Heart & Hand Center

Heart & Hand provides long-term support for Denver's under resourced youth through holistic out of school time programming, one-on-one mentorship and family support. The enduring relationships we develop with children and their families fosters a nurturing community where our children can thrive.

More Information

Fundraising Pages

Want to do more for your favorite charity? We’ve made it easy for you to raise money by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a fundraiser Current fundraisers for this charity (0)


Part Time Staff:
Full Time Staff:
Contract Staff:
Volunteers Annually:
Retention Rate:

Amber Baack, Program Manager
Start Date: 2019

Amber is originally from Fort Collins, Colorado and was eager to join the Heart & Hand team in 2019 after working with various youth and after-school programs in the past. Amber is a Licensed Social Worker who holds a Bachelor's in Social Work from Belmont University and a Master's in Social Work from the University of Denver. Amber has worked extensively within refugee resettlement organizations with youth and families in both youth programming and mental health capacities. She fully believes in the importance of building relationships with youth and their families and providing opportunities to learn and grow together. In her free time, Amber enjoys anything outdoors or adventurous and can often be found playing music or with friends and family.

Kate Bishop, Development Coordinator
Start Date: 2018

Kate is passionate about ensuring all youth have access to enriching learning opportunities, academic resources, and relationships with trusting adults. In her free time, Kate enjoys hiking with her dog, reading in the park, and trying new restaurants with friends.

Nikki Cady, Founder
Start Date: 2009

In 2008 Mrs. Cady opened Denver's branch HALO Foundation, which is committed to improving the lives of homeless, orphaned and at risk youth worldwide. In 2009, Mrs. Cady launched weekly art-mentoring programs working with homeless youth in the Metro Denver homeless shelters. She then opened The Heart & Hand Center and is instrumental in raising funds for the organization.

Mary Cipollone, CEO/Executive Director
Start Date: 2015

Mary Cipollone is passionate about empowering children and youth with the skills, information, and relationships they need to build successful futures. She has dedicated her career to improving educational and personal outcomes for students in low-income communities in Harlem, Detroit, Denver, and Latin America. Mary holds a BA from Dartmouth College and a Master's in Public Policy from the University of Michigan. She loves hiking, listening to live music, and eating good meals with friends and family.

Troy Grimes, Program Director
Start Date: 2018

Troy Grimes has over 20 years' experience working to support and strengthen family and community. He is a Denver native and his deeds are woven in the fabric of the community that raised him. Mr. Grimes is a certified Family Development Worker, Master Fatherhood Trainer, Healthy Relationships Facilitator, Gang Interventionist and a court appointed Child and Family Investigator. He is a volunteer manager for Park Hill Falcons Youth Organization and Owner/Founder of Project Proud Fatherhood Program llc. Troy finds time to participate on several community boards as well as being a Mayoral Appointee to the Denver African American Commission.

Gwen Farnsworth, Development Director
Start Date: 2019

Gwen Farnsworth is a third-generation Denver native with strong ties to the Park Hill and Five Points Neighborhoods. A longtime development professional, Gwen believes in philanthropy as a vehicle for social justice and the promotion of the greater good, and that working with community for solutions is the best way to achieve impactful results. A graduate of Denver East and Metropolitan State University, Gwen is also a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and is working toward her Certified Fundraising Executive certification. In her time away from the office, she enjoys cooking, bingeing Netflix, and spending time with her family.

Blaine Heydt, Chief Operating Officer
Start Date:

Blaine Heydt has been with the Heart & Hand Center since January 2010. Blaine is a Colorado State University graduate with a degree in English, minoring in Criminology. She has worked with youth in a variety of settings. Blaine spent six years working with children at a summer camp, as well as, volunteering for a year to work with at-risk youth through Crossroads Safehouse.

Sarah Krantz, Program Manager
Start Date: 2020

Sarah Krantz spent the first 22 years of her life in the heart of New York City, from which she is still recovering. After graduating from Barnard College, she moved to Denver to work at the Denver Art Museum. She first found Heart & Hand as a volunteer art teacher at Samaritan house before moving to the Columbine Elementary site to lead an archaeology program. She has since been with enamored with the organization and the incredible youth that it serves. When she's not working, she likes to ride on her trusty steed (bike), spend time with her chosen family, cook healthful/colorful foods and craft things out of wood and other recycled materials.

Maya McDowell, Program Manager
Start Date: 2017

Maya has found a joyful and enlightening home in her time with Heart & Hand, and is continually moved by the power and spirit of the youth and families we serve. In her free time she enjoys growing nutritious food in her garden, dancing while cooking, reading and writing, and traveling by train.

Jennifer Rivera, Program Manager
Start Date: 2019

Jennifer Rivera (known by Jenn) is our Family Development Program Manager, was born in Puerto Rico, and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and recently relocated to Denver to enjoy a change of pace and scenery. In NYC, she worked as a Career and Internship Coordinator at a non-profit school program for overage and undercredited high school students. She's incredibly passionate about the work that nonprofits accomplish, and the impact of trusted individuals in young people's lives.

Jenn is a music and nature lover, has a serious sweet tooth, and is a big fan of a daytime nap. In her free time, she is spending time hiking or at silly events with her rescue dogs, Zoe and Ellie, who are loving Denver too! Jenn is active in volunteer and animal rescue work, serving as a core coordinator for a NYC based animal rescue for the past year. Jenn loves how entrenched her life is in service work, and wouldn't change it for the world.

Cami Tam, Program Manager
Start Date: 2017

Cami has always been passionate about building relationships with youth and ensuring that youth in historically underserved communities are provided with the resources and supports needed to help create more of an equal opportunity to quality education.


Board Type:
Meetings per Year:
Term Length:
Term Limit:
Total # of Board Members:
Clients on Board:
# of Client Board Members:

Board Demographics:

Transgender Female:
Transgender Male:
Gender Other:

Black or African American:
Hispanic or Latino:
American Indian or Alaska Native:
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander:
Other Ethnicities:

Average Number of Years Current Board Members Have Served on Board


Attendance Percentage for Board Meetings


Percentage of Board Members that Contribute Dollars


Percentage of Board Members that Contribute In-Kind


Percentage of Board Members that have Completeted the Colorado Secretary of State's Nonprofit Board Member Course:


Nonprofit completed the Colorado Nonprofit Association's Excellence in Principles & Practices Recognition Program?



Special Events
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.