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Get to know our new CYC team members!

The past year of expansion has seen a flurry of new staff and board members at Colorado Youth for a Change! We wanted to introduce you to some of these new faces. Each of our new team members brings unique value and skills to our work. Our people truly make CYC’s work possible!

New Staff

Name: Tahlia Lucero

Position: Development Associate

Started: July 2022

Originally from: Denver, CO

Go-To Karaoke Song: Just a Dream – Nelly

If you were to retire tomorrow what would you spend your time doing? I’d try to visit as many theme parks as possible, especially international ones!

What is one thing we can’t tell about you from your LinkedIn? I’m only 5’1.5″ in height, always comes as a surprise when people meet me for the first time.

What do you love about CYC? I love that our work ties so closely to students like those from my own community.

Name: Dylan Serdenia

Position: Reading Corps Program Coordinator

Started: June 2022 (previously Reading Corps member)

Originally from: Tacoma, Washington

Karaoke: Backstreet Boys or 80s Pop Hits

What one place would you travel to if you could only pick one? Fiordland National Park, NZ

Can’t tell from your LinkedIn: I play 6 instruments.

What is the #1 thing you hope to see CYC accomplish in the next year? Hire more AmeriCorps members than ever before.

Name: Briana Schlesinger

Position: Reading Corps Program Manager

Started: September 2021

Originally from: Phoenix, AZ

Karaoke: “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler

Do in retirement: Lots of traveling and reading (of course)

Can’t tell from your LinkedIn: I have a twin brother and we’re total opposites!

Love about CYC: The culture and the all the great people who shape it! I get to work with brilliant people, I feel very supported and trusted to do my job, and I am constantly learning at CYC.

Name: Leslie Eslava

Position: Reading Corps Coaching Specialist (Mesa County)

Started: August 2021

Originally from: Grand Junction

Karaoke: Disney Song or Don’t Stop Believin’

Do in retirement: Reading and going to Disneyland!

Can’t tell from LinkedIn: My LinkedIn profile picture was taken while floating up from a height- while riding in a gondola in Telluride! And the background picture on my LinkedIn, I took while studying abroad in Rome!

#1 thing for CYC this year: Reach and support more students across the state!

Name: Carolina Lizzio

Position: Math Corps Coaching Specialist

Started: August 2021

Originally from: New York City

Karaoke: Landslide – Fleetwood Mac OR I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boys

Top travel destination: Argentina

Do in retirement: I would spend all of my time outside exploring with my dog, Layla

Love about CYC: I love how every staff member is genuinely excited and invested in the success of each AmeriCorps member and student that participates in our programs! We are continuously learning from each other, open to new ideas, and passionate about our work.

Name: Lewis Galvan

Position: Reengagement Specialist

Started: January 2022

Originally from: Denver, CO

Karaoke: Love music but cannot sing to save my life.

Top travel destination: French Polynesia

Do in retirement: Travel the World

Love about CYC: I love that CYC is mission-driven and approaches youth and community opportunities openly and innovatively! A true leader in supporting students in education!

Name: Hanna King

Position: Corps for a Change program coordinator

Started: November 2021 (previously Corps for a Change member)

Originally from: Kentucky

Karaoke: I love karaoke, but only as an audience member

Top travel destination: Another galaxy would be cool

Can’t tell from LinkedIn: That I live with a zoo – 3 dogs, 4 cats, 2 chickens and 2 ducks

Love about CYC: The people here and the culture – I have always felt respected and valued within the organization

Name: Jan Ransom

Position: Grants Accountant

Started: March 2022

Originally from: Indiana to Michigan to Colorado

Karaoke: Never have done but I love to sing

Top travel destination: A sweep of Europe and then back to Sweden (I was there 15 years ago).

Do in retirement: Gardening, reading, spending time with family

#1 thing for CYC this year: To grow the numbers of successful children helped by this organization at all ages

Name: Deison Rios

Position: Corps for a Change Program Coordinator

Started: July 2022

Originally from: Puerto Rico

Top travel destination: Anywhere on the coast of Italy

Do in retirement: Volunteering and Hiking

Love about CYC: The mission to help kids and teens succeed in school. This is something I have always been passionate about and am so excited to be working with a team of passionate individuals who feel the same way.

Name: Josh Wakeling

Position: Math Corps Coaching Specialist

Started: August 2022

Originally from: Ohio

Karaoke: Money Won’t Pay by bo en, Augustus

Do in retirement: Dungeons & Dragons campaign writing/art, streaming League of Legends, fencing

Can’t tell from LinkedIn: I used to be an avid Épée fencer!

#1 thing for CYC this year: I would love to see our programs continue to grow, especially the newer Math Corps and Early Learning Corps programs!

Name: Ben Martella

Position: Englewood Reengagement Specialist

Started: September 2022

Originally from: Fort Collins, CO

Karaoke: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

Top travel destination: Thailand

Can’t tell from LinkedIn: I love to mountain bike!

#1 thing for CYC this year: I hope to see CYC partner with other diverse nonprofits in the next year.

New Board Members

Name: Cherronda Richie-Rogers

Position and Organization: Learning Consultant at American Family Insurance

Started on CYC Board: April 2022

Originally from: Beloit, WI

Karaoke: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross

Top travel destination: Nigeria

Do in retirement: Traveling and working with children

Love about CYC: The passion each person brings to want to help the students and the desire to see the CYC organization grow to its fullest capacity.

Name: Kate Hunsaker-Drahn

Position and Organization: VP of Consumer and Mortgage Loan Operations at FirstBank

Started on CYC Board: January 2022

Originally from: Lincoln, Nebraska

Karaoke: Any Chicks song

Top travel destination: Italy!

Can’t tell from LinkedIn: Earlier this spring, my husband and I got married back in Nebraska but our marriage license got lost in the mail! Hand delivery will be used for the newly resigned one!

#1 thing for CYC this year: Educate our community, donors, and partners of CYC’s impact and reach. CYC does so much yet we could share and celebrate our work more!

Name: Alli (Stover) Levy

Position and Organization: Recruiting Manager at Robert Half

Started on CYC Board: November 2021

Originally from: Illinois

Karaoke: Summer Nights – Grease

Do in retirement: I would move to the mountains, bake my own bread and grow a huge garden.

Can’t tell from LinkedIn: I love dogs and would adopt 10+ of them if I had more time & space to take care of them all.

Love about CYC: Big, community-wide change starts with just one person, and I love that CYC focuses on supporting individual students. I also love working with the CYC team, they are all incredible people.

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