Keeping the Dream Alive

Board of directors

Passion. Experience. Diligence.

KtDA Mission and Vision Statements 

Vision- The Future We Seek to Create:

Keeping the Dream Alive (KtDA) envisions a Colorado where all students, regardless of immigration status, have access to accurate information and necessary resources to pursue and complete postsecondary educational opportunities.

Mission- How We Will Achieve Our Vision:

The mission of KtDA is to provide access to accurate information and available resources to support immigrant students’ transition to, and success in, postsecondary educational institutions. KtDA seeks to provide personal and professional development opportunities for students, educators, families and community members. The KtDA community advocates for policies and practices that increase educational resources and opportunities for all students, regardless of immigration status. KtDA works with, for, and alongside empowered immigrant students to support their academic achievement and career goals.

KtDA 2019 Board


founding president, returning member

Blanca Elena Trejo Aguilera

Blanca was born and raised in Denver and is a graduate of West High School. As a Boettcher and Gates Scholar, she earned her BA in Spanish and Political Science as well as a BSBA in International Business from the University of Denver in 2010. She holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Foundations, Policy and Practice from the University of Colorado- Boulder’s School of Education. In Fall of 2017 she started her doctoral program in the Learning Sciences and Human Development Program also in Boulder. Blanca has been an advocate for Colorado ASSET (SB13-033) and Immigrant Rights since she was 15. She brings +14 years of Community and Youth Organizing training experience with Together Colorado, United We DREAM, and the PICO National Network. She is also a proud sister of Pi Lambda Chi Latina Sorority Inc. and a Comadre of the Epsilon Chapter at the University of Denver. She is a passionate Latina driven by faith in the power of the people to create the promised community; grounded in the belief that those who are directly impacted by the pain must be a part of developing solutions; inspired by the unbound potential of Youth, and determined to open doors of access to higher education for ALL students, regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, or socio-economic status. Blanca is the co-founder of a local Colorado non-profit called INSPiRE, whose mission is to ignite, train, and invest in youth to become Change Agents in their schools, families and communities. She has served on the Keeping the Dream Alive Planning Committee since 2011 and currently serves at the Co-Chair. 


founding treasurer, returning member

Linda Quintanar

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.


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founding secretary

Nancy Hernandez

Dr. Hernandez is a first-generation Latina from El Paso, Texas with sixteen years of experience in the nonprofit sector.  Her previous employers include the Gill Foundation, Clinica Tepeyac, the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.  She currently works at the Westminster Public Schools Foundation.
A seasoned program officer, Nancy has experience in outreach, translation, interpretation, parent engagement, and student coaching.  She is adept at creating and managing student and scholarship programs.  She has presented at national, state and regional conferences in English and Spanish.  She serves on the Board of the Chinook Fund and was a founding member for the Keeping the Dream Alive (KDA) Conferences.  KDA is a Colorado-based, community-wide, volunteer-driven conference that educates teachers and mentors how to advise undocumented and DACA students who want to go to college. 

KtDA 2019 Board



Darsella Vigil

Darsella Vigil is a PhD student in the Higher Education program at the University of Denver. She currently works in Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence and serves as the programming co-chair for Keeping the Dream Alive. Darsella earned her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, Policy, and Advocacy at New York University, where she worked for the Higher Education Opportunity Programs, providing academic support to historically underrepresented students. As a first-generation college student herself, Darsella’s research interests include examining post-secondary access and attainment for various underrepresented populations such as Black, Latino, first-generation, immigrant, and particularly undocumented students. She employs mixed methodologies to understand the development and implementation of higher educational policies directly impacting marginalized communities. Additionally, she uses critical theoretical frameworks such as Latino Critical Theory and Racist Nativism to interrogate existing K-20 educational systems that perpetuate disparate outcomes among underrepresented populations. Formerly, she worked closely with undocumented students as an academic advisor at the Community College of Aurora. She continues to mentor and support Latino and Black young adults, of all statuses, in both Denver and New York public schools/colleges

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Cynthia Rodriguez

Cynthia Rodriguez was born in Zacatecas, Mexico but was brought and raised to the U.U at the age of one. Since then she has resided in Denver, Colorado. She attended the University of Denver and graduated in 2016 with a bachelor of science in Accounting. She currently works as an auditor for an accounting firm in Colorado. In her free time, Cynthia tires to stay involved with organizations that work to provide resources for undocumented students. This is a topic dear to her heart as she knows first-hand what it is like to hold such a status. She uses her experiences to serve as an inspiration to others going through similar situations she did. For fun she likes to play volleyball, dance, and hang out with friends and loved ones. 

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new board member

Cesiah Guadarrama Trejo

I was born in Morelos, Mexico and moved to Colorado when I was six years old. I grew up in Colorado and
graduated from District 50 Westminster High School in 2013. I started my path as an activist in 2011 by
actively advocating the passage of Colorado ASSET which granted undocumented students in-state tuition. I
shared my story at the state Capitol and started to work on immigration campaigns and movements in
Colorado and throughout the nation. I graduated from MSU Denver with a bachelor’s in Political Science and
a minor in Women Studies in the spring of 2017. During my four years at MSU Denver I had the opportunity
to work for First Year Success, the Center for Urban Education and served as a Senator for MSU Denver’s
Student Government Assembly for the 2016-2017 school year. I was one of the co-founders of RISE a
student org that was created to support and empower undocumented, DACA, ASSET and Refugee students. I
continue to share my story as a DREAMer and fight for my community. I currently work at 9to5 Colorado as
a housing organizer. I am a very active member in my church. My mother is my greatest inspiration. I have
two younger brothers, I am the oldest. I enjoy spending time with family and friends and I am a proud


new board member

Tania Chariez

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.



Fryda Faugier Ferreira

I’m currently an undergraduate student at the University of Denver. As a student, I am currently triple majoring in international studies, socio-legal studies and Spanish. I was born in Mexico City, Mexico and was brought over to the US. I was undocumented until my junior year of high school when I received my approval for DACA. Since then I have dedicated myself to work towards achieving equity for DACA and undocumented students. In attending a primarily white institution, we see a lack of resources and a lack of opportunities for students of color but even more so for students who aren’t citizens. My work around this has been advocating for these students as well as finding and organizing resources for students at the university and in the community. Part of my work has also shifted towards policy work as well as college access. I am now working directly with higher school students interested in pursuing higher education as well as holding workshops for these students and their parents. My goal is to further my education by getting my masters in higher education and continuing the work I’ve started.