From the president

Ms. Chavez is a junior at the University of Denver studying psychology and sociology. A first-generation college student and committed public servant, Ms. Chavez is deeply committed to creating positive change in her communities. She practices relational connection within and across communities in her current work, and will be a powerful force in addressing the root causes of complex and urgent social issues such as domestic violence and intergenerational poverty. Through her work on Valverde Movement Project, Ms. Chavez demonstrated creative community collaborations between a foundation and a local neighborhood association to fund a community coat drive in the Valverde neighborhood. As an ambassador for the Greenhouse Scholar program, an intern with YouthRoots, and a youth organizing coach and mentor with the University of Denver’s Center for Community Engagement to Advance Scholarship and Learning, Ms. Chavez has prioritized genuine engagement and listening, so that the youth involved take part, collectively, in exploring and solving the issues impacting them. Ms. Chavez plans to pursue graduate study in clinical psychology and social work, with the goal of working in high schools and eventually founding a non-profit to address both the symptoms and root causes of domestic violence.

Jeremy Haefner


University of Denver


Personal Statement

As a first-generation student who was raised by a single mother who spoke broken English, I grew up with a resourceful community that was always willing to lend a helping hand for a mother and her four daughters. I learned the value of community from a very young age and to be a leader who was humble with a fierce will for change. I learned how to climb the ladder of disadvantage while guiding others up with me. In my journey, I realized that celebrating victory feels empty when you are the only one on top. In public service, there is never an expert, simply someone who knows a different set of information then you. That is the beauty of this line of work. Juan Gonzalez quotes, “It was difficult to learn to work using my head not my heart.” Within this field, we learn to be guided by our hearts and good intentions and work with our heads. I plan on creating a nonprofit organization that helps women of color who have been victims of domestic violence become independent. I am building myself so that I can effectively help these women, whose struggle was the same as my mother’s.

Daniela Chavez

Psychology and Sociology

University of Denver