Megan Vizina – Executive Director
As the sixth generation Coloradan, Megan’s roots are most certainly in Colorado. After years of studying and working both nationally and internationally Megan was eager to return home and begin work with Colfax Community Network in June 2014.
Megan received her Bachelors of Social Work from Colorado State University with a minor in Women’s Studies. During her undergraduate work, Megan focused on high risk youth, indigenous tribes of Colorado and gender dynamics. Advocacy within the women’s rights arena was her passion and focus while attending the University of Middlesex in London and working with the Fawcett Society. Megan interned at the Denver Children’s Home applying herself to a special collaborative project funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
While receiving a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Denver with a certificate in Interpersonal Trauma Studies, concentration on high risk youth and focus on international conservation social work, Megan conducted research with DU’s After School Program: the Bridge Project.
As the Director of Residential Services at Safe Horizon’s Streetwork Project, Megan ran New York City’s only shelter dedicated to trafficked youth. She also oversaw a 24 bed shelter utilizing a harm reduction approach with youth experiencing homelessness. During her years in New York Megan honed her art therapy practice at The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, studied race issues at the People’s Institute and advanced her clinical career with the Gestalt Institute. Megan is also a certified Mediator through the Peace Making Institute.
Megan has worked abroad with organizations such as the Japanese Mine Action Society in Laos and the African Network for Animal Welfare in Kenya in the capacities of marketing, communications, advocacy and community organizing.
Megan has worked in various settings from psychiatric facilities to villages in developing countries and has been awarded various accolades for her work. Her areas of expertise are youth development, homelessness, trauma, anti-oppression work and harm reduction.
Favorite Kid’s Quote: “I don’t wanna go camping ’cause the sharks will bite my legs off.” – Four year old boy talking about the outdoors at one of our Summer Food & Rec sites.
Tirzah Stein, MSW – Social Worker
After ten years living and working in New York City, Tirzah felt a strong calling to move back to her home state of Colorado in the summer of 2015. Her priority and desire was to pursue meaningful work with which she felt personally and professionally aligned. Fortunately, that is exactly what she found when obtaining a position as the new Social Worker for Colfax Community Network.
During her time in New York, Tirzah attended Manhattanville College where she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies. After graduating with her Bachelor’s degree, Tirzah worked as a Teacher’s Assistant in an inner-city high school for underprivileged youth. She soon discovered a lack of emotional and social support for the students and proposed and implemented an empowerment program to address this gap. It became clear that she possessed a love and dedication to supporting and empowering those in need. Therefore, it was no surprise to her friends and family that she went on to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Work from New York University.
Through social work internships, Tirzah gained invaluable experiences working with youth in an outpatient substance abuse clinic, Western Queens Recovery Services. She also provided crisis intervention, counseling, and advocacy to LGBTQ survivors of violence on a 24-hour hotline and drop-in center.
Once a Master level Social Worker, Tirzah was granted the opportunity to work as a Supervising Social Worker in both an emergency and transitional domestic violence shelter for the largest survivor support agency in NYC, Safe Horizon. It was her responsibility and personal mission to ensure the delivery of trauma- informed and client-centered services, as well as to create a safe environment that fostered self-agency, empowerment, and healing for every family that came through the shelter doors.
Benefiting from her educational and work experiences with diverse populations, Tirzah has a deep commitment to authentic human connection. She challenges herself to think outside the box to find creative solutions for varying obstacles. She also values the importance of an open mind, a warm heart, and a strong voice for change. Tirzah hopes to bring all of this and more to the Aurora Community and her work at Colfax Community Network!
Favorite Kid’s Quote: “What’s your favorite food?” – Spaghetti – “What?! Not pork chops?!” – 11 year old CCN student questioning Tirzah about her favorites.
Kaycie Warren, MSW – Children’s Programs Coordinator
Kaycie grew up in a small town in southern Colorado, surrounded by a big family. In 2006, she moved to Denver to attend the University of Denver, where she graduated with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Sociology.
Unsure of where her path was leading, Kaycie decided to participate in a yoga teacher training in 2011. After seeing first hand the benefits of mindfulness, she felt compelled to share what she’d learned about the with populations who may not have access. To accomplish this, she returned to the University of Denver and completed her Master of Social Work, with a concentration in Health and Wellness, in June of 2015.
During her time in the Graduate School of Social Work, Kaycie had internships at the Rocky Mountain Stroke Center and at Brent’s Place, where she worked with children experiencing life-threatening illness. She also became a certified kid yoga instructor in 2014, and had the opportunity to teach yoga to preschoolers. These experiences helped her become very clear that she wanted to work with children in her social work career. She believes that she can learn just as much from kids as they can learn from her. When she’s around young people, she experiences a sense of purpose that is meaningful, energizing, and inspiring.
Kaycie is deeply committed to offering a holistic environment at CCN that attends to children’s academic, physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being. She is proud to be a part of the CCN team, and is filled with hope and excitement for the future of the Children’s Programs.
Favorite Kid’s Quote: “Miss Kaycie, I need to drink a lot of water so that I can be hydrated because it’s never good to be low-drated.” – 7 year old making sure he stays healthy during exercise.