Your Conversation With: 9News Leader of the Year Lydia Prado
Gain insight into how to follow your passion, meet your business goals and give back to your community by asking metro area leaders who have done just that at Your Conversation With. Also network with fellow business and civic leaders and learn from the top of the town at this complimentary program.
Meet Your Guest: Lydia Prado
When people make assumptions about Lydia Prado, she proves them wrong. Lydia was born into a large family of migrant farm workers in the San Gabriel Valley, just east of Los Angeles. Her parents were fierce advocates for equity and instilled a healthy skepticism of the status quo in Lydia and her siblings. Growing up, she was challenged to work hard, embrace her own curiosity and advocate for herself.
The lessons she learned in that eastside home enabled her to defy the expectations of those who told her that girls “like her” don’t achieve any goals. These experiences motivated her to chart a new path for herself. And they continue to inspire her leadership style today.
Lydia came to Denver to get her master’s and doctorate degrees in psychology at the University of Denver. When she finished her education, she stayed on campus as a researcher and faculty member. At the University of Denver, she incorporated injustice and disparities into her work. Specifically, she became interested in community-based participatory research and creating more representative processes to include community members in projects that impacted them.
This desire to engage, include and uplift community leaders would become a hallmark of Lydia’s servant leadership style. During her time at the Mental Health Center of Denver, she developed her inclusive approach. Of Lydia’s many accomplishments as director of cultural competence and vice president of child & family service, she spearheaded the development of the Dahlia Campus for Health and Well-Being, exemplifying her commitment to thoughtful community change.
The Dahlia Campus is an innovative community center that promotes well-being for all individuals in and around Northeast Denver. In the planning and execution of this project, Lydia met with hundreds of community members to ask what they wanted to see out of the project. These relationships were essential in creating a space by and for Northeast Denverites. The finished product is a campus that provides an open space for children and families in the neighborhood to connect with each other, learn new skills and find the help they need.
Today, Lydia leads community change as the executive director of Lifespan Local, a nonprofit activating community-driven solutions to collectively identify challenges by partnering across sectors, breaking barriers and elevating community voices. The organization reimagines what’s possible in Denver by maximizing sustainable assets within neighborhoods and creating community spaces where wellness thrives.
Lydia’s optimism, tenacity and steadfast commitment to creating a better, more equitable Denver serves as a model for leaders across the city. When she’s not busy holding community conversations over coffee, she serves on the boards of HealthONE, Denver Preschool Program and Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation.
Lydia Prado understands that the status quo isn’t serving all Denverites. She is a diligently researched, constantly questioning community leader who knows we can do better, and she’ll lead the way to get us there.
Fee: No Cost