Zana Molina

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Zana Molina

Title: Program Specialist
Division: Court Consulting Services
Office Location: Denver
Started at NCSC: November 2016

"I love that I can help implement change."

Zana, whose unusual first name came from a family friend with the same name, started her career at the Colorado Administrative Office of the Courts before she came to work at the National Center. Born in Dallas and reared about an hour west of Boulder, Colorado, she received undergraduate and graduate degrees in criminal justice from the University of Colorado-Denver. She lives in Denver with her husband Buddy, who she met at a music store at a mall near Denver when she was 17. She dreams of becoming a judge.

So when did you know you wanted to become a judge? Oh, I’m not exactly sure. Growing up, I just loved Law & Order SVU.

What do you find most interesting about what you do? I love that I can help implement change.

Speaking of change, what one decision did you make that changed the course of your life? This may sound crazy, but I went to the mall a lot when I was 17. (Laughs.) I met the man who became my husband. He was working at Hot Topic, which used to be a music store.

Excluding work, what are you most proud of? My level of maturity now compared to my teen years. I didn’t always respect my parents. I didn’t respect the value of money.

What’s something interesting about you that most people don’t know? I make jewelry. I’ve made some cute pizza slice earrings and donut earrings.

Have you ever met anyone famous? Sonya Sotomayor. She had just wrapped up her speech at CU Denver and began to walk up and down the stairs to shake hands. She only ended up going up and down a few rows of bleachers, but I was fortunate enough to have my husband help her up a couple of stairs before I shook her hand, and I said, "Thank you so much for everything you do and for coming to speak with us," or something along those lines. It was a quick encounter, but it meant so much to me.

What do you like most and least about Denver? Most, that the downtown is so walkable, and least, how dry the air is there. So many of the plants there die in the winter. A lot of the bushes turn brown.

Favorite movie? This is professionally embarrassing, but I love all the Twilight movies.

Favorite book? Anything in the true-crime genre.

Regrets? Not having gone to law school yet. But there’s time.