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Pink flowers with blue sky and the sunset in the distance

Franklin Erickson

 (He / Him)

Executive Director

Franklin Erickson serves as the Executive Director at The Initiative. He is new to the role but
joins the team with nearly 10 years of nonprofit experience, including engaging in direct service
work and executive-level leadership. He is excited by the opportunity to work collaboratively
with the existing team and cultivate an organization poised to provide the best possible services
to people experiencing domestic violence.
Franklin is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada, but has lived in Colorado for the past 5 years. He
enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, and being outdoors. He is also an avid traveler,
having spent over two years living abroad, serving in the US Peace Corps. Franklin began his
career in the nonprofit space working with young people with mental illness in a treatment
setting in Minnesota, where he also attended college. Those early years of direct care fostered
Franklin’s passion for working with underserved communities and working towards improving
the lives of others. He believes there is nothing more important than providing services to those
who need them most.
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Maria Manriquez

(She / Her)

Chief Program Officer

maria@theinitiativeco.org *Hablo Español*

(303) 839-5510 

Maria Manriquez serves as the Chief Program Officer at The Initiative, a critical member of the executive management team. In collaboration with the Executive Director, she articulates and implements the strategic vision and leadership of the agency; oversees a significant portfolio of agency programs and related services; and evaluates the effectiveness of programs to provide ongoing feedback. 

Maria is a mother of three beautiful girls. Her family members have different disabilities but that doesn't stop them from doing what they love. She loves to work out and spend time with her family.  Throughout her journey, she loves moments of self-discovery! Maria has a Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice Leadership and management, with a minor in business. Maria was born and raised in Texas.  She is the second oldest of 7 children. She served in the Army for over 10 years.  Maria is bilingual, fluent in Spanish, and has been a bilingual advocate throughout her career.

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Kashundra McGee

(She / Her)

Program Director

Kashundra Smith  serves as the Program Director at The Initiative. In her role, she works to provide high quality culturally relevant advocacy to The Initiative's clients and oversees the Direct Services Programs; including the Internship, Bilingual, Rural, and LGBTQ+ programs. With her knowledge from the Human Service perspective, she is able to provide active listening and support to clients with a strong sense of compassion and empathy. Ms. Smith graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Human Services from the University of Phoenix. She discovered her passion for Victim Advocacy while providing social and emotional support to a friend who fell victim to domestic violence and a sibling who was a victim of gun violence. Ms. Smith began her work at The Initiative as a Victim Advocate Intern. She was born and raised here in Denver, Colorado.

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Terwanda McMoore

(She / They)

          Director of Outreach and Communications  

Terwanda McMoore serves as the Director of  Outreach and Communications at The Initiative. In this role, Ms. McMoore works to establish and maintain partnerships with other agencies, provides community education, maintains the public image of the agency, trains staff and interns, and coordinates events.  Terwanda is an entrepreneur, skillful chef, student, and community leader. She was born in Fairbanks, Alaska. She has lived and traveled to many places due to her parents who were in the army. The main places that she has lived were Texas, Germany, Kentucky, Colorado, and Tennessee, and she came back to Colorado in 2013. Terwanda is a recent graduate of the Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado and received a Distinguished Graduate Award and The University of Colorado's Leeds School of Business CSR(Corporate Social Responsibility) program.   She has been on a year-long journey of recovery and healing after being in COVID-induced coma. As a member of the LGBTQ community, she continues to unite everyone in the community as “we are the only community that represents everyone.” Terwanda founded a nonprofit called We Are One to support what she believes in through her action. Her life experiences have made her be committed to standing up for those who do not have a voice or afraid to speak. She stands up for those who feel isolated or neglected by those in society who have to outcast them because they are different. She strongly believes that is OK to be different. She will continue to spread her message so that one day, we can all follow our paths, be ourselves, and not only love ourselves but are capable of loving others for who they are meant to be. 

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Jessica Martinez

(She / Her)

Bilingual Victim Advocate

jessica@theinitiativeco.org *Hablo Español*

 (720)476-0510 

Jessica Martinez serves as the Bilingual Victim Advocate at The Initiative. Ms. Martinez is able to help victims of abuse from both Spanish and English-speaking communities. She began her work at The Initiative as a Victim Advocate Intern. Ms. Martinez was born in Denver, CO.  Jessica and her mom moved to Juarez, Mexico when she was very young. This experience gave her an opportunity to learn a lot and fall in love with her culture. It wasn't until she moved back to Colorado at the age of 15, that she quickly learned about the lack of resources that underrepresented groups face. This made her want to pursue a career in a field that would allow her to make a change. She is also Bilingual.  She understands the struggle of knowing very little English once coming to the United States.  She enjoys teaching others English as their second language and loves helping people from different communities and backgrounds.  Jessica is a first-generation college student. She will be graduating from the University of Colorado, Denver this December with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice, minors in Psychology and Public Health, and a concentration in Law Enforcement from the University of Colorado, Denver.

 

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Annissa Jimenez

(She / Her)

   Victim Avdocate with focus on Older Adults

Kashundra Smith serves as the Special Programs Direct Services Manager at The Initiative. In this role, she provides and coordinates advocacy-based victim services and ensures that The Initiative is providing high quality, culturally appropriate services for all survivors, specializing in Bicultural, Rural, and LGBTQ+ advocacy. With her knowledge from the Human Service perspective, she is able to provide active listening and support to clients with a strong sense of compassion and empathy. Ms. Smith graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Human Services from the University of Phoenix. She discovered her passion for Victim Advocacy while providing social and emotional support to a friend who fell victim to domestic violence and a sibling who was a victim of gun violence. Ms. Smith began her work at The Initiative as a Victim Advocate Intern. She was born and raised here in Denver, Colorado.

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Chelsea Morales

(She / Her)

 Victim Advocate with focus on Rural Areas

chelsea@theinitiativeco.org *Hablo Español*

 (720) 431-6766

Nayeli Flores servers as the Bilingual Victim Advocate at The Initiative. Ms. Flores is able to help victims of abuse from both Spanish and English-speaking communities. She began her work with The Initiative as a COVA intern and is thrilled to take on the opportunity to work full-time assisting victims of abuse. Ms. Flores was born in Juarez, Mexico and moved to the United States at a young age. Although her parents went through many hardships, they raised her to know about her culture and background. She was able to continue learning about the Spanish language and her heritage while going to an all English school. Ms. Flores holds a Spanish interpreter certification in Education, Health, and Human Services from The International Community Interpreter Program. She will be the first person in her family to graduate from college this upcoming December with a double degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology, a minor in Psychology and a certificate in Criminology. She has always wanted to help individuals, especially those who feel like the criminal justice system has failed them.

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