Colorado Afterschool Partnership Staff
Kelly has spent the last 18 years in the non-profit community and much of that time has been working with young people, educators, and OST providers before she knew about the acronyms. Some of Kelly’s favorite work was in creating and teaching programming around personal financial literacy and service learning after-school programs for elementary-age children and older adults, as well as managing an in-school philanthropy program for elementary school children. She also spent the last 7 years getting to know the non-profit community around the state while training volunteer managers on how to better support and engage volunteers to deliver their missions more effectively and efficiently. Throughout this varied and yet connected career path, Kelly discovered that one of her skills is connecting with those who are not traditionally at the table or in the conversation: elementary-age children who are constantly underestimated, older adults 55+ who face that same challenge, siblings of children with cancer and serious illnesses who are sidelined out of sheer survival necessity, and children and parents from a wide variety of marginalized communities. Kelly is excited to learn more about the OST community and bring her passion for creating and connecting to CAP.
Communications & Events Manager
Taylor’s passion for out-of-school time stems from witnessing the profound impact it had on her students and their families. Over four rewarding years as a site coordinator, she’s seen firsthand how OST programs contribute to holistic student development. Taylor is passionate about storytelling, networking, and leveraging social media to build more awareness around the benefits of OST. She is looking forward to collaborating with the community to continue paving the way for high-quality, sustainable OST programs across Colorado.
Board of Directors
Katherine Plog-Martinez — Board Chair
Katherine Plog Martinez currently serves as the Managing Partner for Knowledge to Power Catalysts, a small boutique consulting firm that increases the rate at which leaders transform Knowledge into Power to change the odds that all children and youth will thrive. In this role, she oversees the business operations of the firm and serves as the Executive Producer of Changing the Odds Remix. Katherine’s portfolio of clients includes The Forum for Youth Investment, where she works with the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality serving as a thought partner for the Wallace Foundation’s Partnership for Social-Emotional Learning Initiative.
Prior to launching her consulting business, Katherine spent eight and a half years at Denver Public Schools (DPS) serving in roles including the Director of Extended Learning and Community Schools and Executive Director of Whole Child Supports. In her time with DPS, she also served as a co-founder of the Denver Afterschool Alliance – Denver’s out-of-school-time intermediary.
Katherine holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Trinity University and a master’s degree in Family Studies & Human Services – Youth Development from Kansas State University.
Dwayne Meeks — Vice Chair
Dwayne Meeks is the founder and Executive Director of Urban Colors Arts and Mentoring a nonprofit organization promotes responsible fatherhood engagement, healthy youth development, and family prosperity. Originally from Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn New York he has brought his professional and lived experience to the Mile High City.
For more than 27 years Meeks has helped the communities restore balance to their lives by empowering families to build bridges toward self-sufficiency. As an advocate he is committed to providing family prosperity coaching and consulting services to underserved communities successfully partnering with social service agencies and foundations to reduce health and economic disparities. Dwayne has been an excellent leader and thought partner in the work of the Innovation Community. As a Leader, he has influenced the policy and practice considerations of 20 plus organizations locally and nationally seeking to help families achieve prosperity and well-being.
Dwayne is deeply rooted in community engagement and the empowerment of young people. He uses his platform to facilitated strategic conversations with partners and has served on several boards and councils to elevate the voices of marginalized families including Denver’s Head Start Policy Council, Denver Human Services Family Voice Council, Early Childhood Leadership Commission, Colorado African American Drug Policy Coalition, Colorado Fatherhood Network Leadership. Dwayne leadership has led to him receiving numerous awards and recognition including ones from the Governor and Mayor and My Brother’s Keeper Initiative just to name a few.
His insights on mechanisms best suited to support young boys and men have been invaluable. Dwayne has done all of this, while embodying both the technical skill and emotional intelligence to lead with knowledge and compassion. Dwayne’s determination to make positive lasting change for families shines through his leadership and poise. In addition, Dwayne is an author and sought-after public speaker
Sarah Conley —Secretary
Sarah Conley has worked with OST programs for 26 years, both private sector and public education. She has always advocated for quality out-of-school time programs for all children keeping their best interests as a priority always to support the whole child. In her current role as Director of Extended Child Services with Cherry Creek School District, she manages 50+ OST programs, working collaboratively with state-wide school-age programs in Colorado to continually refocus the vision and mission for quality programming and resources needed. She creates high-quality staff development opportunities for staff to continue their professional journey in OST programs. She is also fully committed to disrupting inequities and opportunity gaps for students, including race, income, and disability. In her free time, she is a Girl Scout Troop Leader. She has empowered her Girl Scouts to value the importance of community service, leadership, outdoor skills, financial literacy, develop values to guide sound decision making and set the foundation to be successful, confident future women leaders.
Spencer Reedy - Treasurer
Spencer serves as a Private Wealth Advisor with Raymond James Financial Services where he has spent ten years working with families to create the vision they seek for their financial future and then aid in working toward their long-term financial success. Before his time with CAP, he previously served as a board member for Scholars Unlimited. Spencer joined CAP to to volunteer his time and skills to a community organization whose mission is to improve outcomes for children after school.
