2023 Colorado Mentoring Summit

Workshop Information

We've curated a guest presenter list filled with experts in the field who are both engaging and informative. Browse below for more information, and check back often as we continue to make updates.

Summit Emcee and Presenter

Diana Cutaia

Diana Cutaia

Founder, Coaching Peace

We are pleased to welcome back Diana Cutaia as our emcee and presenter for the Colorado Mentoring Summit.

Diana is the founder of Coaching Peace, which fosters cultures of authenticity and wholehearted collaboration through relationship based leadership and intentional action deeply aligned with values. A sought after speaker and facilitator, Diana's clients have described her work as "transformational,"  "unique," "motivational," and "inspirational."

Promoting Wellness by Tapping Into Mentee, Mentor, and Community Strengths

The vision of Sources of Strength, a nationwide peer leadership and wellness model, is to empower a well world. By empowering youth voice, engaging trusted adults in schools and community organizations, and focusing on protective factors that mitigate risk and promote wellness for students and adults, Sources of Strength is an award-winning evidence-based approach. In this session, attendees will learn about Sources of Strength, tap into what gives them strengths, discuss the importance of adult wellness in schools and communities, and leave with practical resources and tools to support their own sources of strength. 

Jarrod Hindman

Jarrod Hindman

COO, Sources of Strength

Unlocking the Potential of Inclusion: Embracing Diversability

Creating inclusive environments for youth of all abilities to thrive ensures participants will feel valued, respected and appreciated. This workshop will explore the benefits of fostering an inclusive culture through the use of storytelling. Participants will experience how the story of me, the story of us and the story of now come together to create a powerful narrative for building equity across programs and participants. Workshop participants will be given tools to explore ways to promote diversability inclusion in their daily practices to ensure everyone has a seat at the table and feels welcome to be their true self. 

Lindsay Reeves

Lindsay Reeves

Legislative and Stakeholder Liaison for the Office of Community Living at the Department of Healthcare Policy and Financing, State of Colorado

The Power of the People in Policy Making

Participants will get an overview of the legislative process and pointers on how the power of the people can and must show up to co-create policy solutions that are consistent with the destinies that we have in mind for our children and our communities. 


Senator James Coleman, Sr.

Executive Director, FaithBridge

Population Resilience: Harnessing the Power of Community in Times of Stress

This session is the first in a two-session series on trauma, resilience, and relationships. In times of stress and tragedy, social support is one of the most powerful resilience factors, enabling communities to come together and support, provide resources, and increase self-efficacy in one-another. As community-level stress continues to grow, learning skills of reaching out to make meaningful connections and conversations is more important than ever. In this workshop, audiences will learn about GRIT, a free online training to provide skills and education in fostering community social support. Audience members will walk away from this workshop with key education on stress and trauma, enhanced communication skills, and helpful resources in becoming Population Resilience!

Nicole Weis

Nicole Weis

Director of Community Training and Empowerment, Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience at University of Colorado - Colorado Springs

From Good Enough to Great - Recruiting, Hiring, and Retention Tips for Impact

Let’s build the teams we need to have greater impact for our youth and our communities! In this workshop, learn and discuss how using talent optimization techniques can impact outcomes for organizations! In this workshop, we will focus specifically on recruiting, hiring, and retaining staff and volunteers in mentoring organizations. If you are an organization struggling to hire and retain staff during this climate of “the great resignation,” come and join the conversation! If you are an organization struggling to fill the mentoring gap, come and join the conversation!

Susan Duncomb

Susan Duncombe

Principal/Consultant, Wholehearted Consulting, LLC

Data and Evaluation Strategies for Program Improvement, and a Logic Model You’ll Actually Use

In this workshop we will discuss best strategies for collecting meaningful and actionable data, along with common “pitfalls” in data collection and evaluation. The presenter will introduce a method for designing a logic model or theory of change that revolves around outcomes, and helps bridge gaps between the work we do and the impact we want to see.

