Tanya has always been interested in helping people live their fullest lives. Starting with her undergraduate studies in psychology and language development, followed by a graduate thesis on the importance that relationships with trusted adults have on students' success in school, she moved on to jobs in state government, human services and health care. Each of these experiences allowed her to better understand how systems can help or hinder people's lives — and ultimately the powerful role philanthropy can play in shaping these systems in order to alleviate inequity.
Since she started with the Foundation in 2010, her work has focused on increasing access to physical, behavioral and oral health services as well as promoting investments in early childhood. Her current work is in the Health Communities focus area, where she partners with community leaders, nonprofits and community members to develop community-based solutions to health issues.
Not surprisingly, what Tanya values most about her job is connecting with people throughout the state. Meeting those we aim to help gives her a deeper appreciation and understanding of their challenges, as well as the opportunities that exist to improve their lives.
Community, connection and living life to the fullest is on Tanya’s personal agenda, too. One of Tanya’s favorite road trips included a visit with the Southern Ute people living in and around Ignacio, a drive through the desolate and beautiful Disappointment Valley (not disappointing) and a stay at a historic B&B in Dolores. She loves spending time with her family, biking to parks and farmers' markets in Denver, and hiking in Boulder’s foothills in summer — ah, the wildflowers!
BA Psychology — University of Colorado Boulder
MA Social Science — University of Chicago