Elsa Holguín is the President and CEO of the Denver Preschool Program and oversees all organization activities and, in consultation with the board of directors, provides direction and leadership toward the achievement of DPP’s overall mission, vision and strategic plan.
Elsa grew up in a small town in Chihuahua, Mexico and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was 17. Elsa learned English while attending high school and college in Denver, where she worked as an intern in the nonprofit sector. That internship eventually led her to the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, and then to Rose Community Foundation where she served as the senior program officer for Child & Family Development for 21 years.
Elsa played an instrumental role in the creation of Early Milestones Colorado, the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado, the Denver Opportunity Youth Initiative, Colorado’s Office of Early Childhood, Borealis Philanthropy, and the Skills to Compete Coalition. A former member and co-chair of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission, Elsa currently serves on the board of Tools of the Mind and the Preschool Policy Leadership Committee.
Elsa’s pride and joy are her husband, two daughters, three stepsons, and four grandchildren.
More about Elsa
- Hometown: Nuevo Casas Grandes, Chihuahua, Mexico.
- Education: M.A. in Public Administration from University of Colorado at Denver and B.S. in Finance from Metropolitan State University.
- First job: Janitor in downtown Denver where I supervised a team of 45 at age 17 because they needed a bilingual manager.
- What do you do in your spare time: Family time with husband and very large family. I also enjoy meditation, walking, gardening, and reading.
- What do you like best about living in Denver: The people – a welcoming community with great neighborhoods and amazing food.
- Favorite song to sing in the car: All kinds, I love music.
- Weirdest thing you have ever eaten: Dried, ground snake.
- Nickname: Elsita
- Favorite subject in school: Math.
- What did you want to be when you grew up: A scientist, I guess a social scientist is still in that category.
- If you were a crayon, what color would you be: Blue, the color of sea and sky.