Our valiant Unsung Heroine are Latinas with significant ties to Colorado. Through their extraordinary efforts, they have promoted Latinas. Many of whom have never been officially honored for the incredible ways in which they have improved our community, but who have helped advance the organizations’ goals in promoting Latinas in leadership.

Olga Garcia, Unsung Heroine 2015

Olga Garcia’s advice to young Latinas is to, “trust your intuition, course correct, recognize when opportunities are in front of you and take the risk.” That philosophy has led her through many career opportunities, including consulting for several local non-profit organizations, Human Resources at Wells Fargo, Diversity and Inclusion, Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Communications…

Julie Gonzales, Unsung Heroine 2015

Life on the reservation was very complicated for Julie Gonzales – while growing up she witnessed the very real differences in class, race and power before she even knew what those words truly meant. Her northern New Mexican Chicano father and old school from-the-valley Chicana mother lived on the San Carlos Apache reservation with their…

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Olivia Mendoza, Unsung Heroine 2015

“At the end of the day, your family is what matters most,” is the realization Olivia Mendoza had at a very young age. Her family moved from Chihuahua, Mexico to Wyoming, U.S. because her father wanted a better life for their family of six. They were one of two families at Olivia’s school who permanently…

Patsy Roybal, Unsung Heroine 2015

Patsy Roybal has dedicated her life to education. As the second youngest child of ten from Peñasco, New Mexico, Patsy’s single mother encouraged speaking Spanish at home, straight A’s and the power of education – her mother was her greatest influence. Her mother knew that living without electricity or running water was not the way…

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Rosa Linda Aguirre, Unsung Heroine 2014

Rosa Linda Aguirre, the owner of Rosa Linda’s Mexican Café, has been serving free Thanksgiving meals to the needy for around 30 years. She started the business in 1985. Her first couple of years were rough on the family because business was challenging and the economy was dire. Her commitment to help the needy began…

Lisa Calderon, Unsung Heroine 2014

Lisa Calderón is a survivor. Her life has been filled with personal hardship and domestic violence, but she turned her struggles into a success story and she now is the Director of the Community Reentry Project in Denver where she supervises six staff who work on behalf of formerly incarcerated persons for their successful transition…

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Ledy Garcia-Eckstein, Unsung Heroine 2014

Ledy Garcia-Eckstein is the Director of the Denver Office of Economic Development Division of Workforce Development and has earned her spot as an unsung heroine through hundreds, if not thousands of hours personally mentoring individual students, but also, she has spent many hours cajoling, wooing, and inspiring others of us in the community to become…

Julissa Molina Soto, Unsung Heroine 2014

Julissa is considered one of the current leaders in public health in the State of Colorado and has served in significant leadership capacities in numerous dimensions across the state. Her background includes over 18 years of success in leading and managing community based outreach programs targeting underserved and uninsured Latinos. She immigrated to the United…

Frieda Espinosa, Unsung Heroine 2013

First Latina Director of Admissions for Denver Health Medical Center (formerly Denver General Hospital) At 10 years old, Frieda Espinosa decided that she “wanted to be somebody” and never wavered from her plan. In 1981, Frieda became the first Latina Director of Admissions for Denver Health Medical Center (formerly Denver General Hospital), where she managed…

Guadalupe “Pete” Gonzales, Unsung Heroine 2013

First Latina and the First Woman to Make a Career in the Denver Fire Department Guadalupe “Pete” Gonzales became the first female firefighter to join the Denver Fire Department in the early 1980s. Fulfilling a lifelong dream, she came across a job advertisement recruiting firefighters and became one of the first Latinas in the first…

Ermalinda Monge, Unsung Heroine 2013

First Director of Mi Casa Resource Center First Latina Director of the American Red Cross Denver Chapter Ermalinda Monge, a second generation Mexican American was one of 10 children raised by migrant worker parents. Her love of community and sense of giving started early. Her mother passed away when she was eight years old and…

Dr. Martha Urioste, Unsung Heroine 2013

First Latina to bring Montessori Education Movement to Public Schools in Denver Martha was born and raised in Raton, New Mexico by politically active parents. Early on, she developed a passion for learning and advanced from third to fifth grade during elementary school. Her grandmother, one of Martha’s most important influences in her life, was…

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