Colorado Afterschool Partnership Staff
Megan Nyce found her passion for afterschool when her daughter was entering into Kindergarten. She discovered that her neighborhood school did not have an afterschool program which meant many families were not able to attend the school. She set out on her own trying to bring an afterschool program to the school but found that many required a minimum family commitment and the main program with the district was at capacity. It was through this experience that she discovered that afterschool is not available for all.
Megan brings a Masters in Community Counseling and 20+ years working in federally funded low-income housing programs. She managed multiple federal grants for the state of Colorado and spent much of her time connecting grantees across the state to work towards a shared goal
Afterschool and summer programs played a huge role in Jennifer Giambi’s upbringing. As a child, she spent many years attending the YMCA’s afterschool and summer programs in Houston, TX. Her passion for the field only increased when she noticed the lack of quality, affordable afterschool programs at her son’s public preschool. In attempting to help the school set up a tuition-free program, she learned affordability and accessibility were not the only barriers to quality out-of-school-time programs, which, in turn, drove her passion to help ensure that all students had a safe place to be when the release bell rang.
Jennifer obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Print Journalism from the University of Houston and has more than 10 years of experience working for major publications and national nonprofits. Before relocating to Colorado with her family, Jennifer spent three years as the Senior Writer and Social Media Manager for the Houston Independent School District, where she was responsible for the dissemination of critical communications to the 200,000-plus student body and their families, as well as various state and local stakeholders.
As a state licensed educator, Rachel filled many summer breaks teaching STEM enrichment camps for children K-5. Enjoying the opportunity to spark creativity and encourage children to make new connections outside the classroom, she soon began teaching STEM enrichment afterschool as well. Leading STEM programs in New York state and Colorado made her appreciate the monumental impact of STEM experiences on youth, but also the inequity of access many children have to high quality, consistent programming within their community. With a commitment to making a positive impact on the accessibility of STEM programming for youth of all ages, Rachel was ecstatic to find and join the Colorado Afterschool Partnership team.
Rachel earned her Master’s of Science in Teaching in Elementary Education from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh and has more than 10 years of experience teaching in public schools, recreational programs and STEM enrichment programs. She is eager to bring this experience to Colorado Afterschool Partnership to support program providers looking to access STEM resources and methods to promote an engineering mindset within Colorado students.
Board of Directors
Dedrick Sims - Board Chair
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.
Stephanie Hansen - Vice Chair
A passionate and devoted afterschool professional, Stephanie Hansen has over 20 years of progressive experience implementing innovative programs impacting the academic and social-emotional wellness of students K-12. Stephanie is an effective manager adept at cultivating teams and developing the strengths of all staff members to deliver high-quality and enriching experiences beyond the regular school day. She has managed licensed, fee-based programs in Denver Public Schools as well as written and administered 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants for Adams 12 Five Star Schools. Stephanie is dedicated to continuously improving systems, procedures, structures, and routines for the benefit of all participants and is committed to engaging stakeholders towards a common mission and vision reflecting guiding principles. Stephanie holds a B.A. in Psychology from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana.
Katherine Plog-Martinez - Secretary
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.
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.
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!”
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 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.
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.