Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Ismael A.K.A “Smiley” moved to this colorful Colorado land he now calls home. After completing his bachelor’s degree in biblical studies at Dallas Christian College, he served as outreach minister to the Latino community in Longmont, Colorado. He then transferred his passion to serving underrepresented communities in Southwest Denver for the Denver District Attorney’s Office. As a community organizer he realized the importance a high quality education plays for communities of color. He then dedicated 15 years at the Community College of Denver, focusing on overcoming educational barriers for limited income students. Ismael is perhaps most proud of serving as a founding board member of Strive Prep Schools in Denver, providing a high quality education to every child where they live. Ismael wears a beaming smile knowing he is inspiring young scholars to succeed in college, careers, and life as the TRIO College Advisor at Northeast Early College. Learn more about Ismael on LinkedIn.