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Josefina Raphael Milliner Advocates For Children Casa

Josefina Raphael-Milliner

Executive Director

Advocates for Children CASA

Location: Parker

Founded: 1985

Industry: Human Services Non Profit

Adopted at a young age, Josefina Raphael-Milliner faced numerous challenges throughout her life, yet she emerged as a powerful force for change. As a young single mother, she defied the odds by putting herself through high school and college, ultimately becoming a financial executive in her 20s. Her career trajectory took a meaningful turn when she felt a calling to give back to her roots in child welfare, drawing on her personal experience within the system.

Transitioning from the corporate world to the nonprofit sector, Raphael-Milliner dedicated herself to the mission of advocating for the best interest of children, which she continues to do as the executive director for Advocates for Children CASA, a nonprofit organization established in 1985 as a response to children who have been abused or neglected. The organization’s mission is to improve the lives of children and youth who have experienced abuse, neglect or other life challenges, by connecting them with volunteer advocates and activating community partnerships.

Under Raphael-Milliner’s leadership, the organization has undergone significant growth and transformation. She and her team identified a crucial need for early intervention with families, aiming to address challenges before they escalate to the point of court cases. This resulted in expanding with five additional programs, fostering prevention and a continuum of services.

In addition, Raphael-Milliner’s contributions include enhancing the financial growth of the nonprofit with the budget soaring from $1.2 million to $1.7 million. Her efforts have led to recognition as one of the Top 25 Women in Business by the Colorado Women’s Chamber and the Women in Business Hero Award by the Aurora Chamber of Commerce.

“Among all her accomplishments, Josefina takes immense pride in the cultural shift she has instigated within the organization,” said her staff. “Josefina has successfully shifted the paradigm from approaching families with judgment to one infused with empathy, and this cultural shift reflects her deep-seated belief in the power of compassion and understanding in affecting meaningful change.”

As a leader, Raphael-Milliner said she has learned to embrace change. “If I could offer advice to my younger self before stepping into the role I am in today, it would be to wholeheartedly embrace the power of discomfort and surround yourself with individuals who consistently push you beyond your comfort zone,” she said. “In those moments of unease or when you feel like you might be failing, recognize that these are the crucibles where profound learning occurs.”

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Did you know?

My secret superpower lies in my ability to create an environment where people feel comfortable opening up, even in initial encounters. I’ve noticed that individuals often share a lot of information with me, regardless of whether we’ve just met. Over the years, I’ve found this trait incredibly valuable as it allows me to see individuals through a lens of empathy and perspective.

This unique quality enables me to establish genuine connections and understand the deeper motivations and experiences of those around me. It fosters trust and facilitates meaningful interactions, whether in personal relationships or professional settings. Ultimately, this superpower serves as a foundation for building authentic connections and fostering understanding in various aspects of my life.


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