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Jessica “Jessie” Pocock was homeless at 13. She couch-surfed in unsafe places while struggling with substance abuse. At 17, she got sober, and this year she’s celebrating 20 years of sobriety.

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Ellie Red Cloud wants to leave a mark on her community by helping social impact companies generate millions of dollars that will, in turn, allow them to help others.

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Carrie McKee enjoys being a part of Coloradans’ lives and being trusted to share their stories with thousands of people around the state.

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After more than 21 years climbing the ladder in the insurance industry, Debra Dean’s career was a picture of corporate success.

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If you ask Dr. Detra Duncan what her full-time job is, she’d likely tell you she’s a public health officer with Spectrum Healthcare Partners. The licensed dietitian and Fountain resident consults local health care providers to ensure nutritional services are up to par.

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During her 14 years with Visit Colorado Springs, Amy Long has earned a reputation as someone who is able to handle a crisis in a calm, professional and effective manner.

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When Yolanda Avila moved home to Colorado Springs in 2011, she was struck by the lack of public transportation, sidewalks and businesses in the Southeast. So she jumped in to make a difference and give back to her community.

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Susan Wheelan, director of El Paso County Public Health, has been in crisis mode since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States.

Throughout her decades-long career leading independent living centers, Patricia Yeager has fought to change public perceptions and empower those with disabilities.

Laura Neumann doesn’t have to worry about leaving a legacy in Colorado Springs — she’s already forged a path that few will forget. 

When Patricia Cameron hiked the Colorado Trail this summer, she saw few people of color around her. That’s something she’s looking to change as she strives for a more equitable outdoors.

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In Erin Miller’s childhood, technology was a mainstay — and it’s easy to draw a line from that start to the work she does today. 

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Stephany Rose Spaulding recalls one of her first in-person interviews 10 years ago for her teaching position at UCCS. The Chicago native was told of all the living things that make the area home, including plenty of deer — and the occasional mountain lion.

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Higher education is rarely a solo venture, and Antonio Huerta knows this better than most. Huerta’s father, a migrant farm worker born in Mexico, changed the course of his future children’s lives for the better when he decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree — an accomplishment that would have been impossible if not for Huerta’s […]

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A nonprofit’s core mission rests as much in the hands of the employees as the community. For a nonprofit to do all the good it can, its board needs to hire and retain the right people for the job. But that isn’t always easy. There’s a certain public perception of how nonprofits work that lumps […]

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Surviving and escaping domestic abuse demands an incredible strength and reliance on community; the effort is nothing short of titanic. Recovering is no less a feat. But what comes next? Kristen Faith started Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence in late 2011, while she was earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism at San Diego State […]

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It’s hard to miss Chrissy Williams’ ambition to improve those around her. In her work at Ent Credit Union and out in the community, Williams knows her efforts have an impact — and she leads by example. It’s a lesson she says she learned throughout grade school, where her teachers built a positive foundation and […]

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Ashley McNeely recognized at an early age she’d one day help people financially. McNeely’s grandparents raised her and provided a stable childhood. But when Ashley was 11, her grandfather died. Financial hardship followed. “My grandmother didn’t know what to do; she didn’t have resources and didn’t know who to turn to,” McNeely said. “When I […]

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Zac Egeler is defined by his faith — it both sustains and guides him. “I believe in Jesus Christ,” he said. “My faith is what drives me to get up and make a difference in the world.” The Colorado Springs native says his Christian faith is part of the reason why he wanted to work […]

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Few of us are fortunate enough to find our career path early, and fewer still find the job and organization of our dreams on the first try. Shana Lachowicz is one of the fortunate few. After graduating from Colorado Christian University in 2006, Lachowicz took some time off and traveled the country. She soon returned […]

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Shane Sherman was born “dirt poor,” as he says, into a family where no one had ever graduated college. “My dad left when I was 4, and my mom worked at a florist shop,” he says. “We didn’t have much. I’m the first in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree, to earn a master’s […]

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Ian Hancock was a puzzling applicant on paper: What, Vice President Wylie Lewis wondered, did someone with a background in e-commerce want with a yard staff member position at Bill’s Equipment & Supply Inc.? That question was quickly answered: When a branch manager position opened up at the construction equipment supplier’s Platte Avenue location in […]

