Anna Jo Garcia Haynes provided visionary leadership to help improve the lives of children in Colorado. Haynes spearheaded bringing the Head Start program to Denver. She founded and serves as President Emeritus of Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers, Denver’s oldest and largest provider of subsidized quality early childhood care and education serving low-income children and families. She also co-founded the Colorado Children’s Campaign, a non-profit, nonpartisan, data-driven child advocacy organization that has been the voice of children in Colorado for 30 years. She was also a founding mother and the third President of the Women’s Foundation of Colorado, the voice of women in Colorado.
In addition, Haynes has been a driving force in many state and city initiatives, including the Denver Preschool Program, which provides tuition credits to make high-quality preschool possible for every four-year-old in Denver. She has been actively involved in government since chairing the Congress of Racial Equality, which worked to integrate business and education during the Civil Rights Era. She has been a trusted advisor to every Colorado governor and Denver mayor since the 1980’s on education and child care matters, has served on Mayor’s and Governor’s Transition Teams, and serves as co-chair of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission. Haynes has also made a difference at the national level, as a consultant to the White House Conference on Children and Youth, and as a member of the Congressional Caucus for Women’s Issues.
Haynes’ achievements have been recognized in Colorado and nationally, including the Susan B. Anthony Award for her work with women; the Hannah G. Solomon Award from the National Council of Jewish Women; YMCA’s Martin Luther King Human Dignity Award; a Congressional Tribute by a U.S. Representative in recognition of “civic leadership and invaluable service;” and a Statement for the Record by a US Senator. Mile High United Way created an award named for her, the “Anna Jo Haynes Caring about Kids Award,” that honors community leaders making significant contributions on behalf of children.