OCR's Lived Experts Action Panel (LEAP)

The goals of the LEAP are to provide young adults opportunities to: share experiences, feedback, and ideas about OCR attorneys and court with supportive peers and adults; grow personal and professional networks; learn about topics they want to learn about, as well as what OCR does and what OCR attorneys do; gain skills and knowledge they can use in their everyday lives; and participate in OCR’s efforts to create and improve laws, policies, and OCR attorney practice in ways that serve the best interests of youth.

Photo of Maya Chandler
Maya Chandler

I grew up in Crested Butte, CO before going to school in Denver. I currently attend the University of Colorado Denver studying Political Science and Public Policy with a minor in Legal Studies. I have always been passionate about being a lawyer and hope to help change laws for bettering youth in foster care.

Shelby Costello

Shelby is a 5th generation Denver native. Her goals are to make it far in life heading in the social work direction and bettering the foster care community. Being a former foster child, and having a rough come up on and off the streets and in the system, she aspires to achieve eventually opening her own second chance center.

Photo of April McMullen
April McMullen

My name is April. I’m involved in a committee OCR promotes called LEAP, actively involved in Chaffee and am a young adult consultant for HUD. I currently work at Grease Monkey as a hood technician and attend Red Rocks Community College in hopes of receiving a radiology technician certification and Associates of Science degree. My hobbies include a variety of arts, hiking, and bicycling.

Photo of Alexander Miller
Alexander Miller

My name is Alexander Miller. I was born in Denver Colorado, where I currently reside. I graduated from Gateway Highschool with my diploma in 2018. During my matriculation I was involved with multiple different placements in foster care. My lived experience provided me a lot of strength and maturity as I became more involved with making change in the foster care system. I have been involved with Project Foster Power, which is a youth led organization that brings change to the foster care system. In 2019 we passed the Sibling Bill of Rights. The Sibling Bill of Rights is a bill passed into law which establishes certain rights to keep the siblings together/connected where I was actively involved in that process. I have had immense work with Arapahoe County Chafee, building my life skills and attending multiple events to make change. I was involved with Metro Youth Alliance which is a youth advisory board making change in the community. All this work brought me closer to my motivation of making change in the system. I am currently involved with the Lived Experts Action Panel (LEAP) through OCR and that has motivated a very positive direction in me making a difference.

Lindsay Alexandria Saunders-Velez

Lindsay Alexandria Saunders-Velez is a former foster child and youth from the Division of Youth Services. She is now the Founder and Senior Executive Director of the Colorado Justice Advocacy Network, an organization that aims to provides equal to access to justice to individuals involved in the juvenile and criminal justice systems, safeguard the rights and liberties of such individuals, and resolve matters in a timely and efficient manner. Lindsay also serves as a member of the Young Adults Council of the Office of the Child’s Representative and a stakeholder group through the Colorado Child Protection Ombudsman. She is currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Metropolitan State University Denver and has a long term goal of earning a Juris Doctorate.