My aspirations is to help as many individuals as possible, that might include becoming an attorney, but could also be a career that hasn’t been established fully yet. I wanted to become a YAASPA intern because it had me involved with so much during my high school years, I want to help students have a broader look at life.

​T'Ana Smith: Fall Intern 

Colin Moore: YAASPA Intern

Having recently graduated from CCD, I now attend CU Denver where I major in Philosophy and minor in Political Science. I plan to continue my academic education, in either Political Theory or Law, after I complete my bachelor’s degree. Being a YAASPA intern gives me a chance to contribute to positive, lasting change within the community, and enables me to continue my education outside of the academy.  

Luna Abraha: YAASPA Intern

I am currently attending the University of Colorado at Denver, focusing in Math and Philosophy. I'm Eritrean American and a first generation student. As a first generation student I've set many goals for myself. Some of my goals include graduating from a university, and using my knowledge/success to give back to others. I aspire to start my own company and help make a difference. 

 I wanted to continue being in YAASPA as an intern because YAASPA gave me the confidence to voice my opinion and the resources to make me feel like my voice is being heard. So, I feel that YAASPA will continue to help shape me into the person I want to be.



Co-founder and Executive Director: Janiece Mackey: 

As an African American woman and native of Colorado, and particularly as a youth, I often navigated my politically oriented academic and civic engagement pursuits as one of the few youth of color. Please check out the genesis of YAASPA and my civic journey here:

Jorge Valdez: CCA Foundation Aurora Gives YAASPA Scholar and Intern

I attend the Community College of Aurora and I am studying to become a school counselor. My life goal is to be able to work with young men and women and to help them grow up to fulfill their potential. Another life goal is to work as a therapist in areas where most people often find it hard to get mental health help.

I am currently a graduate student at the University of Colorado Denver in the Master of Social Sciences program with an emphasis in Ethnic Studies. I have had the opportunity to study and expand my knowledge while adapting to the ever changing diverse population of students on my campus and my community. As a first generation student, I have not only learned the significance of higher education but also the power of the programs that reach out and provide support to students of color and underrepresented students. I believe that education is invaluable and for students to succeed, the foundations of committed leaders and advisors that empower those students are crucial to their success. My passions deeply align with YAASPA’s goals within the community and I hope to bring that kind of commitment and empowerment in the opportunities YAASPA has given me. 

Essence Moore: Operations Specialist and has served on many boards for youth serving organizations.

Board Policy Chair: Michael Jennings: Director at Valor Christian High School. Has worked in education for over 10 years.

Ji Yoon: YAASPA Instructor 

Omega Micael: YAASPA Intern

.I attend CU Denver and my major is Psychology. I am an Eritrean, and I am also a first generation college student. My future goal is to attend graduate school and become a clinical psychologist. I wanted to be a YAASPA intern because I love being involved in the community and also helping others through volunteering.

Joselin Rivera: YAASPA Summer Intern

I currently attend Colorado State University and am majoring in Human Development and Family Studies with a concentration in Prevention and Intervention Studies as well as English. In the future, I would like to continue my studies by enrolling in graduate school in hopes of becoming a marriage and family therapist as well as an author.  I am Honduran and Salvadoran-American as well as a first generation student which motivates me more in achieving my goals. Becoming a YAASPA intern has provided me with the amazing opportunity to have a voice and use it to benefit the community and the people that have awaited change.r paragraph here.

Board Secretary: Jamal Jackson: Social worker within Aurora Public School district and founder of Student Athlete Counseling.

Board Treasurer: Theo Chapman: Boettcher scholar and graduate of DU. Is currently a Mechanical Engineer.

Kristen (Kris) Pough: Youth Organizer

I am a recent graduate from the University of Colorado Denver. I double majored in Communication and Ethnic Studies. I earned Departmental Cum Laude Honors in both of my majors. My passion for serving the community started in high school where I volunteered with organizations such as YAASPA and Together Colorado.  In addition, I have a passion for Broadcast Journalism. During my last semester in college, I wrote, filmed, presented, and produced my own news stories for MSU Denver’s MET Report. Lastly, I am a proud member of the Aurora NAACP and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Board Chair: Sharla Williams: Enrollment Coordinator at High Point Academy. Has worked in the education filed for over 5 years.