Yvette Plummer Burkhalter

Executive Director

I have been the Executive Director for THRIVE Center for 13 years and am a proud parent of an 18 years old son who is on the spectrum. I have proudly served on the Colorado Special Education Advisory Committee and served as a co-chair on the Colorado Inter-Agency Coordinating Council and as a co-chair for JFK Partners Advisory Council. I also currently serve on the advisory board for Parent to Parent of Colorado.  As a parent of a child who receives special education services I understand the victories and challenges that comes with this role.  It brings me joy to work for an organization like THRIVE Center that helps family. I feel truly blessed for the opportunity.  In my free time I like to read, attend concerts and travel. 

Project Director

 I was born and raised in New York and a proud father of two daughters.  I became an ordained pastor in 2015. Before I became the Project Director for Redeem, I worked for Comcast as a Circuit Provisioner.  I attend Colorado Christian Fellowship where I began serving as an usher which led me to become a member of a small men’s group called God’s Posse.  This small group of men helped feed my desire to serve people in the community by helping others with small chores, moving, yard work, and minor household repairs.  I also served at the Denver Rescue Mission as a mentor, helped with Toys for Tots, and delivered Thanksgiving dinners, and much more. I am very happy to continue the act of service by helping and working with young boys to reach their full potential. 


Derek Burkhalter


Erin Cocchiaro

Administrative Assistant & Outreach Coordinator

Hi! My name is Erin Cocchiaro and I am currently attending Metropolitan State University majoring in psychology and social work.  I first started with Thrive 2 years ago as an intern helping with the Project Independence student workshops. Currently I am helping Thrive ensure that families and professionals receive the information and resources necessary to enable them to make informed decisions; working together to improve educational results for students with disabilities. 

Parent Advisor

Hello I am Debra Warner. I am a the Parent Advisor at THRIVE and most importantly a single mother to 3 wonderful children. I am currently navigating the Special Education system with two of them. I have worked in the education world for 15 years as a para educator and currently working on my Masters in Special Education. I looking forward to utilizing my experience and education to help other parents navigate the Special Education system.


Debra Warner

Lori Parker

Lori Parker

Bi-lingual Parent Advisor/Trainer

Lori holds a master in social work and succeeded in this field, working with high risk families regarding resource procurement and system navigation, as well as experience with systems and services that serve children and families with disabilities.  She has provided many trainings regarding parent advocacy, navigating systems and person centered planning.  Lori has worked on many teams in the past, from providing family services from a team approach to working as a co-trainer for 4-12 hour trainings to coordinating large events of 600 people with a “co” project organizer.   Additionally, she speaks Spanish and was a mother of an 20 year old son whose primary diagnosis was spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy.

Program Coordinator

Kamal Ararso is a doctoral student at the University of Denver. He holds master’s degree from Arizona State University and Bachelor’s degree from University of Oregon. Kamal is a higher education professional with over five years of experience working within higher education institutions in various capacities including project management, teaching, academic coaching, mentoring, coordinating events, and fundraising for not for profit organizations. 

Kamal Ararso

Kamal Ararso

Jahsun Collier

Jahsun Collier

Clerk/Media Support

My name is Jahsun Collier and I recently graduated from Eaglecrest High School.  I received support and services from Special Education services during my time in school. I intend to go to college in the fall to become a video editor.  In the meantime, I am happy to help and support other kids who receive special education services like I did by working for THRIVE Center.