Emily Griffith Foundation Board Member Highlights Importance of Women in Trade : Emily Griffith Technical College

Emily Griffith Foundation Board Member Highlights Importance of Women in Trade

Emily Griffith Foundation Board Member Highlights Importance of Women in Trade

Paula Sandavol

Paula Sandoval is no stranger to hard work.

For the past 25 years, she’s owned and operated Tamales by La Casita, a Denver-based restaurant she started with her late husband.

She also spent eight years on the Colorado State Senate and was a Denver City Council Member. Now, she is on the Emily Griffith Foundation board and sees how Emily Griffith Technical College can be a pathway to success for women. 

“Emily Griffith has had the history of being open to everybody, including women in trades that in the past have not been traditional for us,” Paula says. “Since it’s Women’s History Month, I would say that it really assists in helping women to be represented in those areas.”

She grew up in an era where trade jobs weren’t as open to women as they are now.

“It’s nice to see now that there are all of these opportunities out there for women, and I hope it continues that way,” she says. “I look at other parts of the world now where things are actually going backwards for some women.”

In this country, that’s not the case, she says.

“That’s not to say we’re in a utopia for women, we’re not yet,” Paula says. “There’s always a struggle to get women into (certain) professions, even to get them interested in it.”

That’s why Paula enjoys her work with the foundation. She wants to see people thrive in their chosen professions, especially women.

Though both Paula and her late husband, Paul Sandavol, had careers in the public sector, they also opened a restaurant together. She’s proud of their culinary work, creating recipes and building robust menus. 

She highlights that Emily Griffith Technical College has an extensive culinary program with hands-on training for jobs in the food service industry. 

“I’ve always had a soft spot for Emily Griffith and for education because I think that when you talk about educational opportunities, they’re not the same for everyone,” she says. “I don’t think women should be confined to any one profession.” 

Paula is proud that Emily Griffith continues to open the door of opportunity to women.