CAA believes that by providing the right services at the right time, vulnerable families can be supported, child abuse and neglect can be prevented, and the effects of trauma and harm can be reduced.
CAA advocates for a paradigm shift in public perception: from “save the child” to “save the family.” This approach emphasizes the critical need to provide help and services at the beginning of the cycle through preventive steps and measures, rather than at the end of the cycle, most often associated with children entering the foster care system.
Our work drives community, data,
education, and advocacy
A diverse Nevada
is a better Nevada
The Children’s Advocacy Alliance is dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion within the organization and in the work that we do in order to serve all residents in the State. Nevada is fundamentally diverse in its people, its workforce, its cultures, and its regions, and we are committed to ensuring that we support this diversity in all forms, including but not limited to economic circumstance, education, geographic location, ability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender and gender identification, race, religion, and age.
Meet the Team
Denise has been working in the field of child advocacy in Nevada since 1998. She has extensive experience conducting applied research and policy analysis on children’s issues, with an emphasis on translating research and data to improve policy and practice. In addition to numerous academic papers, reports and publications in the fields of child welfare, early childhood education and children’s health, Denise has also presented on legislative advocacy focused on empowering individuals toward collective action. She previously served as a Senior Scholar at the Lincy Institute at UNLV and also served as the Executive Director of the Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy (NICRP) in the School of Community Health Sciences at UNLV. Denise received her Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s Studies from UNLV, with a minor in Sociology and received her Juris Doctorate from the William S. Boyd School of Law at UNLV. She serves on numerous boards and coalitions aimed at improving the lives of children and families in Nevada and is the recipient of the US Congressional Flag by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for her commitment to the children of Nevada as an academic, advocate and volunteer.
Jared is passionate about combating systemic poverty throughout Nevada. Before working at the Children's Advocacy Alliance, he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA where he developed his passion for combating poverty. He received his Bachelor's Degree in Economics from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and his Master's in Urban Leadership at the same institution. Jared has served as the Treasurer of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Southern Nevada and as a Board Director for the Nevada Council on Economic Education. In his free time, Jared enjoys hiking and camping with his dog.
Alex is committed to improving access to health care for children and families across the state of Nevada to ensure they have the freedom to lead happy and healthy lives. This motivation comes from his experience as a former Medicaid recipient and as a person with high medical needs due to chronic health conditions. Prior to joining CAA, Alex served as a Raiz Organizing Specialist with Planned Parenthood, specializing in Latinx community engagement, activism and outreach. He received his Bachelor’s from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Anthropology and Biology. Alex loves board games, natural history, and collecting canteens.
Kate is passionate about ensuring that every child in the state of Nevada has the chance to attain an excellent education, starting in the early years of a child's life. This passion comes from her experience as a Las Vegas classroom teacher through Teach For America as she daily witnessed the inequities our children and communities face. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from Emory & Henry College and her Master's in Public Policy and Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Kate enjoys hiking with her dog and rock climbing on the weekends.
As a foster care alumnus, DaShun has a true passion for changing the foster care system. DaShun started a club called Kids In Need, which focused on giving back to local community shelters and empowering youth who faced challenges and has also worked with FAAYT (Foster And Adopted Youth Together) and Nevada Life’s Youth Advisory Council where he served in many capacities all focused on changing the foster care system and empowering and encouraging youth and young adults to stand up and use their voice. He, alongside two other foster care alumni, helped develop and create Nevada’s Foster Care Bill of Rights which passed in 2011. DaShun has participated in internships at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI), where he worked in Washington, D.C and was able to develop policy recommendations and work in former Senator Harry Reid’s Senate Diversity Initiative Office. DaShun also interned in Seaside O.R. with FosterClub Inc. where DaShun was able to travel and work with policy and community leaders and young people in the foster care system. He has sat on and, currently sits on, several boards locally and nationally. DaShun is currently finishing up his degree at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Anna Villatoro joins us at the Children's Advocacy Alliance (CAA) as our new Communications Coordinator. As our Communications Coordinator, she will be focusing on developing and managing digital and multimedia content to advance the stories of the communities across the State of Nevada. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Digital Technology and Culture from Washington State University (WSU). During her college years, she was a participant of the TRIO program, a program that provides support services to low-income students and first-generation college students. It has led her to have an interest in advocating for the lives of those who have similar stories.
Aaliyah is passionate about decreasing and working to eliminate disparities among youth and low-income populations. Her passion generated from growing up in underprivileged communities and developed during her time researching as an undergraduate student. She has done research in the area of children’s and women’s health, policy, and is currently researching disparities in administrative pediatric asthma prevalence in Clark County School District. Aaliyah graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from San Diego State University and earned her MPH with concentration in Biostatistics and Epidemiology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
After many years in the accounting profession, Berdie has stepped away from preparing financial statements, budgets and taxes, and has taken the position of Administrative Assistant with CAA. Prior to joining the CAA team, Berdie had the opportunity to work as a Legislative Assistant (2013 Legislative Session) and a Proofreader for the Senate Committee on Finance (2017 Legislative Session). She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Medical Technology and ten years later earned a second degree in Accounting from Carroll College in Helena, Montana.