Meet our team at Friends of the Children – Colorado Springs.

Judy Cara

Judy Cara

Executive Director

Judy Cara

Executive Director

Judy Cara is delighted to become the Executive Director of Friends of the Children in Colorado Springs. Not only is this career opportunity a great fit with Judy’s skills and experience, but it also continues Judy’s desire to serve in positions where she can have a positive impact on others.

After leaving a position with the State Department at the U.S. Embassy in her native England, Judy lived in Nebraska for seven years before arriving in the Pikes Peak area. Since then, Judy has contributed to the community in many ways both through job-related activities and her engagement with numerous nonprofit organizations. Those affiliations include board positions with the YMCA, the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce, Girl Scouts of Colorado, the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, Urban League, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Children’s Museum, Performing Arts for Youth Organization, and the Colorado Springs Science Center. Nationally, Judy has served on boards with Project Lead the Way, the Council on Foundations, and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Foundation.

Judy’s personal and professional accomplishments have received extensive recognition. In addition to the prestigious Athena award, Judy has been recognized as the Unique Woman of Colorado by the Denver Post, Lockheed Martin, and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, a Woman of Distinction by Girl Scouts of Colorado, and a Woman of Influence by the Colorado Springs Business Journal.

Judy’s professional career has included working for several non-profit organizations such as Kaiser Permanente, Mental Health America of Colorado, and Western Union Foundation. Most recently, Judy was a member of the management team who launched the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs.

These professional and personal engagements have provided Judy with many opportunities to positively impact others, particularly girls and under-represented minorities.

Judy has been married to her wonderful husband, Jim, for 24 years and is the proud stepmother of Kim and Kelsey. The other family member is Milo, a 2 year-old rescue Lab/Border Collie mix.

Lindsay Jimenez

Lindsay Jimenez

Program Director

Lindsay Jimenez

Program Director

Lindsay Jimenez, a Colorado native, was born and raised in a suburb of Denver. She knew from a young age that she wanted to work with children, and graduated from Colorado College in Colorado Springs with a degree in Psychology and a Teaching License. With the goal of leadership in mind, Lindsay went on to receive a Masters Degree in Educational Administration from Grand Canyon University.

Lindsay has worked in public education with at-promise youth for nearly 17 years in various teaching and leadership roles in both Fort Collins and Colorado Springs. As a classroom teacher, Lindsay built strong relationships, cultivated a love for learning, and grew self-advocacy in her students. Her students were motivated to learn each day because they knew they were part of a safe learning environment. As a District Literacy Coach, Lindsay worked with school administration and teachers to provide high quality instruction for all students using data, co-teaching, modeling, and planning.

Passion for the success of all teachers and students is what fueled her desire to be a school administrator. Lindsay inspired teachers and students to succeed and reach for more in the role of Assistant Principal at French Elementary, where she led for change by implementing and facilitating Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, Leader in Me, high quality instruction and collaboration, systems for the Affective Needs Program and attendance, state assessments and data, and Professional Learning Communities.

Lindsay is excited to continue serving at-promise children and their caregivers as the Program Director for Friends of the Children. She looks to break down barriers that children in Colorado Springs face through community connections and strong relationships with caring mentors.

Outside of work, Lindsay enjoys spending time with her husband and three children in the mountains or camping across the country.

Chris Robertson

Chris Robertson

Operations Director

Chris Robertson

Operations Director

Chris is a Louisiana native who moved to Colorado in 1997, and is proud to call Colorado Springs his home. With more than thirty years of combined experience in the government, business, and nonprofit sectors, he brings a professional, creative, and passionate approach to program management, resource development, coalition building, and social justice advocacy.

His passion for social justice advocacy has driven his ongoing commitment to community collaboration and engagement. Prior to joining Friends of the Children, Chris was the program manager at the Independence Center of Colorado Springs, the Director of Regional Programs at Colorado Health Network, Executive Director of Inside Out Youth Services, Program Officer with the Gill Foundation, and volunteered at several local high-impact organizations including Inside Out Youth Services, The Colorado Springs Human Relations Commission, NAACP, CASA of the Pikes Peak Region, Southern Colorado AIDS Project, and Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention.

Chris has focused much of his energy on advancing equal rights and opportunities for all individuals by providing education and outreach to promote a deeper understanding of the effects of social and institutional oppression and discrimination, and by advocating for policy changes that create a healthier community for everyone. He believes the key to successful social justice and civil rights advancement is in building strong alliances that highlight shared values, and connect ideas, resources, and people to enhance and achieve a common vision.

Chris was a Colorado Political Leaders Fellow of the Center for Progressive Leadership and a graduate of Leadership Pikes Peak’s Signature Program and the Center for Creative Leadership. He studied finance and organizational management at Louisiana State University, and holds a degree in computer programming.

Dontae Bryant

Dontae Bryant

Friend (Professional Mentor)

Dontae Bryant

Friend (Professional Mentor)

Dontae Bryant grew up in the Portland, Oregon area. After high school, he attended Eastern Arizona College on a basketball scholarship and finished his collegiate career at the University of San Francisco, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Sociology. Dontae has worked with youth for over 15 years and was personally involved with the Friends of the Children - Portland program as a child.

In addition to making a difference in people's lives and giving back to the community, Dontae loves watching or attending sporting events, as well as trying out new restaurants. He is delighted to be part of the Friends of the Children - Colorado Springs program and is excited to form lasting bonds with the youth he serves.

Erich Nelson

Erich Nelson

Friend (Professional Mentor)

Erich Nelson

Friend (Professional Mentor)

Coming from Houston, Texas, Erich Nelson is an optimistic, passionate, innovative leader of fun! Erich has over 15 years of experience working with school-aged youth, most recently serving as the Director of Youth Development for the YMCA of Greater Houston. Erich is soon-to-be married to his fiancé and partner of 5 years, Daisy. Erich and Daisy have three cats who always keep them on their toes. When Erich is not in the office, you will most likely find him in the mountains on a snowboard, in a tent, or hiking through beautiful Colorado. Erich is excited to bring his passion for child development to the Friends of the Children Colorado Springs chapter.