Charles Dukes

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Charles Dukes is nationally recognized for his P-12 Readiness work by receiving the American School Counselor Association “Advocate of the Year” award. Charles has also been recognized by the Colorado Association of Career and Technical Administrators with “Friend of CACTA” award. Lastly, he received the Sawaya Values “Hope” Award from the Sawaya Law Firm for instilling a sense of hope and providing a brighter future for people in and around their community. 

Before joining the Office of Children’s Affairs at the City & County of Denver as the Education Policy Director, Charles Dukes served as a Director of College and Career Readiness for Aurora Public Schools, where he was a catalyst for systems change at both the school and district level, working to ensure all students had access to postsecondary and workforce credentials. Before his work in Aurora Public Schools, Charles worked in Denver Public Schools where he served as the Director of College Access Initiatives. In his role at DPS, he actively worked with the Denver community, parents and schools to ensure all DPS students are adequately prepared academically and socially to enter into postsecondary opportunities. As Director, he oversaw multiple college access initiatives such as the Concurrent Enrollment program, district-wide ACT preparation services, and the 9th Grade Expo for 1,600 9th grade students.

Charles holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Colorado Mesa University and a Master’s degree in Education Foundations Practice and Policy from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Marissa moliNA

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Marissa Molina is the Colorado State Immigration Manager at, a bipartisan political organization that believes America’s families, communities, and economy thrive when everyone has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.   

Prior to, she was the Manager of Community Engagement at Rocky Mountain Prep Network, and taught Spanish for Native Speakers at DSST: GVR High School to 9th and 10th graders as a Teach for America corps member. In 2015 she was recognized as a Champion of Change by the White House for being a strong role model for her students and their families as well as being an agent of change within her community.

Originally from Mexico, Marissa grew up in the Western Slope of Colorado and attended Fort Lewis College for her undergraduate education.

Ellen Mary Hickmann

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Ellen Mary Hickmann is currently the Senior Director of Programs at Turing School of Software and Design, a non-profit professional software development school based in Denver, Colorado. She is a coach, a facilitator, and a designer. With more than 13 years of working in K-12 education as a teacher and as an instructional coach, she has worked with multiple non-profits who are raising the standards of what is possible in the education industry including Partners in School Innovation, The New Teacher Project, and Teach For America. Ellen Mary worked for Teach for America where she led the Teacher Leadership Team responsible for over 200 educators for six years before moving into Ed-Tech. She ultimately chose to join Turing because of the mission of the organization to recruit and train a diverse and inclusive student body for high fulfillment technical careers. Her role at Turing focuses on creating effective instructional and career development curriculum while embedding diversity and inclusiveness across the student experience. Ellen Mary earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s Degree of Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado at Denver. 

chris young

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Chris Young is the Chief Financial Officer at Worklife Partnership, an organization that works hand-in-hand with businesses to provide employee-centered solutions to workforce challenges. With over 15 years of experience in Corporate Finance and Operations Management ranging from startups to Fortune 200 companies. He brings a passion for performing financial analysis, turning data into information and implementing process improvements. Worklife Partnership’s mission to advance workers and improve lives combined with his passion to serve the community drove Chris’ shift to the non-profit sector. Chris earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his MBA and Masters of Science in Finance from the University of Colorado at Denver.

christine scanlan


Christine Scanlan is President and CEO of the Keystone Policy Center, a nonprofit organization which over the past 40 years, has built a portfolio of substantive work in energy, environment, education, health, and agriculture. Keystone has accomplished this work with a series of complementary approaches that reflect the diverse strategies utilized in leadership and successful issue resolution.

Christine joined the Keystone Policy Center from her role as Director of Legislative Affairs and Strategic Initiatives and Senior Education Policy Advisor to Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. Prior to her senior staff role in the Governor’s Office, Christine was a Colorado State Representative for House District 56 and served in leadership as Majority Whip.

In earlier years, Christine had previously been at Keystone as Senior Vice President and COO. Christine has extensive public policy experience as a seasoned facilitator, negotiator and policy expert and is a respected leader in finding policy solutions through collaborative dialogue to complicated issues of urgency and import. Christine received both her MA Nonprofit Management and BA History from Regis University, Denver, Colorado.