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.

Kelly Merrigan - Assistant Director
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.

Karren Duonnolo - Special Education Teacher
Karren comes to DSS with many years of experience having worked in DPS as a SPED teacher.
Darcy Burge - Direct Care