates in competitive Irish Dance, soccer, theatre, and she runs her school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. She says she is excited to be a part of the board and help lead Building Bridges in a positive direction for years to come.

Zoe’s pronouns are she, her, and hers.

Zoe can be reached at zoewest963[at]gmail[dot]com