WHO WE ARE
ACC was founded in 2008 to address a gap in services for low-income, Spanish-speaking immigrant families in North Aurora.
We aim to increase access to health and access to education for all local families.
Develop the capacities of underserved families, increase access to resources and promote social equity!
Foster healthy, interdependent communities by recognizing and engaging people’s capacities
Chris Gattegno, Interim Executive Director
With over 3 decades in Human Resources management including 15 years at the executive level, Chris Gattegno has considerable experience in dealing with complex people issues and in shaping business strategy while attracting and retaining talent. A native of France, Chris earned his MBA at the University of Wisconsin and went on to work for various multinational corporations in increasingly more responsible positions throughout his career. He has worked and lived in all 4 continental US time zones as well as in Asia (Hong Kong), Australia and France (Paris) and traveled all over the world. He returned to the Denver area to be closer to his family in 2017. While working as an international HR consultant, he also decided to become a small business owner and managed an insurance agency from 2018 until 2021. He joined the Board of Directors of the ACC in 2019 and has been an Officer and Secretary of the Board since 2020. In April 2022, he resigned from the Board to become the Interim Executive Director for the ACC.
With natural compassion and a very strong sense of justice and fairness, Chris is passionate about helping those in need and believes in the “pay it forward” mantra as a way of life. When he is not working, Chris most enjoys exercising (running, biking, hiking and skiing) and of course hanging out with his 2 teenage sons.
Ingrid Wicker, Director of Operations
Ingrid Wicker joined the ACC in August of 2020 as the Director of Operations. She has a strong background in operations and technology management across the business and nonprofit sectors, focused on health and education. Ingrid was attracted to Aurora Community Connection because it allowed her to bring all her expertise and community interests to the organization.
Ingrid emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico in 2008 to join her family. She has a master’s in Information Technology Management from the Universidad TecMilenio and a bachelor’s degree in Administrative Information Systems from the Technologico de Monterrey.
Around the time she immigrated to the U.S. she started her nonprofit career working for the Dominican Home Health Agency, Colorado Latino Leadership and Research Organization, and the John Corcoran Foundation in operations and program management.
Ingrid takes great pride in ensuring that ACC’s systems and programs are efficiently serving the community and her work contributes to helping make people’s lives better. It warms her heart every day when she sees young people come for tutoring, families enrolling in health insurance for the first time and young mothers learning to be their children’s first teachers.
Outside of work, Ingrid is a cycling enthusiast and advocate for safety and access. For Ingrid, cycling promotes not only physical health, but also the health of the community and our environment. She advocates for cycling as a means of transportation, not only for recreation.
Anabel Castillo, Administrative Assistant
Anabel started working for ACC in October 2020 thanks to Dr. Robin Waterman, who invited her to be part of this beautiful team. She is Salvadoran and has 12 years living in this country. She graduated from high school in 2008 and came to this country in 2010. Upon arriving here, she studied ESL classes for two years, and worked for a time at the Denver airport. Something she loves to do in her free time is walking, she is a nature lover.
Jenny Luevanos, Parent Educator & Program Facilitator
Jenny joined ACC at the end of 2020. She is a parent educator and program facilitator with years of facilitating experience focusing on human potential and emotional intelligence. Jenny is a certified life coach with different modalities. Jenny is passionate to work with women especially moms since she is a mom herself and has experienced the challenges one faces. She wants to inspire others to overcome obstacles and thrive. Jenny is originally from Zacatecas, Mexico and came to the USA when she was 15 years old by her parents. Jenny has always worked with immigrant communities.
Marina Delgado, Parent Educator
Marina joined ACC summer 2021 as an intern for her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work supporting the tutoring program, and co-facilitating the Girls on The Run program. Marina transitioned into her current role as a parent educator for Parents as Teacher at ACC, in November of 2021. She carries four years of experience working with children and families as a preschool teacher, and is passionate about working with the underserved communties. Being first-generation, and coming from a Mexican background, Marina values equity and inclusion.
Dr. Ivan Sosa, Health Access Specialist
Dr. Ivan Sosa holds a bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree in social work, and is a registered psychotherapist. He has received a number of scholarships to support his academic pursuits, including the McDonald’s HACER Scholarship, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Scholarship and the Latin American Educational Foundation Scholarship. Ivan was born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, where he completed his elementary education. Ivan and his family later moved to the US, where they have lived ever since. Ivan has volunteered for the Rape Assistance Hotline and the Colorado Lawyers Committee (CLC), where he provided translation services to CLC clients, thereby enabling them to obtain pro bono legal services. Ivan would like to become a licensed clinical social worker and help expand ACC’s mental health programs and services. He has worked at ACC since September 2013.
