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


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 Manager

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.




Cami Tam
Program Manager
Cami has always been passionate about building relationships with youth and ensuring that youth in historically underserved communities are provided with the resources and supports needed to help create more of an equal opportunity to quality education. Having worked and volunteered for various after-school programs, Cami is excited about helping build the new High School Program and working with the youth at the Heart & Hand Center. Cami holds a BA in Psychology with a minor in Education Studies at the University of California, San Diego and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Denver. Originally from Richmond, California, Cami enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, being outdoors, reading, trying new foods, and sleeping in her spare time.

Natasha Ballard
Development and Communications Manager
Natasha’s professional focus is curating experiences to promote action and engagement. Before joining Heart & Hand, she was with social enterprise, TOMS Shoes, where she was responsible for developing positive employer brand sentiment, a high performance culture, and engaged employees in partnership with leadership, and business and community partners. Passionate about child equity, she is excited to bring her background in events, program development, and integrated communication strategy to Heart and Hand.


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.

Maya McDowell
Program Leader

Maya was born and raised in Denver, and is passionate about serving her wonderful community. Maya attended the University of Colorado and studied English Literature. Prior to working with youth at Heart & Hand, she served a year with AmeriCorps as the Development and Community Engagement Coordinator for an urban agriculture and youth leadership nonprofit. Maya loves reading, hiking, traveling by train, all things food-related, and hanging out with her adorable cat.

Jordan Johnson
Program Leader

Jordan was born and raised in Cleveland before falling in love with Denver and making it his home. A current student at the University of Colorado Denver, he previously served for 5 years in the U.S. Army, deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of OIF/OEF. Jordan is passionate about social justice and volunteers to support several local community organizations. In his free time, he enjoys volleyball and backcountry skiing.



Vincent Armstrong
Program Leader

Vincent Armstrong, a Colorado native, is a full time student at Metropolitan State University of Denver working towards a bachelor’s degree in Human Development with a minor in Elementary Education. After graduation in the spring of 2018, he plans to continue working with youth whether that be teaching, counseling, mentoring or coaching. One of Vincent’s biggest passions is the desire to create long lasting positive relationships with youth.  Day by day, he strives to help all his students realize their own unique potential in order to achieve success inside and outside of the classroom. In Vincent’s free time he enjoys his morning cup of coffee as he raps/sings his favorite songs, meditating, playing music and spending quality time with his family.