About Us

Check out this Prezi to learn more about Heart & Hand

Vision Statement

A world with no opportunity gap.

Mission Statement

By creating a nurturing community, Heart & Hand empowers all young people to realize their potential.

Core Values

Love, Honor and Respect

Meet our Team

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Mary Cipollone
Executive Director

Mary Cipollone is passionate about empowering children and youth with the skills, information, and relationships they need to build successful futures. She has dedicated her career to improving educational and personal outcomes for students in low-income communities in Harlem, Detroit, Denver, and Latin America. Mary holds a BA from Dartmouth College and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Michigan. She loves hiking, listening to live music, and eating good meals with friends and family.

Nikki Cady
Development Director/Founder

Nikki Cady attended York University in Toronto, majoring in Psychology.  After college, she spent time interning for Mental Health Canada working with adults suffering from mental illnesses, operating a retail store, as well as, owning and operating two restaurants until moving to Denver in 2005.   Prior to becoming the Executive Director of HALO Denver, Nikki spent six years as an advocate for Denver’s abused and neglected children  through Denver CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates).  Mrs. Cady served on Colorado CASA’s Board of Directors for two years, during her tenure with the board, she held the position of Fundraising Chair for both the Denver and Colorado CASA agencies for four years.

In 2008 Mrs. Cady opened Denver’s branch of the HALO Foundation, which is committed to improving the lives of homeless, orphaned and at risk youth worldwide. In 2009 Mrs. Cady launched weekly art-mentoring programs working with homeless youth in metro Denver area homeless shelters; she then opened The Heart & Hand Center for Youth.  Nikki is instrumental in raising one hundred percent of the annual budget for the Heart & Hand Center for Youth and Their Families.

Blaine Heydt
Chief Operating Officer

Blaine Heydt is the Chief Operating Officer with the Heart & Hand Center and has been with the organization since January 2010.  Blaine is a Colorado State University graduate with a BA in English and a minor in Criminology. Blaine worked with kids for six years through the Candlewood Knolls Children’s Program, and volunteered to work with at-risk youth, for a year, through Crossroads Safehouse.

Sally Pic2Sally Vizas
Program Director

Sally comes to Heart & Hand with over 12 years of experience in Colorado’s nonprofit sector. She has spent the last six years working with youth in Northeast Denver. Sally is passionate about education, social justice and supporting youth in achieving their goals. Sally graduated from The University of Denver with a Master’s of Social Work in 2012. She is originally from Berkeley, California and enjoys eating, traveling, spending time with family and friends.

profilePamela Roberts
Program Manager

Pamela has enjoyed working with vulnerable populations over the past ten years. She has worked with individuals with developmental disabilities, older adults, and children with mental health diagnoses. When not working with at risk youth and their families in their homes and community settings, Pamela enjoys volunteering in the communities she lives in. She holds a BA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Sociology and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Denver with an emphasis on Family Systems. She loves to travel, run beautiful Colorado trails, and spend time with family.

fullsizerender-2Jeff Sarceno
Program Manager

Jeff was born in Los Angeles, California but moved to Longmont, Colorado when he was 5 years old. He majored in Economics at the University of Colorado Boulder. While in college Jeff was a work-study student for the Pre Collegiate Development Program and the I have a Dream Foundation Boulder County, working as a math tutor/mentor/peer counselor. After college he went back to work for the I Have a Dream Foundation as an Americorp, serving as a Program Coordinator. In his free time, Jeff loves to play a variety of different sports: Basketball, Soccer, football. Jeff believes there is no job more rewarding than working with youth.

20150326_105228-1Christine Alford
Program Leader 

Christine is a California native that enjoys working with children, and spending quality time with friends and family. She is also a proud H&H mother.

 

 

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Leah Martinez
Program Leader

Leah is a native Coloradoan raised in Denver. She received her GED from Community College of Denver and plans to pursue her BA in the near future. For the past two years she has worked as a liaison for the Colorado Military Entrance Processing Station, assisting new and prior enlisties transition to military life. Leah’s daughter has been in the H&H program for the past two years and both mother and daughter love it. One of Leah’s goals is to have a positive impact in the lives of all she encounters.

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Vinita Tramble
Program Leader

Vinita Tramble recently has come back to the Heart and Hand Family. She worked with us for 2 years and then went to work for the Denver Elections Divisions. Now, she has found herself right back to doing what she is passionate about, which is helping kids become the best people they can be. She believes in giving children a chance in life, to achieve to the best of their ability and have fun while doing so. When she is not with children she enjoys helping out her neighborhood food banks.

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Kate Rowe
Program Leader

Kate is excited to join the Heart & Hand team this year! Born and raised in Denver, she is committed to supporting Northeast Denver’s youth and families. After graduating from Occidental College in 2015, Kate became a mentor for middle school girls in the Highland Park community of Los Angeles. She has also served as an English Teaching Assistant for elementary school students in rural Madrid, Spain. Kate loves spending time with family and friends, exploring the Colorado outdoors, and enjoying a good cup of coffee!

memeAudrey Gutierrez
Program Leader

Audrey was born and raised in California, graduated with a BA in Cultural Anthropology from University of Oregon and moved to Colorado in 2015. She served in AmeriCorps as part of Denver Math Fellows and loved the children she worked with. She is passionate about education and children and is very excited to be joining the Heart & Hand team! She loves reading, baking, good coffee, and being outside in the sun.

CelesteCeleste Ortega
Yoga Instructor
Celeste began with the Heart & Hand Center as a volunteer in August 2011.  She is a student at both the Community College of Denver and CU Boulder, and is studying Early Childhood Education and Bilingual Education and Equity.  Celeste has an extensive background as a youth mentor, as well as, experience teaching.  Celeste hopes to become a Children’s Yoga Instructor in the future.