Nikte Contreras

Program Officer

Priority Areas I Work In: 

Affordable Housing & Child and Youth Physical Well-being

Nikte’s education – and what she learned from her experience working in education – has dramatically shaped both her career trajectory and approach to the role she finds herself in today. She calls North Denver home and created community in Boulder County where she spent a lot of time experiencing and observing the conditions for students within the school districts. It was in those years that she began to understand the role of equity in determining a student’s performance and became committed to focusing on breaking down barriers that hold Colorado youth back from opportunities later in life. She engaged directly with students coming from different backgrounds and experiences to help nurture their academic success and served as a resource for Latinx and immigrant communities. Nikte worked cultivating a stronger community by bridging resources and families.

Yet, Nikte began to notice that no matter where she went in the educational system, there were inequities for students struggling despite their best efforts. With this she realized the need for systemic transformation. Nikte wants to reshape Colorado to be a place that centers the stories and knowledge that comes from the communities she identifies with and fights for. Nikte will bring this intentionality to The Colorado Health Foundation as a program officer working deeply in Northeastern and Northwestern Colorado. Though the setting may be different, Nikte is using her skills—whether that’s being bilingual in Spanish, leveraging the power of intentional listening, resource sharing or her ability to analyze the various components of structures—to make Colorado a place where all have what they need to be healthy in body, mind and soul.

For Nikte, it isn’t just about maintaining quality of care. She fights for a more equitable Colorado through pathways of community wealth, education and agency. She asks, “How people can move from surviving creatively to thriving creatively?” As she continues her quest for answers to this question, she knows that equity also means that she can take time to rest, recharge and reconnect. Nikte is an expert at napping and boundary setting. She’s able to build this new Colorado only because she prioritizes quality time with family, friends and adventuring.


Master of Social Science, concentration Social Justice, University of Colorado Denver

Bachelor of International Studies, University of Colorado Denver

Embrace Change Leadership Accelerator Cohort 2022

“How can people move from surviving—no matter how creative the surviving is—to thriving with that same sense of creativity and increased agency?” 
Nikte Contreras
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