Lori 2016Lori Canova, President & CEO
Lori Canova has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of the "I Have A Dream" Foundation of Boulder County since 1997. Under her leadership, the organization has served over 1,000 students and their families in four communities (Boulder, Lafayette, Longmont, and Carbon Valley) within two of the largest school districts in Colorado (Boulder Valley and St. Vrain Valley), and has awarded over $2 million in college scholarships.

Lori helped start the local Mentors Matter group which focuses on recruitment of mentors, especially mentors of color. She also helped launch a county-wide collaborative school supply drive, Crayons to Calculators, and is a co-founder and co-chair of a collective impact initiative called Dream Big, focusing on closing the achievement and opportunity gap in Boulder County. Prior to joining "I Have A Dream," Lori worked at Big Brothers of Metro Denver; the Mental Health Association of Colorado; the SB94 Juvenile Diversion Program for Jefferson Center for Mental Health; and at Human Services, Inc.

Lori has a Master of Social Work from the University of Denver and completed her undergraduate work in Social Work at Colorado State University. She has served on the board of directors for Foothills United Way and Volunteers in Prevention. She is a member of the Sanchez Foundation Board and in 2017, was appointed by the Boulder Board of County Commissioners to serve on the Boulder County Housing and Human Services Advisory Committee. Lori has received the Woman of the Year award from the Boulder Professional Women Group, the Partnership Award from Boulder Housing Partners and the Women Who Light the Community Award from the Boulder Chamber of Commerce.


Terry Bittner is responsible for the organization’s financial management, human resources, and information technology. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a Masters in Business Administration (MBA). He owned his own restaurant and catering company in Boulder for 15 years. Other previous employment includes the University of Colorado and Managed Business Solutions.


Leading our donor development and relationship efforts, Kasia Szewczyk brings over 16 years of business development and marketing experience in the U.S. and abroad. Kasia has a bachelor's degree in Spanish Literature from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She and her family live in Boulder. 



Garett Brownlee Plantz, Vice President of Programs

Garett Brownlee Plantz started her professional career as an AmeriCorps College Coordinator with “I Have A Dream” Foundation of Boulder County, where she carved out the post-secondary program, and for three years, served as the Director of College and Careers Programs. She received a Licensed Master of Social Work degree from the University of Texas at Austin before returning to IHDF to lead programs and program staff.

justin teneyck, senior DIRECTOR OF post-secondary programs

 Justin Teneyck joined "I Have A Dream" in 2018. He guides all post-secondary programs, provides College & Career oversight, and supports upper high school program sites. Justin was born and raised in Boulder, and has a bachelor's degree and master's degree in Higher Education, Diversity and Higher Learning. He worked at College Track for 4 years before joining IHDF.

jason henkhaus, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF primary & academics

Jason joined "I Have A Dream" in 2018. He brings over 12 years of teaching experience in almost all elementary ages and leadership with technology integration, collaborative learning environments, positive-based supports and diversity and inclusion in the classroom. In Jason's role at IHDF, he will support and equip program staff at the elementary and middle school levels, as well as lead efforts to enhance evaluation and feedback. He has a bachelor's degree in History from the University of Colorado-Boulder and a master's degree in Education from the University of Phoenix.


Travis Herbert joined "I Have A Dream" in 2018. 

elyanaElyana Funk, Notre Dame Mission Volunteers (NDMV) AmeriCorps Site Director

As NDMV AmeriCorps Site Director, Elyana supervises approximately 38 Notre Dame AmeriCorps members each year who serve at "I Have A Dream" program sites and with partnering organizations. Elyana served a year as an IHDF AmeriCorps member in 2000 before becoming the Program Director for the Sanchez Dreamer Class from 2001-2012. She has a bachelor's degree in Comparative Area Studies: Latin America and North America, with minors in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish from Duke University. Elyana, her husband, and her 3 children live in Lafayette.

carlacarla maniscalco, Director of Volunteers

As Director of Volunteers, Carla Maniscalco brings more than 20 years of working with volunteers in a variety of organizations, and of all ages and backgrounds, to "I Have A Dream" Foundation. She has worked for a variety of non-profits in the greater Denver area. Carla lives in Westminster.

claudia fernandez, director of college & career 

Claudia Fernandez joined "I Have A Dream" in 2018. She has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Women's Studies from Florida State University and a master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University. Most recently before joining IHDF, she was the Senior Specialist of Human Resources at Planned Parenthood. In her current role, she will guide IHDF's internship program and provide wide-ranging leadership in our college and career department. Claudia recently relocated to Colorado from New York City.

catharine head shotkatharine reece, GRANTS MANAGER 

Katharine Reece serves as the Grants Manager at "I Have A Dream," managing a grant portfolio of more than 1.3 million dollars. She has over 10 years of experience as a writer, editor and non-profit fundraiser. She earned a bachelor's degree in English from Wellesley College and a Master of Fine Arts in non-fiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Katharine and her family live in Boulder. 