Monserrat Mendoza, Health & Community Resources Navigator
Monserrat Mendoza Rojas dedicated her life to education as a parent and teacher for more than ten years. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Administration; earned Masters’ in Education. Family, Education and supporting the community means everything to Monserrat.
She grew up in Mexico and lived there for 31 years, then in August 2018 immigrated to the United States and has lived in Denver, Colorado for more than three years. She is married and has a child who is 10 years old.
Monserrat has been a teacher for about 10 years at Childhood, Elementary, University and High school. She loves teaching Spanish to others. Also, she has volunteered and worked in different non profit organizations located in Denver, Colorado. She understands the importance of communication and connectedness in families and education.
During her free time, Monserrat enjoys spending time with family, cooking Mexican food and exploring nature.
Nohemi Burciaga, LCSW, Health and Wellness Programs Manager
Nohemi Burciaga holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She began working at ACC in 2014 as a family advocate and later grew in her role to work alongside various community partners to implement family programs. In 2017, Nohemi transitioned with Arapahoe County, in the Child Protection Services Division, providing parent education and case management through trauma-informed practice, and supporting parents in creating nurturing environments for their children. In continued passion to serve the community, Nohemi returned to ACC in 2019 serving as our Wellness Programs Manager to develop programs that meet the mental health needs of our community. A third area of her portfolio is conducting individual therapy as she furthers her clinical licensing. Nohemi, upon all, enjoys being a mother and believes that all of our unique experiences are opportunities for growth and healing.
Melanie Hommes, LCSW, Clinical Therapist
Melanie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Colorado, with both a Masters and Bachelors in Social Work. She has been working in the field for over 20 years, 6 of which were in Central America. Melanie is passionate about helping people find healing within themselves in order to live their best life. She has received formal training in trauma-informed, strengths-based, client-centered practices, and in therapeutic modalities such as: Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), as well as Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). When not at ACC Melanie enjoys spending time with her family out in nature and traveling.
Sophia Oliveira, Director of Development
Sophia joined ACC at the end of 2021! She brings years of nonprofit fundraising experience to the organization, having worked primarily with education, wellness, and mental health-driven organizations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a master’s degree in Environmental Studies. While her educational background is in the life sciences, she is passionate about expanding social services through education and health equity. Sophia comes from a Brazilian and Argentinean family, bringing Portuguese language to the ACC! She lives in South Thornton with her husband, two dogs, cat, and small snake. She visits South America to spend time with her extended family whenever possible.
Robert Natiello, Data & Evaluation Specialist
Robert joined ACC in February of 2021. They graduated from Colorado College with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science. Robert is passionate about using data to improve lives. They are very grateful to have the opportunity to learn from the community ACC serves.
Andrea Hernandez, Community Outreach & Engagement Specialist
Andrea joined ACC in September of 2021! She graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Spanish language, literature and culture in May of 2021. At ACC, Andrea coordinates outreach events for our center to attend and engage with the community, manages ACC’s social media pages and coordinates monthly Community Advisory Board meetings. She has always been passionate about working with the Latinx community, as she comes from a Mexican family and background. In her spare time, Andrea enjoys listening to live music and attending poetry slams! Andrea believes in the power of community, and that everyone should do their part in empowering marginalized communities and communities of color.
Dr. Robin Waterman, Founding Executive Director
Dr. Robin Waterman stepped down from her Executive Director role in 2021 after over fourteen years of agency stewardship. Under her leadership the ACC grew exponentially, earning the trust of the community andn funders alike. Wh earned her bachelor’s degree from Bates College, with an interdisciplinary focus including anthropology and English. She later earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in education from Harvard University, specializing in administration, policy and social policy, after spending more than 20 years in the field of non-profit administration and community-based education. Dr. Waterman has founded and developed community-based education programs for low-income, culturally and linguistically diverse families in Denver, Aurora and Commerce City, also working in this area for three years in rural El Salvador and Mexico. Since 1999, she has worked in Aurora, promoting leadership, self-sufficiency and parent involvement in schools and communities. Dr. Waterman is bilingual and bicultural, and has demonstrated expertise in recognizing the strengths of Latino immigrant families and guiding low-income individuals to simultaneously access services and volunteer time toward program implementation. For these reasons, Dr. Waterman was hired by the Family Resource Center Association in 2007 to create the ACC, and was hired by the ACC Board in 2008 to serve as Executive Director.
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors meets monthly to ensure that Aurora Community Connection is effective, viable and sustainable. In 2019, the Board is focusing on expanding ACC’s marketing and outreach efforts, planning fundraising activities and revising the organization’s strategic plan.
Community Advisory Board
The Community Advisory Board is a group of local representatives who meet monthly to discuss emerging community interests and needs. The insight and expertise of Community Advisory Board members informs ACC’s program development and strategic planning.