Dedrick is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Sims-Fayola Foundation. The Sims-Fayola Foundation’s mission is to improve the life outcomes of young men and boys of color and improve the capacity of youth professionals who partner with them.
Dedrick’s career in urban education began in a high school classroom over 20 years ago as a substitute and has since served in roles as a High School Biology and Chemistry Teacher, Secondary Curriculum Administrator, Master Lead Teacher, Technology Coordinator, Alternative School Teacher, Dean of Students, Assistant Principal and Principal of both traditional and charter public schools (Co-Ed and Single Gender), and school Founder.
Dedrick’s commitment to education extends outside the classroom as well. As a published author of three books and numerous professional articles, Dedrick uses his experience to build the capacity of others to serve students with informed excellence. As the Sims-Fayola Foundation CEO, Dedrick provides professional training to educators around the country in areas of single-gender learning, working with young men and boys of color, and school and program design through an equity lens. Through the Sims-Fayola Foundation, Dedrick’s work has impacted over 10,000 young men and boys of color and provided workshops and coaching to over 5,000 professionals who work with young men and boys of color. Dedrick has also been the lead designer and founding member of three charter schools in Arkansas, Colorado, and Louisiana.
Dedrick’s community involvement having served as an appointed member of Colorado’s Workforce Development Commission, the Governor’s Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Council, a Youth Commissioner for the city of Aurora and Denver, past member of the Denver African American Philanthropists, President of the Board for Hill Harper’s Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, past Board President of the Young Philanthropists Foundation, a past Senior Education Advisor to Mississippi State Representative, a past board member for the Bridge Project, a past board member for the Don Burns Center for Homelessness and Poverty at the University of Denver, current advisory member for Mentor Colorado, current board vice-president of the Foundation for Science and Mathematics Education in New Orleans, LA, and past board member of Wyatt Elementary school in Denver, CO. Dedrick was selected by Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the national 100 Modern BE Men of 2018 , Sisters Enterprise “Random Acts of Kindness” 2020 honoree, and one of the African Americans Who Make A Difference for 2021. Dedrick has served his country as an officer in the United States Army and is a Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity member, Inc.
Lori Hammer is the Executive Director for the Partners for HOPE Center, an after-school program in the rural community of Lamar, Colorado. Lori started the center in 2005 with a 21st Century Grant in conjunction with the Lamar School District. When the Center started, in 2005, attendance was around 30 students a day, now the program averages around 150 a day. The HOPE Center serves grades 3rd-12th, with tutoring and homework help, leadership and enrichment opportunities, at-risk behavior interventions, and other after-school activities. The Center just strives to help youth in the Lamar area “to be the best they can be in whatever they do!”
As Chief Impact Officer for Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver, Heather is responsible for the design, implementation, and management of our impact strategy including curriculum assessment and selection, program design, research and evaluation, and data analytics.
Heather brings both depth of experience and passion to this role. A proud native of Las Cruces, New Mexico, the common thread throughout Heather’s career has been serving youth and families. Her early career included roles in the pediatric physical therapy field as well as the visual and performing arts. Upon moving to Colorado, Heather served as the Education Program Manager for the Children’s Museum of Denver. During this time, Heather created the “How We Play” initiative that was the foundation for inclusion of youth with special needs throughout the city’s cultural institutions.
She transitioned to Denver Public Schools in 2013 to manage community partnerships for the district and support the work of the Denver Afterschool Alliance and the Denver Quality Afterschool Connection. She then became the Executive Director of Extended Learning and Community Schools and helped lead the district through the pandemic, standing up the first remote learning centers in DPS.
Heather is thrilled to be a part of the CAP team and to continue her focus on ensuring that “afterschool is not an afterthought” in the story of a child’s education.
The Governance Action Team is the executive team of the Project Board. This team implements governance structure, manages monthly Board Meeting agendas, nominates and onboard officers to the Project Board, and recruits and onboard new Project Board and Action Team members.
Partnerships and Resource Development
This action team actively pursues a broader community of stakeholders to align initiatives, increase impact, seek funding and strengthen coordinated afterschool efforts. CAP uses these resources to expand our reach to all corners of Colorado and broaden our community of stakeholders.
The Quality Action Team is tasked with identifying partners and stakeholders to begin a conversation around developing Afterschool/Youth Development Quality Standards and identifying Quality Improvement Systems. The goal is to build a Statewide Quality System that ensures quality, access, capacity, and accountability in Afterschool Programs that serve K-12 grades.
Members of this team examines national, state and local policies supporting high-quality afterschool and out-of-school-time systems. The goal is to provide education and expertise on how such policies may affect youth, families and youth service professionals while advocating for the advancement and support of equitable access of afterschool programs for all Colorado youth.
Communications and IT
This action team reviews communications related to promotion and capacity-building for CAP through social media, newsletters, and the CAP website. This team adapts marketing materials for special events like Lights on Afterschool and National Summer Learning Day.
Professional Development and Events
The goal of this action team is to create a statewide coordinated professional development system aligned with the Quality Standards and learning community. The team is tasked with conducting a statewide needs assessment, reaching out throughout networks to identify existing PD opportunities, and aligning resources and training support to promote, enhance and develop the growing afterschool youth service professional.