Who We Are

two kids smiling

The Denver Afterschool Alliance (DAA) supports hundreds of youth-serving organizations to improve programming, use data more effectively and engage in professional learning, while promoting policies and practices that create more equitable outcomes for Denver youth and families.

Our Why: The Value of Quality Afterschool and Summer Programming

Research shows that quality afterschool and summer experiences improve a child's academic achievement, social-emotional development, health and well-being. These programs are vital in supporting working families by keeping their children physically and emotionally safe when not in school. This is also a proven strategy for preventing youth violence.

In addition, many children in Denver, particularly those living in low-opportunity neighborhoods, don't have access to high-quality afterschool and summer programs. These young people are in danger of falling even further behind their more affluent peers - those more likely to participate in out-of-school time enrichment programs. 

The Denver Afterschool Alliance is working to narrow this opportunity gap. By supporting hundreds of afterschool and summer providers across the city, we are focused on improving program quality and creating a more equitable future for all Denver youth.

Learn more about our seven pillars of quality for afterschool programs.(PDF, 2MB)

Our Commitment to Social, Emotional, and Academic Learning

Social, emotional and cognitive competencies are essential to success in schools, workplaces, homes and communities. These skills can be taught and developed throughout childhood, adolescence and beyond.

For Social, Emotional and Academic Learning (SEAL) to thrive in schools and youth settings, teachers and administrators need training and supports to understand and model these skills. This is why the Denver Afterschool Alliance builds the capacity of youth-serving programs and professionals to integrate SEAL into their organizational structures, staff practices and goals for youth. 

The Denver Afterschool Alliance believes that supporting and promoting SEAL knowledge, skills and policies within youth-serving organizations benefits both youth and adults, and we work with our afterschool partners to cultivate culturally-inclusive, SEAL-rich environments that help narrow the opportunity gap and create a more equitable future for all Denver youth. 

By supporting youth and adults to build strong, respectful and lasting relationships, we can use SEAL as a lever for equity that prioritizes adult learning and reflection about their own social-emotional and cultural competencies, elevates students’ cultural assets and voices, and strengthens families and communities.

Learn more about our current SEAL Initiative.

Our Lines of Service

The Denver Afterschool Alliance takes an integrated approach to building the capacity of youth-serving organizations that includes our three lines of service:

DAAlearn builds the capacity of youth-serving organizations to improve and enhance afterschool and summer program quality through custom supports and learning opportunities that meet the needs of all providers. DAAlearn’s offerings include: The DAA CollectiveQuality Counts and the Afterschool IncubatorLearn more.

DAAconnect unites the afterschool community around the power of quality youth programming through a free-to-use, online platform that connects providers and families. The DAAconnect information management system helps providers more easily track and report on youth outcomes, and its Youth Program Locator helps families find quality afterschool programs that best fit their needs. Learn more.

DAAadvocate works alongside funders, policymakers, community leaders and afterschool providers to promote policies and practices that create more equitable outcomes for Denver youth and families. Through our advocacy efforts, we ensure that the afterschool community has the financial support, resources and visibility it needs to provide a range of quality programming to Denver youth. Learn more.

Our Team

The Denver Afterschool Alliance team includes staff from the Office of Children’s Affairs, Denver Public Schools and individual consultants. Many team members have worked as afterschool and summer program providers, and this on-the-ground experience and insight helps them better serve the afterschool community through DAA’s capacity building and advocacy efforts.

DAA Team
-  Erma Cerda, DAA Program Support Coordinator
-  Jami Powell, Quality Counts Coach
-  John Lewis, Quality Counts Lead
-  Lisa Mueller, DAAconnect Lead
-  Maxine Quintana, City Lead and Co-Founder
-  Miranda Cook, DAAlearn Lead and SEAL Manager
-  Regan Suhay, DAAadvocate Lead and Co-Founder
-  Zainab Dafalla, DAAconnect Support Coordinator

Our Vision, Mission an Values

All Denver youth will achieve success now and in the future through active participation in diverse, quality afterschool programs.

To develop a sustainable, citywide afterschool system to increase access to and participation in quality afterschool programs that keep Denver’s youth safe, inspires them to learn and prepares them for the future.


Equity and Inclusivity: We believe that all Denver youth and families deserve access to high-quality, inclusive and culturally-relevant afterschool and summer programming. As such, we support youth-serving organizations to use social, emotional and academic learning as a lever for ensuring a more equitable future for youth, and we advocate for systems, policies and practices that create opportunity for all youth and families.  

Quality: We build the capacity of youth-serving organizations to improve program quality through continuous learning, data-driven decision making, and professional learning opportunities.

Collaboration: All of our work is based on relationships, transparency and sharing lessons learned. We are committed to being a valued partner to the afterschool community.

Driven by Data: We use data to better understand and meet the needs of afterschool providers and the youth they serve.

Creativity: We take creative approaches to supporting and strengthening the afterschool community. 

Our History

For more than 20 years, the City and County of Denver, Denver Public Schools, youth-serving organizations and local and national funders have been working together to build and strengthen Denver’s afterschool community. 

In 2012, these key partners formally launched the Denver Afterschool Alliance to continue increasing access to quality afterschool programming for all Denver’s youth and families. Since then, the Denver Afterschool Alliance has served as an incubator of new programs, initiatives and ideas that have the power to improve and enhance afterschool experiences.

Today, the City and County of Denver’s Office of Children’s Affairs serves as the Denver Afterschool Alliance's lead agency, working in close partnership with Denver Public Schools’ Office of Extended Learning & Community Schools and advocates from the provider community. 

Learn more about the the history of the Denver Afterschool Alliance.(PDF, 599KB) 





Staff Contact
Maxine Quintana
Out-of-School Time Initiatives Director
Phone: 720-913-0905
Email: maxine.quintana@denvergov.org