Amelia Pace-Borah, Academic Director

Amelia Pace-Borah began her work with Free Minds in 2012Amelia updated returning to her native Austin after earning her MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago and teaching writing to college freshmen. Amelia’s first encounter with a Free Minds-type classroom came when she volunteered for a similar program on Chicago’s north side. There she met a group of students who had braved the bitter cold and multiple train lines to spend their evening unpacking Wordsworth’s, “My Heart Leaps up When I Behold.” She was hooked. Amelia is proud to work on behalf of Free Minds, where she gets to experience the transformative power of the humanities every day. Her other true loves include her daughter Mirabai, partner Andy, a daily walk, and a good cup of coffee.


Irene Salas, Program Specialist

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Irene Salas is a 2014 Free Minds alumni and a 2018 Austin Community College graduate. Born right here in Austin, Texas but raised in the panhandle, she returned to the city when she was a senior in high school, working for many years with Travis County before returning to school. Beginning college courses late in life gave her much appreciation for the power of believing in oneself. Since then, higher education has become her number one goal, and there is no better company to share that goal with than Free Minds students. Irene believes Free Minds changes individual worlds, and she’s ecstatic to be part of a team that helps students believe in their own world-changing abilities. While she’s always working on homework, she also enjoys dinners made at home by her chef-like husband Benny, as well as reading, and trying to keep up with her teenage son, Thadeus.