Our Staff


Alexandra Alonso

Executive Director 

2016 Capitol Fellowship Alumnus

Alexandra was born in Florida and grew up in Colorado. She is passionate about advocating for the Latino community, equitable education, and mental health awareness. Before starting her work with CLLARO, she worked as the Internship Coordinator at The Denver Post. She studied Spanish with a focus in International Business and Literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder. During her time in Boulder she was also a scholar in the Presidents Leadership Class, which is a four-year academic, experiential, and service program. Music and dancing are an integral part of Alexandra’s life; so much so, that that her nickname is “Musica en la sangre” or “Music in the blood”. In her spare time, you can usually find her singing karaoke with her fiance, spending time with family or taking a Zumba class.

303-722-5150 ext. 103


Kara Birnbaum

Program & Operations Manager

2016 Capitol Fellowship Alumnus

Kara was born in Kansas and raised in Colorado. She has always been a strong advocate for social justice, especially among Denver’s most diverse and underserved communities. During her high school career, she worked alongside peers and faculty to introduce clubs and school policy reforms which advocate for and protect the identities of LGBTQ+ students. She holds a B.A. in Chicano Studies with a minor in Spanish from the Metropolitan State University of Denver, fields which she hopes will allow her to more accurately address and resolve issues plaguing today’s Latino youth in Colorado. She and her husband of two years share many passions in life, including cooking, the outdoors, active living, and raising their two adopted rescue dogs.

303-722-5150 ext. 102



Denisse Romero

Program Coordinator

2017 Capitol Fellowship Alumnus

Romero is a second year student at the University of Denver. She is double majoring in Political Science and Italian with a minor in Public Policy. She loves politics and has recently worked with a non-profit as well as Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign.



Chanel Ward 

Digital Communications

2017 Capitol Fellowship Alumnus

Ward is a graduate from the Community College of Denver and a Reisher Scholar at Metropolitan State University of Denver where she studies multi-cultural journalism. She is also a mentor through the Chicana/o Studies Department at MSU where she teaches at the middle and high school level. Ward is proficient in social media and digital communications, and she continues to be a lifelong learner in pursuit of higher education for Latinas in Colorado.



Penelope Baggs

Policy, Research and Program Development

Baggs, one of our new interns from Hawai’i, has spent time on the Western slope of Colorado and has studied at CU Boulder. With a passion for social justice and reform, as well as an impressive list of studies in anthropology, ethnic studies, and journalism, she is a true asset to the CLLARO team. With her experience working with a non-profit and diverse work experience, Penelope hopes to make a valuable impact on her community.





Charlie Schmidt

Policy Research

Schmidt is a sophomore at CU Boulder studying neuroscience and philosophy. At CU, he is a member of the Presidents Leadership Class and works as a peer tutor in the Writing Center. Charlie plans to pursue law school after college, as he is passionate about politics, writing, and patent law. He also enjoys soccer, skiing, and public speaking.