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Meet-Our-Staff



​Greg Lee, Director​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Greg earned his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado Boulder and his Master’s degree in Counseling Education from the University of Colorado Denver.  He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education with Walden University.  Greg enjoys working with first-generation students in the area of college preparation and accessing higher education. He made the decision to work with first-generation students to help alleviate some of the barriers they may encounter in prepa​ring and accessing higher education. He is passionate about empowering students, helping them enhance their opportunity to be admitted to college and become successful. Greg’s career endeavor is to continue working with students in a higher educational setting and make an impact in their lives.

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Anitr​​a Montoya, Senior Assistant Director​

Anitra graduated from North High School in 1994.  Both of her parents supported her dream to be the first person in her immediate and extended family to obtain a college degree.  She attended University of Northern Colorado her freshman year and in transferred to Metropolitan State University in 1995 where she obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Services with an emphasis in high risk youth. Her degree course fostered her passion for helping first generation students. Since 2001 she has been working with students who face many of the same barriers as she did being the first in the family to attend college. Anitra’s future goal is to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Sciences within the Social Justice Track. She wishes to continue to make a greater impact on education and the systems involved in advocating for improvement to benefit first generation students.

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Elynn Rocha, Upward Bound Coordinator

Elynn graduated from Swink High School in southeastern Colorado and attended The University of Colorado Boulder where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Political Science.  The Pre-Collegiate Development Program played a large role in her successful completion of college. She enjoys working with first generation students because they are brave enough to take a chance and explore the unknown. Some advice that she gives students is that “everyone makes mistakes we just have to learn from them to be successful”. For Elynn, experiences in school were good but she says it could have been better if I was just a little more curious and a little more courageous. Her goals for the next few years are to continue to impact students and to pursue a Master’s degree.​
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Leslie Farrell, Middle School Coordinator

Leslie was born and raised in Southern California and moved to Colorado at age 13 and went to Alameda High School. After high school, she attended the University of Colorado Denver where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. As a first-generation student, the biggest aid for her was being part of the Pre-Collegiate Program. She always aspired to go to college and knew she was going to make it there no matter what. With Pre-Collegiate she was able to learn about all the different resources available that would help fund her education. Now she is honored to work for Pre-Collegiate as the Middle School Coordinator and appreciates helping first-generation students like herself. Her goals for the next couple years are to continue impacting first-generation students and hopes that her past experiences and background can help and encourage students for years to come.

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Junior Reina, CU Scholars Coordinator​

Junior is a proud product of Denver Public Schools and graduate of Montbello High School. He attended the University of Colorado Denver where he obtained a Bachelor’s degree in English Writing and two minors in Spanish and Ethnic Studies and later earned a Master degree in Secondary Education. Junior is well aware of the barriers that come along with being the first in the family to go to college which is why he enjoys working with other first-generation students. He can relate to their struggles, frustrations, and also their successes. For Junior it is important for to scaffold the process, which at times can be a daunting experience. He is currently pursuing an Ed.D.at CU Denver and his goal is to graduate while developing academic relationships with students. He would also like to teach here at CU Denver in the future.
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Reyna Valdez, Office Manager

Reyna will graduate in the Spring 2018 with a Bachelor of Sceince in Human Development and Family Relations. She will be the first in her family to obtain a college degree. Reyna credits past and present Pre-Collegiate Directors and mentors for her educational and professional growth. She is most passionate about helping disadvantaged youth and breaking barriers. Through her unique story she wishes to give hope to younger generations while coaching them towards reaching their highest potential. After graduation Reyna plans to enroll in a graduate program at the CU Denver School of Education and continue to be an advocate for underserved populations.​

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