YESS Institute Board Members

 Kerri Booth, Esq., Board Chair

Kerri is the Lead Prosecuting Attorney for the Adams County Attorney’s Office. She specializes in the areas of real estate law, litigation and corporate compliance. She is active in the Colorado and Denver Bar Associations with specific involvement in the Denver Bar Association Young Lawyers Division.  Ms. Booth was involved in the Colorado Bar Association’s Pilot Project Mentoring Program; this program is quickly becoming a benchmark for attorney mentoring programs in the U.S. She received a Juris Doctorate from Western State University College of Law in Southern California and is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara where she holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree. While at UCSB, she majored in Law and Society where she studied the social effect of law on society and society on the development of law and policy.

Jason Clark

Jason is the site director for College Track-Aurora. He has an MA in Higher Education from the University of Denver and a BA in Romance Languages and Literature from Colorado College. Originally from Spanish Harlem in New York City, he has been in Colorado for 15 years. Jason previously worked as the director of admissions & outreach at the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Education, as a college advisor and retention manager for the Denver Scholarship Foundation, and as a high school Spanish teacher in Colorado Springs. As a first-generation college student, Jason is passionate about college access, equity and success.

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Joél Contreras

Joél worked in the Information Technology area of pension fund giant TIAA-CREF for nearly 19 years!  He played significant roles in almost every area of the company’s technology division including Database Management System, Network Infrastructure, Project Management, Disaster Recovery, and Systems Programming.   In 1995, he was selected as one of two IT managers to help expand TIAA-CREF’s business operations from New York City to Denver, Colorado.  Together with his wife (Giovanna), Joél started a language interpretation and translation company in 2004.  The company, named Cesco (pronounced “Chesco”) Linguistic Services, Inc., has become a viable local entity contracting hundreds of local language professionals. Joél was formerly the part owner as well as the President and CEO of an online foreign language learning company called Learning Like Crazy, Inc. He also serves as Board Chair of ExecConnect and the Connect Denver Foundation.

 Nance Maguire, Ed.D.,

Nancy is a Co-founder and the Executive Director of Excelsior Academy in San Diego, California.  She earned her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Kansas in General Education, Special Education, and Spanish.  Her Master’s Degree was taken at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley in the fields of Learning Disabilities and Social/Emotional Disorders.  Nance sat for her Doctorate at the University of San Diego in Educational Leadership. Her field experience as a teacher ranges from public to private education; general to special education at all grade levels- including bilingual special education; and post-secondary education at the University of California San Diego, Point Loma Nazarene University, and other community colleges in San Diego.  Her work with children has earned her awards in teaching excellence, community outreach, and advocacy for the needs of special students.  As an educational consultant, she has worked in Canada, Mexico, and several states in the United States sharing knowledge and best practices in special and general education programs. Her personal interests include spending time with family and friends, traveling, sports, reading, learning, and enjoying life!

Jermyn Davis

Jermyn Davis is currently a Management Consultant for Deloitte Consulting, LLP in Denver, Colorado where he focuses on higher education transformation. Prior to Deloitte, Jermyn was Chief of Staff to the President at Colorado College. In that role he oversaw the daily functions of the office of the president, including developing strategic initiatives, serving as liaison between senior administrators and other external constituents, and representing the president on various college committees. He graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in Chinese Studies and Political Science.

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 Peter Grady

Peter currently works in the Greater Denver area as a Portfolio Manager for Arches LLC in Boulder, CO. He is married to Eveline and they have three children; a daughter who is a Senior in high school and two boys who are a Freshman in high school and a 6th grader.

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Clinton Brown

Clinton has been a Denver native practically his entire life. After moving to Denver from the southern Colorado city of Pueblo he decided to attend Denver North High school. At North Clinton played multiple sports and was a standout varsity basketball athlete. During his junior year he decided to join the YESS program as a mentor. He realized this was something he truly cared about and pursued the role as a mentor leader. Being a mentor leader allowed for Clinton to truly realize the impact YESS could have on at-risk youth, in the betterment of their lives. YESS was one of the staples in Clinton’s life that allowed him to earn a Daniels Fund Scholarship and attend the University of Denver on a full-ride. After graduating in 4 years with a degree in Behavioral Psychology, Clinton decided to return to YESS and become one of the youngest board members for the YESS Institute.

Carlos Villagrana-Juarez

Carlos Villagrana-Juarez was born and raised in Denver’s Westside. He is an alumni of West High School and a 1st generation Mexican-American graduate of the University of Denver and is also a product of the YESS Institute. His undergraduate degree was in Political Science and Gender and Women Studies. Carlos’s undergraduate career revolved around college access for DPS seniors who were getting ready to move on to the next chapter of their lives. The scholarship program called the Volunteers in Partnership program (VIP) and many other pre-collegiate programs through DU is the reason why Carlos has found a passion in educating the next generation of leaders in his Denver community. Through this program, he was able to reach students in ways that impacted and empowered youth in DPS. The goal has been and always will be to empower youth and to encourage them to be the best version of themselves in whatever they do. Carlos is now teaching in his former high school and coaching his former team, the West High Cowboys Football team. He enjoys walking his dog/son, Gordo and spending time with his family.

 Rebecca Holmes

Rebecca is the Corporate Director of Human Resources for BioScrip. She is recognized as a trusted HR advisor and strategist with demonstrated success developing creative programs to deliver  exceptional organizational performance. Prior to joining BioScrip, Rebecca served as Director, Human Resources for Stryker Orthopaedics, Senior Manager, Human Resources for Springboard Group, and Manager, Human Resources for Tyco Healthcare (currently Medtronic). Rebecca has also served in Human Resources Management positions with Milgard Manufacturing, Case Logic (Thule), Aavid Thermal Technologies, Centura Health and Vail Resorts, Inc. Rebecca is also the Co-Founder/Owner of Ucamara Expeditions, an eco-tourism business in Iquitos, Peru, committed to education and preservation of the wilderness and native culture of the Peruvian Amazon. Rebecca holds a B.A. Liberal Arts and an M.B.A. from Colorado State University, is a Certified StrengthsFinder Coach (Gallup), and held SPHR certification.

Diane Bassett, Ph.D. – Hiatus

Diane is a Professor Emerita in the School of Special Education at the University of Northern Colorado. She has taught general and special education in elementary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions, and in both public and private schools. Dr. Bassett is the co-author of four books that center on student self-determination, effective services for students with mild/moderate disabilities, and efficacy-based transition practices. She is a past President of the Council for Exceptional Children’s Division on Career Development and Transition (DCDT) and is also honored to have received the prestigious Oliver P. Kolstoe award from DCDT for her work in transition. At UNC, she has been awarded the Provost’s Award for Excellent Teaching in Graduate Education, the College of Education Outstanding Scholar Award, and the Outstanding Service Award, among others. Dr. Bassett’s professional interests include working with adolescents and adults of all abilities, student empowerment, school reform, and program development. Her personal interests include travel, skiing, biking, reading great literature, and digging in the dirt. Dr. Bassett has taken a hiatus from the board and has joined the YESS team as a consultant. She will provide her expertise in instructional coaching and train the program managers in the best teaching practices.