Workshop attendees will have time to interact with templates and tools for:

  1. Beginning to create/improve your program’s logic model
  2. Identifying or clarifying the most important outcomes/impacts your program aims to achieve.
  3. Identifying the best data metrics and instruments to bring strategies into alignment with outcomes.

Heather Coulter

Research and Evaluation Consultant

A Comprehensive Approach to Understanding, Improving & Scaling Support for Mentors

Join us on an interactive path of organizational self-discovery that led to podcasting for mentors. This session will guide participants through SOS Outreach’s journey to answer pivotal questions about the essential elements of their program, the effectiveness of their mentor training, and the power of podcasting for mentors.  Participants will also gain tips, tools, and templates to advance their own journey in defining program fidelity, conducting a training needs analysis, creating a wheel of support for mentors, and designing their own innovative learning initiative for mentors.

resized Brad Strong

Brad Strong

Impact Consultant, Wheelhouse for Nonprofits

Elizabeth Williams

Vice President of Programs, SOS Outreach

Recognizing and Engaging the Faces of Youth Homelessness

This workshop will give participants the opportunity to learn about what homelessness looks like in education under the McKinney-Vento Act, and how homelessness and involvement in the child welfare system impact a student's access to their learning. Participants will also learn strategies for identifying and supporting “highly mobile youth” and actions steps they can take to create an environment that elevates learning for students who are experiencing homelessness and/or are involved with child welfare.

Lisle Reed

Lisle Reed

Whole Child Initiatives Coordinator, Adams 12 Five Star Schools

Life Happens- Resilience, Regulation, and Relationships Take Practice!

This session is the second in a two-session series on trauma, resilience, and relationships. Let’s collaborate and come up with a community definition of Resilience and compare that to the definition participants in Dr. Callico S Vargas’ research with bachelor level social work students, faculty, and alumni came up with. Callico will share with you results of the research and give an opportunity for some individual, small, and large group work (remember how important fostering community social support is from Nicole Weis’ presentation, “Population Resilience: Harnessing the Power of Community in Times of Stress”?) We will dive into and practice Connection with Others, Self-Care, Communicating about Resilience, Personal Experience, create a plan to move forward with a deeper understanding of developing resilience, implementing practice skills, and weaving them into daily living. Finally, we will discuss language that can be associated with dominant culture and how having terms and a language can help us identify and dismantle parts of that culture that contribute stress and chronic stress and how we can move together in a different direction that is more favorable for Justice in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (Belonging), and Access work.

Callico Vargas

Callico Vargas

Visiting Assistant Professor, Colorado State University Pueblo

Effectively & Authentically Engaging Gen Z

This workshop will give evidence-based insight into the unique traits and characteristics of Gen Z youth, provide tips, tools, and strategies on how to best engage with Gen Z, and provide an opportunity for participants to hear directly from Gen Z presenters through a Q & A panel portion of the workshop.

Erica Porter

Rise Up Training & Consulting, Director and Lead Consultant & Trainer

Advocacy 101: How to Advocate for What You Care About

Learn the best practices of successful advocacy and how to advocate for policy change from Former House Majority Leader Daneya Esgar.

Workshop objectives:

  • Explore what advocacy means and discover ways you can help others understand your cause and support your asks; explore all that advocacy can and should accomplish.
  • Learn the best practices for advocating for organizational and legislative policy changes.
  • Dive into community building, awareness campaigns, leadership development and how rule changes can help fulfill the organization’s goals.
  • Learn how to persuade others to join your cause/effort through community building, storytelling, and organizing.

Daneya Esgar

Pueblo County Commissioner

Don't Allow Burnout to Take Away your Passion

To work in the field of serving youth is very fulfilling, but can also be extremely frustrating, discouraging,... making you feel over-worked, tired, burned-out.  Let's look at the root causes. Learn essential emotional intelligence strategies providing you the insight and management tools to continue serving youth from a place of balance. 


