Prodigy provides technical and ‘applied skills’ training through pre-apprenticeship and on the job Professional Development modules taught by educators, business mentors and specialty coffee craftsmen. Young adults build skills, social capital and understanding for success in the new economy, with an impact goal of social mobility.

What do apprentices say about their experience at Prodigy?


Board of Directors

Chad Cookinham, Board Chair: Director of Foundation Relations, Achievement Network 

Johnnie Williams, Board Member: Executive Director, Gang Rescue And Support Project (GRASP) 

Julie Voyles, Board Member: Owner at JVoyles Nonprofit Consulting 

Dan Reed, Board Member: Chief Executive Officer, Seed Fundraisers

Heather Lafferty, Board Member: Executive Director and CEO at Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver

Derrick Kelsey, Board Member: Senior Consultant at Apex IT & Pastor at The Embassy Church

Tawnya Ramirez, Board Treasurer: Certified Professional Accountant & Consultant


Steph Frances

Founder and Executive Director

Steph brings twelve years of experience in youth career development. Her expertise lies in activating talent in youth on the margins and creating dynamic cultures that engage youth in their intrinsic motivation to learn. She led Prodigy’s enterprise to  be selected as Best New Coffeehouse in Denver, and built an apprenticeship model for disconnected youth with an 85% completion rate. She has represented Prodigy at the Global Homeboy Network Gathering, the Aspen Institute’s Opportunity Youth Forum, the National Youth Employment Coalition, and keynote address at the 2019 Kentucky Apprenticeship Summit. Steph holds a Master’s in Nonprofit Management from Regis University and was a Denver Business Journal 2018 Outstanding Women in Business finalist. Steph was recently selected as a 2020 Livingston Fellow through the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation.

Brady grant

Director of Learning

Brady comes to Prodigy after three years as the Senior Academy Dean at Denver School for Science and
Technology and eight years of career development, postsecondary planning, and job readiness program
development for Denver Public Schools. This experience developed a deep understanding of the weaknesses
in our education system and the points at which youth disengage. He is well-positioned for the role of
supporting apprentices in their learning and integration into the workforce after Prodigy. Brady holds a
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Bradley University.


Prodigy Educator

A native of Denver, Destiny is an educator with Prodigy Coffeehouse. With a Sociology degree, concentrating in Pre-Law and Criminology from Spelman College, Destiny’s passions lie in community focused development, specifically with youth. Destiny’s diverse experiences working in social justice, college and career readiness, restorative practices and conflict transformation have led her to Prodigy with the intention to combine the learnings and experiences from each space she has been able to occupy. As an educator, her aim is to provide spaces in which youth have the ability to think, verbalize and advance the skills and abilities they already possess.

October 2019-9_edited.jpg


Assistant Operations Manager

Emilia is a 5th generation Denver native born and raised in the Curtis-Park neighborhood. She is a strong Indigenous woman and a spiritual community leader, sitting on council to the Traditional Aztec Dance group, Danzantes De Coloraztlán.


After beginning her professional journey as an apprentice in Prodigy’s first cohort in 2016, Emilia has organized and participated in many leadership conferences and youth development programs. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from MSU Denver in 2018 and now sits on Prodigy’s Leadership Team. 



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