Audrey Brazeel, Program Director –
Audrey has coordinated youth leadership programs on behalf of several Colorado-based organizations, including the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Girls Inc., and the University of Colorado’s Public Achievement program.  In addition, she developed and facilitated arts-based service-learning programs on behalf of Project YES during the 2012-2013 academic year.  She is looking forward to reintroducing Dance for Social Change to Lafayette schools and supporting (EC)2’s new menu of programs. Originally from Aurora, Colorado, Audrey received her bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies from the University of Colorado Boulder in May 2011 and will earn a graduate degree in Teaching and Learning from CSU Global in 2017. Visit the following website for more information about the Dance for Social Change Program.

Melissa Horne, Clinical Intern 
Originally from the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Melissa Horne earned her undergraduate degree at Appalachian State University, where she studied fine art, interdisciplinary studies, and psychology.  She relocated to Colorado in 2013 to complete her Masters of Arts in Contemplative Psychology and Buddhist Psychotherapy at Naropa University.  Melissa’s training includes mindfulness practice, curriculum development, group facilitation, and one-on-one therapy; skills that she continues to apply as a private caregiver, counselor and mentor, and program facilitator.  She has supported numerous organizations in both North Carolina and Colorado, as well as completed a practicum at Project YES in fall 2015, when she co-facilitated programs at Attention Homes and in partnership with Lafayette schools.

Vincent Torres, Program
Vince Torres joined the Empowerment Center of East County staff in June 2016 following his graduation from the University of Colorado Boulder, where he majored in Sociology and minored in Ethnic Studies and Education.  An engaged student and community member, Vince was involved in several campus and community programs, including Vamos Bufalós, Public Achievement, and the Puksta Scholars Program.  As part of his involvement in the Puksta Scholars Program, which provides scholarships and experiential community engagement training to 16 exemplary undergraduates, Vince developed and implemented a comprehensive mentoring and pre-collegiate program in Commerce City.    

Elaina Verveer, Executive
Elaina Verveer has nearly 20 years of experience in the fields of youth leadership, program and curriculum development, and youth-focused community organizing.  After previously serving as program director more than a decade ago, Elaina returned to the Empowerment Center of East County as executive director in June 2016. Previously, Elaina served as the founding Public Achievement Director at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she taught undergraduate courses rooted in community-based learning for more than 10 years.  She also served as a faculty member and the interim director of Naropa University’s Community Studies Center, and program director and curriculum consultant for Campus Compact of the Mountain West. Outside of Colorado, Elaina promoted national service programming at the Corporation for National & Community Service in Washington, DC, and served as Special Assistant to the Ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in France, where she developed bilateral initiatives with French and American businesses, museums, and municipalities. Committed to civic engagement, Elaina has also dedicated thousands of hours as program advisor to the Lafayette Youth Advisory Committee, which she founded in 2006.  In addition, she serves as a volunteer consultant for several community-based agencies and an advisor for University of Colorado Boulder undergraduates via the Puksta Scholars program.  Elaina has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the distinction of being named the 2010 Colorado Civic Leader of the Year by the Governor’s Commission on Community Service.

Chris Woodward, Clinical Intern Supervisor
A Lafayette-based therapist (LCSW), Chris has a diverse background in the healing profession.  He has worked with various non-profit and for profit agencies including mental health centers, residential substance abuse facilities, and in private practice.  In addition to his clinical work, Chris facilitates workshops focused on psychological interventions for organizations and professionals.  

Jessica Aldama, Communities That Care Youth Coordinator
A Lafayette resident, Jessica graduated from Centaurus High School in May 2016.  She served as a student facilitator for the Lafayette Peer Empowerment Project, a member of the Lafayette Youth Advisory Committee, co-chair of Centaurus’ Latinos in Full Effect student group, and member of the volleyball team. Jessica is currently a student at Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she is majoring in Education. 

Laura Buckhardt
Elena Carril 
Carlos Castanon
Maddie Chism
Katharine Dishman
Belinda Enrique-Sanchez
Steven Jordan
Justin Krawetz
Bea Lacombe
Hannah Martell
Jaideep Mangat
Gerardo Mendoza
Marcus Milan
Joshua Negray
Jesse Nuckols
Ignancio Perez
Jamie Peschke
Emma Piller
Logan Platt
Maria Robles
Fatima Rodriguez
Olivia Rogers
Balkarn Shahi
Humberto Silva
Gina Strappini
Jonathan Sosa
Izmart Tec Verde
Hritika Thapa
Vicky Vail
Kyle Wagner
Margaret Welch
Kensy Xiong