Lisa identifies as a biracial woman born to teenage parents—a Mexican-American mother and African-American father. Her father earned his GED and was a U.S. Army veteran. Lisa graduated of North High School, where she participated in tennis and debate. On her website she mentions that growing up, she “also experienced the brutality of poverty and discrimination. I lived in public housing, and I endured the traumas of generational abuse, homelessness and, later, interpersonal violence. I am a survivor.”
Lisa was a young single parent, who struggled to make ends meet and put food on the table. She attended college full-time while working two part-time jobs, so she turned to public assistance and public health programs to support her son. During this time on she says, she “was determined to overcome the discrimination and stigma of poverty, while also providing him with a safe and secure home.”
Lisa is a graduate of Metropolitan State University with a Bachelor’s degree in English. Lisa received her Master’s degree in Liberal Studies, focusing on Native American Studies, from the University of Denver and then earned her law degree from the University of Colorado Boulder School of Law. Her Doctorate in Education is from the University of Colorado School of Education and Human Development. Lisa currently serves as the Executive Director of Emerge Colorado —a nonprofit to recruit and train, democratic women to run for office. She is also a faculty member at Regis University and CU Boulder.