Born into a Mexican American family, and raised in a diverse neighborhood and schools in Southern California, Clarissa’s early life laid the foundation for her work over the last 22 years.Clarissa’s heart has been working with vulnerable children and teens. Her experiences draw from her times as a middle school teacher, after school programs director, dance teacher, and snowboard instructor. But nothing has taught her more than being a fost/adopt parent of now, 2 adult children. The knowledge she gained from this broken and overlooked world of foster care and adoption drives her passion for outreach and knows that one person can make a difference in another person’s life. After moving to Golden, CO in 2017. Clarissa slowly became involved with the local community. She was the volunteer creator and consultant for Fost Adopt Ministries (FAM) at Calvary Belmar in Lakewood. She also began working as a substitute teacher at Golden High School, and created Por Vida, a food resource program for the homeless and unaccompanied students at GHS. She quickly became connected to other community outreach organizations and was introduced to The Golden Backpack Program. As part of this board, she hopes to share her passion for the vulnerable youth in our community and find ways to increase our outreach and empower our youth.
Being a California girl, Clarissa loves the beach and also lived in mountain communities in the Sierra Nevadas for 20 years. She has been married to her husband since 1997, loves spending time with her family, especially outdoors, and is an LA Dodgers fan.