Slavica Park, CEO/Executive Director
Start Date: 2020
Slavica Park, Executive Director of the Youth Employment Academy is also the Director of Community Connections at Denver Housing Authority, leading DHA's efforts in workforce development and innovative community programs. Slavica spent 14 years as Dean of Adult Education at the renowned Emily Griffith Technical College, where she was instrumental in bridging academic and vocational paradigms to encompass contextualized, career curricula into life skills, and preparing students for future academic or career success. As a part of the leadership team, Slavica led an organization-wide strategic planning process and the implementation of the student information system. She was an active member of the statewide coalition of Adult Education and a part of the team responsible for receiving state funding for the field. Afterwards, she served as Program Administrator for the Colorado Department of Human Service's ReHire Colorado, a statewide employment program focusing on subsidized opportunities and training for veterans and the chronically unemployed. Her role was creating a brand-new program from the ground up. Most recently, in her role as Director of Education and Economic Opportunity at Focus Points Family Resource Center, Slavica envisioned and spearheaded several noteworthy programs, including the award-winning, nationally-renowned social enterprise, Comal Heritage Food Incubator. Her expertise and ingenuity helped drive the organization forward in many areas, including Adult and Vocational education, workforce development, social enterprises, strategic planning, leadership development and coaching and coalition building. Slavica was recognized by the Denver Business Journal's "40 Under 40" awards in 2007 for her work in providing meaningful economic and social opportunities for Denver's marginalized populations, especially immigrants and refugees. Additionally, Slavica was a finalist for 9News' "Leader of the Year" (2008), a Marien Adair recipient for promoting cross-cultural understanding and friendship (2012) and a graduate of the Denver Downtown Leadership Program (2008). Slavica speaks Bosnian, German, English, some Russian and Spanish.
Amy Banker, Program Manager
Start Date: 2007
A long-time educator and social change activist, Amy Banker is the Program Manager for the Youth Employment Academy (YEA) (a non-profit under the umbrella of Denver's Housing Authority) and Arts Street @YEA.
Ms. Banker leads YEA staff in providing education, career exploration, mentoring and occupational skills training to low-income, underserved youth so that they may reach their employment and education goals. Under her leadership over the past eleven years, YEA has served over 3,200 youth with a majority reaching their goals of graduating from high school or earning a GED, going on to post-secondary education or receiving other occupational certifications and becoming employed.
As Program Manager for Arts Street @YEA, Ms. Banker guides Arts Street's award winning arts education programming which cultivates youth into a creative and culturally competent workforce. Previously, Ms. Banker was affiliated for eight years with the Metro State University of Denver's Center for Visual Art where she served as the Assistant Director and developed award winning educational programs for youth as well as adults.
A University of Kansas graduate and Kansas native, Ms. Banker has over 19 years of experience working with school and community organizations in programs related to youth, human services and education.