Chief of Staff

National Team 303-746-7990 evy.valencia@50can.org Evyev19

Evy has spent the last decade working as an advocate for underrepresented communities in Colorado. Her work in education advocacy began in 2011. In her most recent work, she has served as a consultant to various local and national nonprofits and philanthropic organizations, advising on community engagement and advocacy projects.

In 2015, Evy served as a Senior Policy Advisor for Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper, where she provided policy and legislative analysis, communications guidance, political strategy, and general support on issues related to education and human services. In that role, she facilitated the workforce and education cabinet working group, and led key “cradle to career” priorities for the administration. Including the expansion of the Two-Generation Strategy and approach to state services from the Department of Human Services, to all state agencies and local partners. Evy has served as the Colorado Commissioner for the Education Commission of the States, and as an appointee to the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

Evy was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. She immigrated to the U.S. at a young age and has made Colorado home since the mid 90’s. She is new to the east coast, and looking forward to exploring what it has to offer. When her pup Ferdinand isn’t bossing her around, she enjoys traveling and eating good food.

I aspire to be like _Anthony Bourdain . Here’s why:

He is described as “transparently imperfect”, which is one of the reasons why I aspire to be like him. He was so authentically himself that people around the world felt so deeply connected to him. So much of my work and life I really strive to connect with people, and be in a place where people can connect with me. Not for where I work, but for who I am. Often when we’re performing our adulthood, or our jobs, we forget we’re all just big kids trying to figure it all out. I strive to remain humble and always be on a curious journey to learn from the people and places around me. “Perhap swisdom, at least for me, means realizing how small I am, and unwises, and how far I have yet to go.” -Anthony Bourdain

Why I love my job:

My family works really hard everyday, they work long days cleaning houses or building furniture. I love my job because it is such a privilege to do this work, alongside really smart and passionate people. I know it’s what my parents hoped for when they came to this country. It’s work that allows me to be a ruthless advocate for kids

My connection to public schools:

I attended public school schools from kindergarten through college. I was able to personally experience the differences in expectations between schools I attended while living in one zip code, versus another. I graduated top of my class, and attended the flagship university in my state, and felt unprepared compared to my peers. Statistics are powerful tools of measure, but we often forget that people are living with the effects of failed systems. I hope to continue to work so that more kids and families have high quality school choices, regardless of where they live.

What I’m bad at:

I am bad at believing in myself. I can be your biggest cheerleader, and believe in the work you do so much, that you leave being with me feeling like you’re on top of the world. But when it comes to my work, I tend to be my harshest critic. I am working on being less critical, and shedding my imposter syndrome.

This image represents why I work at 50CAN:

These are my younger brothers, they are incredibly smart and more than capable young brown men. Unfortunately, our public school system did not see their potential, and they slipped through the cracks. My brother on the right, completed his GED during his first three months of being incarcerated. “My teacher said I was smart, and that she believed in me, no one had ever told me that.” I’m so proud of him, and hope we can imagine a world in education where we believe and see every student as capable.