Anita was born and raised in Denver, Colorado–primarily in Southwest Denver–the youngest of three to an immigrant father and a fourth generation Coloradoan. After graduating from Denver Public Schools, Anita went on to attend Metropolitan State University of Denver (Metro State), graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management and Minor in International Business, becoming the first in her family to obtain a degree.
After graduation, Anita worked at the second-largest radiology group to help families understand the medical services well supporting radiologists. She also volunteered her time to help elect Michael B. Hancock as Denver mayor in 2011, and worked for his re-election campaign in 2015.
After the election, she worked for Fortune 500 Company Davita Dialysis, as well as volunteered her time with Denver Public Schools Southwest Community for Quality Education to give recommendations to the Denver Public School Board, and continues to advocate for quality education in Southwest Denver Anita worked for six years with Denver City Council District 7 Office, and during her time there, she was able to bring back the College View Recreation Center, help open the Youth Empowerment Building and sit on the Denver Police Chief Community Advisory Board.
After spending time working on the Youth Empowerment Building and their youth advisory board, Anita wanted to get back into education and advocate for change, advocating for families to participate in their childrens’ education.
My grandmother Virginia, who lived in Trinidad, Colorado on a farm, was the eldest in her family. She did not have an opportunity to attend school, as she took care of all her younger siblings while her parents worked low-income jobs. She married my grandfather Alex, a railroad worker, and moved to Denver with their six children. My grandmother raised her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild before she passed. She always opened her home to her family, especially all her grandchildren and grandchild. She lived a long life of love and support for her family. The hardship stories she shared over my summer breaks as a young girl made me want to work hard to be able to provide for myself and others. Her dedication was unmatched.
Why I love my job:
I can look around my community and see the changes that are taking place, helping families find the voices to change their lives and the lives of their children and future generations. Meeting families just like mine truly inspires me to keep moving forward. Seeing families speak up in front of elected officials is an award in itself, and knowing that every day, I get to help to continue to shape a community is my greatest accomplishment.
My connection to public schools:
As a Denver Public School graduate, I saw first-hand the challenges of public education for families who want to give their children the best education possible. I would like to make sure every student is prepared for college, career and life instead of feeling like it is impossible.
What I’m bad at:
Keeping short conversations short. I am wordy and once you get me started, I can’t hold back.
The image that represents why I work at 50CAN:
I had the opportunity to be on the interview panel for the Youth Empowerment Center Advisory Board. These young people are speaking up to improve their communities through such actions as school safety and programming for youth. I am truly inspired by their commitment to our community, as well as to each other, making sure to hold people accountable for their actions. They deserve safe schools with high-quality education. This is why I am back in education. No matter what zip code you live in, you should have a safe community with high-quality education.