Keeping the Dream Alive

About Us

Passion. Experience. Diligence.

What is KtDA? 

As counselors, teachers, administrators, and community members, supporting the college dreams of students is part of our daily lives. The barriers that undocumented students face in accessing postsecondary opportunities are complex and pervasive. In supporting them, we face our uncertainties and struggle to best advise them on limited resources, unclear guidelines and institutions not yet prepared to answer the call for their unique needs.
This one-day conference attempts to answer many of our daily questions such as:

  • What are the 'best practices' and options for advising undocumented students who are applying to college, specifically in Colorado?

  • Where is the information I can trust regarding scholarship opportunities and specific student pathways so that lives on hold can become an actual plan?

  • What are the most current laws that impact the students I am advising?

  • What are institutions of higher education doing to best serve students with DACA status and those who do not have this status?

The Conference goal is to provide a safe and open space for educators, professionals and caring individuals who work to support these unique groups of students to share postsecondary advising strategies.
It is the committee's hope that this event will engender an ongoing dialogue for those in the counseling, teaching, advising and pre-collegiate professions to best serve all students.

KtDA 2019 Planning Committee



Alfredo Gallegos

Assistant Director, First Generation Initiatives
University of Denver Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence

Originally from Nayarit, México, Alfredo pursued his passion for higher education and earned his Bachelor's Degree from the University of Colorado Denver. Before joining DU, Alfredo worked with the Center for Work Education and Employment case managing families on TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). In line with his passion for supporting historically underrepresented students, Alfredo worked with the Upward Bound TRIO programs, developing workshops on college access and career readiness skills. During his time at the University of Colorado Denver, he assisted in developing a youth leadership conference for male students of color and provided a scholarship opportunity for a graduating senior. After graduation, Alfredo worked with the Center for Work Education and Employment where he assisted families on a case management model. Additionally, he developed workshops on anger management, money-saving, and career exploration skills. Alfredo is currently pursuing his Masters in Higher Education at the Morgridge College of Education with an emphasis on Diversity and Higher Learning. As Assistant Director, Alfredo works with first generation college students and oversees the 1GenU pilot program that assists students in navigating the University of Denver. He is the campus liaison for the Daniels Fund Scholars, providing campus support and program development. Additionally, he works with DACA/Undocumented students, providing support through programming and initiatives.



Linda Quintanar

Director, First Generation Initiatives and Volunteer in Partnership (VIP)
University of Denver Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence

Linda is originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. She received her BSBA in International Business, BA in Spanish, and MS in Legal Administration from the University of Denver. As the Director of the Volunteers in Partnership program she provides ongoing support for students and families of Denver and Aurora public schools, particularly those with students from historically marginalized populations. Being a first generation student herself, Linda promotes educational ambition and college access by assisting students through all aspects of the college admission and college navigation process. Linda is the treasurer of Keeping the Dream Alive, a position she has held for the past five years. Linda is committed to helping students gain valuable experience in leadership, personal and professional development, and to make a positive impact in our community.


PRogramming Coordinator

Dion Duran

Admissions & Outreach, Coordinator of Community Outreach
Front Range Community College Larimer Campus

I am a proud 3rd Generation Mexican American and great grandson of immigrants. I am passionate about assisting our Gente navigate through college admission processes and attain a college degree. As a first-generation and non-traditional college graduate of three degrees, it gives me great joy to share lessons I’ve learned and instill hope in future college students I am fortunate to meet.

Furthermore, I believe all people seeking to improve their life coupled with an education, deserve that opportunity. We as educators, and as institutions of higher learning, have a duty to educate all know matter how they come to us - citizens or non-citizens. It is from our own values, our institutions values, and our nation’s values that we educate and pass down knowledge and opportunity for all to prosper. Especially during times when our nation’s leaders have lost the true meaning of what a democracy looks like.

I am honored to be part of the 2018 KtDA Committee because they all inspire me to keep pushing forward to breakthrough any barriers that may seem impassable. I hope all attendees will take away invaluable information and share it with their students and colleagues for the purpose of helping others Keep their Dreams Alive!



Community and Ally Network Coordinator

Tania Chairez

Community Organizer
Colorado Schools Resist from the Immigration Resistance Table

Born in Chihuahua, Mexico and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Tania Chairez came to the united States with her parents to live the American Dream. Tania received a B.S. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.Ed. in Secondary Education from Grand Canyon University. As a publicly undocumented immigrant, Tania has been a community organizer center around immigrant rights since 2011, taught 7th and 8th grade English, and is now an advisor for college students who have graduated from KIPP Colorado Schools. Tania has been featured on the cover of TIME magazine, was named one of the 12 Inspiring Latinas Under 25 by Latina Magazine, and recently did a Tedx Boulder Talk on being undocumented and unafraid.