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When students question whether they really belong at Pikes Peak Community College, when they struggle with cultural or socioeconomic gaps, when they worry about their citizenship status or when they just need an empathetic ear, Ben Gallegos-Pardo is there. And when he offers advice, they can count on it being good. “It’s all about sharing […]

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Danielle Gaffney has made a name for herself at Stockman Kast Ryan + Co and in the Springs by helping her clients to plan for the future and her colleagues to stay connected. “I’m an accountant … which doesn’t always turn into being in the community,” she says. “I think a lot of people think […]

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Reanna Werner has always had a passion for people — so it’s fitting she’s made her career working in the field of human resources. The 39-year-old owner of consulting firm HR Branches got her introduction to the industry when she was barely old enough to drive. “I actually started my career in HR when I […]

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Zuleika Johnson came to the Springs from New York City to live with her older sister, Cinthya Lucas, and for a change of pace. But looking at her résumé, she brought the work ethic and discipline she learned surviving the New York rat race along with her. In a brief two years with UCCS, she’s […]

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Julie Ramirez is the first to say she has big shoes to fill. Her father, Julio Cesar Ramirez, was a formidable advocate for Fayetteville, North Carolina, until his death in 2016 at age 54. The senior Ramirez, a native of Linares, Mexico, and a retired Green Beret, elevated Fayetteville’s Mexican-American contingency in the annual International […]

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Brandon Eldridge thinks of himself as “almost a native” of Colorado Springs. He’s been involved in and dedicated to this community since arriving here in 1998. “My Dad was in the Army, and he was stationed here,” Eldridge recalled. “We moved from Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, and I’ve been here ever since.” After graduating […]

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Each year, Noah Botkin invites a group of people to a “Friendsgiving” potluck dinner. But it’s not just food and fellowship that brings them together. The friends choose a local charity, dedicate their support and help raise funds for the organization — and that event typifies Botkin’s unique and creative approach to giving back. According […]

Long before she came to work at the Space Foundation Discovery Center, Rachel English was fascinated with science and history. “I’ve always enjoyed [history],” English said. “It’s people telling stories about themselves as a way of understanding each other and understanding ourselves.” The 28-year-old is a Colorado Springs native who graduated from Air Academy High […]

Matt Kubiak has a track record of achievement. A runner in high school and college, he earned an endorsement from Reebok and competed professionally for several years. He was also a professional rodeo cowboy until an injury ended that career. “As an athlete, I was very much focused on myself,” he said. But after the […]

Nico de Vries knows what it’s like to be without a voice. The Miami native has battled a stutter all his life, but it was that hurdle that ultimately drove him toward his purpose: educating young people. A graduate of the University of Florida, de Vries earned a bachelor’s degree in physiology and a master’s […]

Corrie Smith has always been drawn to people who need someone in their corner — and she has a knack for helping them tackle big issues in practical ways. The signs of her vocation were there, in her bachelor’s degree in social work from Indiana’s Taylor University and her master’s in crisis response and trauma […]

Those close to Justin Hermes say his real estate career is about far more than the commission check he receives at the end of each transaction. “If his clients aren’t raving fans throughout the process, he feels like he has failed,” wrote nominator Martha Marzolf, managing broker of RE/MAX Properties Inc., where Hermes has been […]

Jini Bornes is helping unite people of color in a new and positive way, through her social enterprise business, MyBlackColorado.com. “She is creating sweeping changes in the landscape of this community,” said her nominator, Rodney Gullatte. “She’s inspiring other women business owners to reach and achieve.” Bornes owns BornesPro Media with her husband, Brandon, who […]

Sam Minneti is a storyteller. But you won’t find her work in books, nor will you see it in theaters. She tells her clients’ stories through her work with Design Rangers, where she’s a partner, project manager and content strategist. Her work has earned her a strong professional reputation and a fair few awards — […]

Stephanie Adams has one of the most visible workspaces in Colorado Springs. In fact, if you live, work in, or frequently visit our downtown, you’ve probably walked past Stephanie’s lair a dozen times. She’s the site director at UCCS Downtown, a ground floor space on Tejon Street just south of Colorado Avenue. To passersby, it […]

Rebekah Gans may not be a Colorado Springs native, but she’s just as invested in bettering her community as anyone from the Centennial State. Born in northern California, the 31-year-old came to Olympic City USA more than a decade ago to attend Colorado College, where she earned her degree in biological anthropology. But after graduation, […]