Planting Success:
How Listening to Community Yields the Best Solutions


After tirelessly advocating for those who said that solutions for significant challenges facing children and families should come from those communities closest to those challenges, The Community Solutions for Healthy Child Development Grant program was created. There are now 23 grantees within Minnesota BIPOC communities that are implementing these solutions and getting great results.

Learn how this approach which brings communities most impacted by historical trauma, structural oppression, and health inequities into the decision-making process, has and will lead to improving the measures of well-being for children of color and Indigenous children in Minnesota.  

Thursday, June 16, 2022 | 8:00am – 9:00am

Click Here to Register for this Free Virtual Event


Dianne Haulcy

Dianne Haulcy

Senior Vice President for Family Engagement, Think Small

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Dianne Haulcy joined Think Small in 2015 as the Sr. VP of Family Engagement where she oversees the administration of early learning scholarship dollars for the state of MN, Hennepin County and Northside Achievement Zone, Basic Sliding Fee for Ramsey County as well as outreach for providers and parents. Dianne has over 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector. In her history she has directed five early childhood programs all serving inner-city, low-income, ethnically diverse populations. She has overseen many human services programming in the areas of behavioral health; in-home parenting; youth outreach and out-of-school-time services; shelter and services to homeless families and individuals; and many other family and community programs.

Most recently she serves as Senior Policy Aide for Mayor Betsy Hodges working on issues of early childhood, education and youth. Part of her work includes spearheading the mayor’s Cradle to K Cabinet, focused on children prenatal to three years old to ensure they are ready for early childhood education opportunities. Dianne previously was the Chief Operating Officer of The Family Partnership. The Family Partnership merged with Reuben Lindh Family Services in 2011 where Dianne served as the Executive Director for four years. Dianne has a BA in Sociology from Spelman College and an MA in Public Affairs from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.

Dianne has worked extensively in the community. She currently serves on the board of directors for Northpoint Health and Wellness Center and previously served on the boards of Center for Communication and Development / KMOJ –FM Radio, Model Cities of St. Paul, African American Academy for Accelerated Learning and the Minnesota Council on Nonprofits. Known for her leadership in the early childhood field, Dianne serves as the Chair to the Voices and Choices for Children Coalition – a coalition of professionals of color and American Indian’s advocating on behalf of children and families of color in Minnesota, vice chair of the Governor’s Early Learning Council, and sits on the Parent Aware Advisory Committee, Early Childhood Systems Reform Work Group and is the co-chair of the Northside Achievement Zone Early Childhood Action Team.


Amanda Varley Andrea Heras

Amanda Varley

Preschool Development Grant Manager,
Minnesota Department of Education

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Amanda Varley has worked at the Minnesota Department of Education for 10 years with roles in Race to the Top, Kindergarten Entry Assessment and Early Learning Scholarships prior to becoming the state’s Preschool Development Grant Manager in 2019. Minnesota’s Preschool Development Grant is a partnership of the departments of Education, Health, Human Services and the Children’s Cabinet that aims to make it easier to get what children and families need. She is also mom to a toddler.


Andrea Heras

Early Childhood Community Educator,
Centro Tyrone Guzman

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Andrea Heras was born in New York City, USA to Ecuadorian parents. She lived in Ecuador for 5 years from 12-17 years old. Andrea is bilingual in Spanish and English. Andrea is married and has two children. She has an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, Montessori Assistant Guide Certificate, and ongoing educational trainings. Andrea worked in the area of Siembra Montessori preschool for 5 years. She joined Centro Tyrone Guzman to observe Siembra Montessori preschool for her Associate’s degree requirement. Upon concluding her observations, she joined Siembra’s team and became a Siembra’s aide in 2015. With the opportunity of growing in Education, she took the course to become a Montessori Assistant Guide. This opened up the opportunity to become a classroom assistant and also became part of the Siembra Administration team. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, Andrea started working with the community that Centro serves outside of Siembra’s preschool. She supported the families with calls and connecting them to resources, like rent, food, health and bills they needed at that moment. Currently, Andrea is providing support to families with pregnant women and/or with children from 0 – 3 years old in the Montessori Home Visiting program which is held virtually due to the ongoing Pandemic. Andrea has built positive and strong relationships with families focusing on their needs, values and respect.  

Katherine Quintuña Ying Lee

Katherine Quintuña

Community Connector,
Centro Tyrone Guzman

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Katherine Quintuña was born in Ecuador. She is the youngest of eight siblings. At the age of three she moved to New York, USA. After a year she moved to Minnesota with the majority of her family. She received a B.S. in Child Psychology and a minor in Biology. Upon graduation, she moved to Ecuador to practice her Spanish and grow deeper roots with her birth town. Recently in 2021, Katherine moved back to the states where the opportunity to use her bilingual skills and knowledge acquired in child development to support the Latine community, opened up at Centro Tyrone Guzman.

Katherine is a Community Connector in the Montessori Home Visiting Program. In the program, Katherine has been able to support families by connecting them to resources in the community for dental care, health care, postnatal care, etc. and also share her knowledge of child development and the Montessori Philosophy with them. She is also currently collaborating to create a Psychological First Aid kit for both Centro and the community it serves. Katherine continues to further her knowledge about pregnancy, postnatal care, the Montessori philosophy and child development with continued training in these different areas.


Ying Lee

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board,
Community Connections and Violence Prevention Coordinator

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Ying Lee is a Hmong American, mother, wife, daughter, and community builder.  Ying holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Services Administration and a Masters of Science in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics.

Ying has spent over 10 years focusing on advancing equity and empowering communities. Ying currently works for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, as a Community Connections and Violence Prevention Coordinator.  Ying is a analytical thinker and empathetic strategist. She is driven to intersect technology and social impact.  Ying has served on a few boards and initiatives, including Hnub Tshiab (new chia):  Hmong Women Achieving Together, and First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative. She is currently a co-chair of the Community Solutions Advisory Council.

When she’s not in the community, Ying enjoys family time, movies, camping, writing, and cooking.    


Thank You to Our Sponsors:

Think Small Institute Logo
Children's Hospital MN Logo
Minnesota Public Radio Logo
Health Partners Logo
Little Moments Count Logo

Interested in becoming a sponsor? Please email for more information