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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.




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.​




Junior Reina, High School 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.




Auriel Valdez, Business Services Coordinator​

Auriel is a Colorado native who earned her Bachelor's degree in Public Health from the University of Colorado Denver. She completed the Pre-Collegiate Health Careers Program as a high school student, which cultivated her interest in Public Health and health equity. She also worked for the Center for Pre-Collegiate and Academic Outreach Programs on the downtown campus for the majority of her college career, which has allowed her the opportunity to give back and mentor participants in college readiness. Her involvement with the Center has made her appreciative of the support and guidance that it offers to first-generation college bound students like herself. The sense of educational empowerment and community support that the Center provides has motivated her to return to work for the Center as the Business Services Coordinator. Auriel's goals are to continue her education and to continue having an impact on younger generations who aspire to pursue a higher education






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