We have assembled a professional team of compassionate and competent individuals dedicated to supporting youth and engaging the community in our mission.
Mary Ann Burdick - Executive Director
Mary Ann has a Master's Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor's Degree in English and Secondary Education. She has twenty years of experience in the management of non-profits. She has worked with at-risk youth for over thirty years in various areas, including alternative education and mentoring programs. Ms. Burdick has extensive experience in program evaluation and implementation. She has been with Metro Denver Partners since 1988.
Francisco (Cisco) Gallardo – Program Director, GRASP
Francisco "Cisco" Gallardo assisted in setting the foundation for gangs in Denver. In his teen years, he joined and helped create what has been one of the largest gangs in Denver's north side. Since that time, after facing a possible 48 years in prison, he has dedicated his life to undoing the damage he helped create. Over the past 25 years, through his work in the community to redefine respect, power, and pride, and by making a commitment to help the youth heal, he has helped countless young people to redefine their own lives.
Johnnie Williams - GRASP Enterprises Director
Johnnie is currently working with youth in the community by supplying constructive alternatives to gangs and other destructive activities. He is actively involved within the community, focusing primarily on educating teenagers on gaining and preserving self-respect, finding a positive purpose in life, learning to be more responsible and learning to make good choices as well leaving the gang lifestyle. Johnnie joined Metro Denver Partners in 2008.
Jerry Morgan - Outreach Worker, GRASP
Jerry Morgan was raised in different parts of the United States, but he spent the majority of his life in Denver, Colorado. He had a rough childhood and was in and out of trouble, but made a transformational change while in high school. He started his work with youth when he was 11 years old and has worked with them since. He currently volunteers his time with numerous organizations throughout the state, and other organizations throughout the country. He studied Human Services and Cultural Studies at the Metropolitan State University of Denver and received a degree in Youth Development through Cultural Awareness. He is now working in the At-risk Intervention and Mentoring program that is a collaboration between GRASP and Denver Health.
Michelle McDaniel - Outreach Worker, GRASP
Before accepting a position as a GRID Outreach worker in January 2012, Michelle volunteered for GRASP for 5 years while pursuing a degree in Human Services. Her experiences as a former runaway and gang member have allowed her to educate and empower as well as encourage youth to make better choices.
James Mora - Outreach Worker (GRID), GRASP
James Mora has been involved with working with youth for 30 plus years in the form of case managing youth, coaching baseball, football and boxing in Northern Colorado. As a youth James had his run-ins with the judicial system and decided to change his life and repair the damage he helped create in his community. James has taken the concept of paying it forward by working with youth by providing hope and opportunities through the Bam's Legacy Foundation that he helped co-found (and currently chairs) which provide educational college scholarships and Christmas gifts to the less fortunate. James' experience in Case Managing youth in the judicial system for the last 8 years makes his job as an Outreach Worker (GRID) a perfect match for him. James looks forward to teaching the young people that join GRASP work skills, life skills, and the drive to become successful individuals in the work environment.
Jason McBride - Outreach Worker (GRID), GRASP
Jason McBride joined the GRASP team in November of 2017. Before joining the field of support at-risk youth, he spent over 15 years working in radio and media. He graduated from Foothills College in 1990 with a degree in Broadcast Communications. He joined the nonprofit field in 2014, first as a Customer Service representative for multiple nonprofits over the Front Range. He then became an Outreach Coordinator, developing and leading programs for at-risk youth, which led him to GRASP, where we are excited to have him on our team!
Karen Quinn - Program Coordinator, Adolescent Females Program
Karen has an Associate's Degree in Sociology and has completed coursework in Juvenile Counseling. Karen has over twenty years of experience working with at-risk youth. She has worked with potential dropouts in job counseling, pre-employment workshops, academic skills, and conflict resolution to help kids become self-sufficient. Karen has extensive experience in case management and volunteer management. She is very involved in the community as well, and regularly works with the Black Round Table, DPS Collaborative Decision Making Team, many PTAs in Northeast Denver schools, and is a block organizer for For Our Kids. Karen has been with Metro Denver Partners since 1995.
Estefania Palenzuela - Program Facilitator, Adolescent Females Program
Estefania graduated from Metropolitan State College of Denver with a Bachelor's Degree in Behavioral Science and Elementary Education. She taught for 8 years at the elementary level at a Title I school in the Jefferson County Public School District. Estefania aspired to continue to work with highly impacted children and motivate adolescent females. Estefania has been with Metro Denver Partners since 2016.
John Kraft - Administrative Assistant
John has Bachelor degrees from Kent State University in Fine Art and Art Education. He worked as the Lead Case Manager for Metro Denver Partners from August 1989 until September 2017 and returned to Metro Denver Partners on April 2018 as the Administrative Assistant. John brings a wealth of knowledge about Metro Denver Partners and a love for serving youth and families in the development of emotional and social needs of the youth in our program through mentoring relationships with adult volunteers. He is excited about the opportunity to learn the new computer and administration skills needed for the assistant position as well as apply creative and artistic talents he brings to Metro Denver Partners.
Sandi Schoob - Bookkeeper
Sandi has a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from Metropolitan State College and a Master's Degree in Financial Planning from Kansas State University. Sandi has over 18 years of progressive accounting experience managing Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Reconciliations, Grant Accounting, Financial Reporting, Payroll, Fixed Assets and banking relations. She has worked in private, public and non-profit arenas. Sandi joined Metro Denver Partners in July 2007.
Jesus Ramierez - Aurora Outreach Worker
Jesus holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services with an emphasis in High-Risk Youth from Metropolitan State University of Denver in May 2014. He has worked as a Diversion Officer for the Safe City Office of Denver, as an Enhanced Clinical Services Case Manager for Clinica Family Health Services, and a 21st Century Career Learning Center Coordinator for The New America School prior top joining G.R.A.S.P. (Gang Rescue And Support Program) February 2015. Jesus works mentoring high-risk youth involved in gangs in Aurora to develop pro-social activities for youth to help with gang disengagement as well as community engagement for support and education.