Carlo Kriekels

Co-Founder and CEO, YESS Institute

By Youth, For Youth: The Importance of an Empowering Youth Advisory Board in your Community

The Pueblo Communities That Care (CTC) grant program has had a strong youth advisory council for the past four years, consisting of a group of young people that represent Pueblo County high schools and diverse backgrounds. With the guidance of these youth advisors, CTC has implemented several policy changes and collective impact initiatives to ensure local young people have a healthy and safe community to develop in. One of those initiatives would be the Southern Colorado Youth Go (SoCoYoGo) online platform, which acts as an incentivization connection website to encourage teens to participate in prosocial opportunities in order to earn points and rewards from local businesses. This session will focus on how the CTC advisory board was initially formed, how the facilitators and adult coalition members interact and empower the youth advisors, necessary board maintenance and structures, and how the advisors’ leadership has resulted in amazing efforts in the community. Session participants will also learn some best practices and lessons learned from CTC coalition members and youth advisors for the implementation of a youth advisory council or board.

Akemi Moore

Akemi Moore

Health Promotion Specialist, Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment

Recruiting from Communities You Serve

In this workshop, we will explore the importance of recruiting from the communities you serve and how it can contribute to a more diverse, inclusive, and successful organization. The focus will be on strategies and approaches that foster meaningful connections, build trust, and ensure alignment with the values of these communities. Participants will gain insights into the benefits of community-based recruitment, practical techniques for engaging with local talent, and the positive impact it can have on business outcomes.

    • *Understanding Community-Centric Recruitment:Participants will understand the significance of aligning recruitment strategies with the communities they serve. This awareness helps create a foundation for building authentic relationships and fostering a sense of belonging within the organization.
    • **Building Trust and Credibility:The workshop will emphasize the importance of building trust within communities. Participants will learn how transparent communication, active listening, and genuine engagement can establish credibility, making the recruitment process more effective and sustainable.
    • ***Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion: Exploring community-based recruitment as a means to enhance diversity and inclusion efforts. The session will demonstrate how tapping into local talent pools can lead to a diverse workforce that brings varied perspectives, contributing to innovation and better decision-making.
    • ****Tailoring Recruitment Strategies:Participants will gain practical insights into tailoring recruitment strategies to the unique characteristics and needs of different communities. By customizing approaches, organizations can attract candidates who resonate with their values and mission.

Tonoa Manuel

SIYG Consulting Firm LLC | CEO + Strategic Alignment Coach

What If?

What if what we believe possible is actually possible? What if the resources are there? What if all of the expertise is in the room? What if all that is required in the US moving is a WE? Hear from MENTOR Colorado Board Chair Vernon Jones, Jr. about how to build relationships, secure resources and set strategies to move together to realize our greatest hopes!

Vernon Jones, Jr.

Executive Partner, FaithBridge

INTERVENE: Disrupting Toxic Behavior Makes Us All Safer

“Bystander Intervention” is widely known as one of the most effective practices for interrupting sexual misconduct and, in turn, preventing assault. These same strategies and tactics can also be used to redirect racist, xenophobic, and homo/trans-phobic abuses as well. By providing a baseline understanding of social conditions, core concepts, and strategies for safely disrupting problem behavior, communities everywhere can set a higher standard of conduct and improve safety for everyone.

Graham Hackett

Graham Hackett

COMMA Program Director, Sexual Justice Advocate/Consent Educator

Engaging Interns as Mentors

This workshop will outline considerations for engaging both graduate and undergraduate level interns as mentors. La Plata Youth Services will share what we have learned over our time as an internship site and how it compares with our experience with community-based mentors particularly in a rural setting. Topics will include engaging with local colleges/universities to participate as a site for mentors, selecting students that are an appropriate fit, training, evaluation, and special considerations such as time commitments and stipends.

Alyssa Lenhart

Social Emotional Programs Manager, La Plata Youth Services