Hope Academy


In 2015, we opened our third campus in the Denver metro area. After two years of research on working with teen girls who have experienced complex trauma, we put together a comprehensive academic and therapeutic model to fit their diverse needs. We help fill in the emotional and educational gaps unique to each student, focusing on individualized academic education, spiritual and emotional development, health and wellness, creative expression, and equine therapy. To learn more click HERE for additional details regarding this new initiative.

For more information, referrals, media, or questions contact Director: Sara Bratton 

For more information about volunteering at Hope Academy contact volunteer coordinator/admin support: Shannon McGhee 

Or you can contact our main offices at
P.O. Box 140069, Denver, CO 80214


To contact Ms. Bratton please fill out and submit this form:

Staff Bio's
Sara Bratton - Director


Ms. Bratton is a third-generation Colorado native, and both of her grandmothers taught in one-room schoolhouses.  She graduated from Colorado College with a degree in History in 1987, and through the years, she taught Social Studies to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders.

She was a consistent volunteer in her daughters’ schools, and joined Denver Street School as a volunteer in 2010, starting the Women’s Leadership Circle and the Birthday Box program.  Sara became a member of the Denver Street School Board in 2011.  In 2013, when her daughter shared her missions project on human trafficking in Denver, Sara was forever changed.

She went on a learning journey, attending conferences and classes learning about sex trafficking of minors in the United States, and meeting the major players in the anti-trafficking movement in Colorado.  In 2014, she took a class on Human Trafficking and did an Independent Research Project on educational options available to minor survivors of sex trafficking throughout the United States.  She was part of the team that put together Hope Academy and when Hope opened in June 2015, she was the first Academic Director.  In January 2016, she took over as Director of Hope Academy.

Since becoming the Director, she has presented on trafficking at Sequoia High School in Redwood City, CA, the 2017 CASA Convention, 2017 SHIFT Conference, 2017 Colorado Facility Schools Training, and as a member of multiple anti-trafficking panels.  She’s so WonderBread she hurts, but the girls at Hope have “toasted” her!  Ms. Bratton is passionate about Hope Academy and feels that this is exactly the job God has prepared her her entire life to do.


Shannon McGhee - Volunteer Coordinator/Admin Support
  • Colorado Native
  • Public Relations degree from the University of Colorado at Denver
  • Over 25 years combined experience: Volunteer Coordination, Marketing, Writing, Community Relations, and Communications
  • Through a series of God-directed events, joined the Hope Academy initiative as a volunteer in October 2014 and became a staff member in April 2016
  • Thrives on being a ‘behind the scene’ worker bee
  • Learning to follow where God leads me and to embrace His blessing.




Kayla Figueroa - Education Director


Kayla Figueroa has worked with at-risk youth for close to 10 years. As a Denver Street School alumni, Kayla understands what the many forms of at-risk experiences look like.  Graduating College with a degree in Criminal Justice, Kayla has worked in various forms of the justice field including truancy court, mental health, and residential placement facilities.

Kayla is currently the Academic Director at Hope Academy where she creates unique graduation plans alongside the girls at Hope helping them achieve their specific educational goals. Kayla is moved  about the power of changed lives through Jesus Christ and also trauma-informed care


Karren Duonnolo - Special Education Teacher
Karren comes to DSS with many years of experience having worked in DPS as a SPED teacher.
Crystal Larson - Social Worker


Crystal was born and raised by her two loving parents in Half Moon Bay, California a small town south of San Francisco. Crystal graduated with honors from George Fox University in Oregon with a Bachelors in Social Work in 2014.

Shortly after she moved to Portland, Oregon and began her career working with transition age youth experiencing houselessness and mental health issues. Crystal completed her Master of Social Work in 2016 and 2 weeks later Crystal and her husband Jake moved to Denver, Colorado for Jake to pursue his Masters in Education and become a high school math teacher.

Crystal has worked for the past year as a social worker with youth transitioning out of foster care providing case management and direct counseling. Crystal joined the Hope Academy team in November of 2017 and is honored to get to work with such an amazing staff and to support the girls in our school in achieving educational and personal success. Crystal loves getting to work with teenagers and that there is never a dull moment here at Hope. Crystal deeply believes that every person is capable of change and feels honored to get to watch God’s work up close and personal on a daily basis.