Jessica manages events and publications at IHDF. She also serves as our database expert. She has a doctorate in Theater from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to joining IHDF, she worked as a high school teacher and for a healthcare nonprofit. Jessica and her family live in Louisville.

Regina reyes-zaragoza, volunteer MANAGEr



Courtney Geib joined The "I Have A Dream" Foundation in 2015. She serves in the Evaluations, Information Technology and Human Resources areas. She began her nonprofit career as a Notre Dame AmeriCorps member in the San Francisco Bay Area. Courtney has a bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  



Rebecca Blane graduated from Hunter College in New York City with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and Gender Studies. She served as an AmeriCorps member in the College and Career Department at “I Have A Dream” before moving to a staff position in 2017.

Program Sites


Francisco Mejias joined "I Have A Dream" in 1999. He has a bachelor's degree in Education and Bilingual Education from Metro State College. Francisco is fluent in Spanish and taught in the Boulder Valley School District for 13 years and the Denver Public Schools for seven years. He's taught at elementary, middle and high school levels. He worked as the Program Director with "I Have A Dream"'s Broadway and Iris Classes in Boulder and is currently working with the Phoenix Class.


Seth Hays joined "I Have A Dream" in 2013. He earned a bachelor's degree in Biology from Colorado Christian University and a master's degree from the University of Northern Colorado. Bilingual in Spanish and English, he spent three years in Nicaragua doing rural community development work before returning to Colorado and joining IHDF. He lives in Longmont with his wife and young children.

byon croppedTeresa Byon, PROGRAM specialist: ASPEN

Teresa Byon has bachelor's degrees in Art History, Psychology and Religion from Rutgers University. She joined The “I Have A Dream” Foundation of Boulder County as a volunteer and then served two years as an AmeriCorps program coordinator before joining the staff.


Olimpia Mejia joined The "I Have A Dream" Foundation in 2014 as the Program Director for the Rocky Mountain Dreamer Scholar Class in Longmont. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Mexico. She worked with children in several countries and capacities before joining IHDF. She and her family live in Longmont.

tracy webTracy Leffingwell, Program DIRECTOR: Oak Class

Tracy Leffingwell joined “I Have A Dream” in 2015 as the Oak Class Program Director. She has a bachelor's degree in Spanish Language and Literature from the University of Colorado-Boulder and a Masters in Foreign Language with a Teaching Emphasis from the University of Northern Colorado. She taught Spanish in Boulder Valley School District for four years before joining IHDF.

Jorge Cisneros 2016JOrge Cisneros, PROGRAM DIRECTOR: Elk class

Jorge Cisneros has led our Elk Class at the Kalmia Housing Site since 2016. Jorge has a bachelor’s degree in Computing Systems Engineering from Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. He has a background working for large corporations and in media and educational consulting before he joined IHDF.


Aurora Santos grew up on a small Pacific island called Saipan. She earned a bachelor's degree Biology and played volleyball at West Virginia University. She worked with children and students in various education and sports capacities internationally and in the U.S. before coming to IHDF in 2015.

mario martinez, PROGRAM DIRECTOR: la vista class

Mario Martinez joined "I Have A Dream" in 2018 as the Program Director for the new La Vista Class in Lafayette. He grew up in Thornton, CO and earned a bachelor's degree in International Affairs, with minors in Leadership and Political Science from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Prior to joining IHDF, he worked with at-risk students in the Boulder County area.

jeff bayard, interim PROGRAM DIRECTOR: broadway east class

Jeff Bayard graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and minors in Math and Spanish. After graduation, he worked at an advertising agency in Minneapolis before joining AmeriCorps and serving at IHDF for 2 years. He joined the staff as a program coordinator, and now serves as Interim Program Director at the Broadway East Class in Boulder.

lupita crespo, PROGRAM DIRECTOR: alicia class

Lupita Crespo serves as Program Director for the new 2nd grade Dreamer Scholars at Alicia Sanchez Elementary School in Lafayette. Lupita, or Guadalupe, is a Longmont, CO native and graduated from University of Colorado-Boulder with a bachelor's degree in Communications and Business. She has been working directly with youth for over 5 years, most recently at a local housing site, Casa de la Esperanza, in Longmont.

francisco medina, PROGRAM DIRECTOR: diagonal class

Francisco Medina joined "I Have A Dream" in 2018 as Program Director at the Diagonal Housing Site class. He graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder with a bachelor's degree in Sociology and a minor in Women's Studies. Prior to joining IHDF, he worked for the Boulder County Juvenile Assessment Center, where he provided assessments and taught socioemotional and life skills classes. Francisco was raised in Boulder and now lives in Longmont.