Danny • Engineer

Danny was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He moved to Denver in 2015 for a job and an opportunity to reinvent himself. And though it hasn’t always been an easy ride, that is exactly what has transpired over the last five years. In Denver, Danny was forced to take a pause, rest, look inward, and found room for personal growth. He even started therapy, which was a life-changing experience for him. He shared that being alone in Denver has been necessary and a good time to stop and reevaluate everything.

Today, Danny works as a cost expert for construction defect claims. He loves the four distinct seasons here and spending time in the mountains. When I asked Danny to describe Denver in one word, he replied, “ameliorating” Here’s what it means to be Danny in Denver.

Who are you? What does it mean to be you?

I am resilient. I am a reflection of the painful history and exploitation of people from the African diaspora. To be me means to have personal responsibility and obligation to progress and break generational curses for my family and our legacy. These are the things I think about constantly and carry with me everywhere I go, and with every decision I make.

What does it mean to you to be Black in Denver?

The lack of a community here has been the most challenging, but the absence of a village is the reason I moved here. Growing up in Houston, I am used to what feels like a much larger Black community, so being here comes with a sense of anonymity that I appreciate. Living without that village to lean on while navigating the challenges that life has dealt has forced me to grow, develop, and progress in ways that I would not have otherwise, and for that I am thankful. I’ve grown tremendously over the past 5 years without the crutch. This challenge has allowed me the opportunity to essentially reinvent myself. Before I moved here, I was pompous and naive. Denver has humbled me and made me more introspective.

What do you love most about living in Denver?

Houston is a hot, humid, flat place. Most activities that I participated in we’re indoors. Denver’s four distinct seasons and seemingly endless mountain range have given me an appreciation for nature. The quiet in the mountains clears my mind. Something I wouldn’t have learned had I stayed home.

How have your experiences in Denver shaped you?

My experiences have forced me to be introspective and look at myself before I’m critical of other people. I am more self-aware here.