Gerardo Ceballos.JPG

MArketing and PR Committee member

Gerardo Ceballos

Excel Counselor
Metropolitan State University of Denver

Gerardo was born and raised in northeast Denver in Montbello by way of Chihuahua, Chihuahua Mexico. He graduated from the University of Colorado Denver with a double major in International Studies and Ethnic Studies with an emphasis in Latin America. It was at the University of Colorado where Gerardo developed his passion to serve first-generation, underrepresented, students of color, and DREAMers. Currently, Gerardo works for the Metropolitan State University of Denver in the Office of Admissions Excel Programs. Additionally, Gerardo is in his final year of his Master's degree in Higher Education at the University of Denver Morgridge College of Education. His current research focuses on Latinx experiences in higher education and the disappearing Latino male within institutions of higher education. Gerardo passion for education is evident in his work to provide students of all backgrounds access to college through his work, he has served on the Keeping the Dream Alive
Committee for two years.

Ari Ochoa.JPG

marketing and pr, Resource Coordinator

Ari Ochoa

Immigrant Services Program Specialist
Metropolitan State University of Denver

Ariadna Ochoa Magallanes immigrated to the United States with her mother and younger sister from Coahuila, Mexico, after witnessing violence in the streets in front of her house. That violence kept her out of school for several years before she was able to relocate to Denver and continue her goal of attending college. She graduated with a double major in Modern Languages and Chicana/o Studies and a concentration in Social Practice. Currently, as the Immigrant Services Program specialist in the Center for Equity and Student Achievement at Metropolitan State University of Denver, she has found a calling in helping to empower other immigrants and non-native English speakers who, like her, call this country their home. She believes in the power of education and wants to do everything she can to help students achieve their dreams.


Marketing and PR

Fryda Faugier Ferreira

Metropolitan State University of Denver Campus Advisor
Denver Scholarship Fund

Fryda Faugier Ferreira is an undergraduate student at the University of Denver. She is pursuing a BA in international studies, socio-legal studies and Spanish and will be graduating in Spring of 2018. She works in Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence as the DACA/Undocumented student support coordinator. In this position, she works on ensuring that students have the resources and support that they need to be successful in college. This includes meeting with students one on one as well as working on research and policy initiatives at the University. She also works on college access for k-12 students. Fryda is a DACA recipient and first-generation student who has worked both on and off campus as an activist and advocate for DACA and undocumented students. Fryda will serve on the 2018-2020 board of directors for Keeping the Dream Alive.


committee member

Roberto de Mata

Higher ED MA student, Graduate Fellow VIP
University of Denver

Roberto De Mata is from Aurora, Colorado. He earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of Colorado Boulder in Political Science and International Affairs in the Spring of 2017. As an undergraduate he was involved with various affinity groups, Multicultural Greek Life and worked for the Environmental and CUE Centers. He currently serves as the Alumni Advisor for his multicultural fraternity, Tau Psi Omega.

Robert developed his involvement and support for undocumented students through his participation in UMAS y MEChA at CU and involvement with the Aquetza Youth Leadership Program. He is now completing his Master’s Degree in Higher Education at the University of Denver and is an Inclusive Excellence Fellow under the Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence
Office where he works on community partnerships and underrepresented student support.


Committee Member

Lluvia Garcia

Higher Education MA student, Inclusive Excellence Fellow
University of Denver


Committee Member

Federico Rangel

Denver Scholarship Foundation

Giving back to his community is crucial for Federico. With this, Federico sees working to improve and advance the lives of Denver youth as incredibly impactful. He has advanced his mission over the past ten years as a high school and middle school classroom teacher, an educational counselor and mentor for Denver Kids, Inc., a coordinator of after-school and summer youth programming, and a pre-collegiate educator and scholarship program coordinator. Federico graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, Chicano Studies, and a social studies teacher certification and, a Master of Social Work degree from University of Denver in 2016. As a Denver Scholarship Foundation Lead College Advisor at West High campus, Federico keeps students moving on applications and deadlines by spending time in and out of the Future Center, wherever he can find them!


Committee Member

Violeta Apodaca

Violeta Apodaca is a First Generation Latina college student who received her Bachelor's degree from Colorado State University, double majoring in Language, Literature, and Cultures and International Relations, with a minor in History. She is a proud sister of Delta Xi Nu Multicultural Sorority, Inc., whose National Board she served for many years. She works as the K-12 Post-Secondary College & Career Coordinator at Pinnacle Charter School. There, Violeta provides support to her students and families, majority of them being First Generation Latinos, on the college-going, career readiness process. In addition to this, she is the coordinator for Concurrent Enrollment, ASCENT and Career & Technical Education. Violeta's passion lies in promoting post-secondary education and giving students a voice to fight for what they deserve. At Keeping the Dream Alive, Violeta serves as the Community/Ally Network Liaison.