As a young man, Diego Lujan bounced back and forth between the dusty San Luis Valley and the urban neighborhoods of Colorado Springs. The men in his family laid concrete and built roofs. Meanwhile, Lujan “ran the streets,” as he puts it. He had no desire or expectation of one day working lon…

He knew he didn’t want to be a cop and he didn’t want to be a lawyer, but finding an occupation within the criminal justice field has been important to Erick Groskopf since he was in high school. 

Stephany Garza, member engagement manager at the Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, is pretty new to the city — but the 33-year-old is already making a positive impact. Her responsibilities at the chamber include connecting members to business resources and finding ways to engage them with …

When it comes to philanthropy, Jennifer Smith is like the Energizer Bunny — she just keeps  on going. She has worked as the family outreach coordinator for the Colorado International Language Academy for the last five years, and since 2013 she’s served as president of the nonprofit she found…

Ron Sparkman was watching TV in his Myrtle Beach apartment seven years ago when he came across a show he’d never seen before — “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.” It changed his life.

With much of the nation working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, IT firms across the country are facing unprecedented challenges. The surge in traffic might slow other companies, but Amnet is helping more customers than ever — and Jessica Ostley, Amnet’s client account manager, has bee…

A gymnast as a child, Grant Jones visited Colorado Springs frequently to train at the United States Olympic Training Center. As an adult, he found the allure of those five rings and the city he loved as a youngster irresistible. So he moved here to continue to be part of the city’s Olympic t…

As a young woman in Southeast Colorado Springs, Latrina Ollie looked around and saw all the problems many others see when they visit her corner of town: higher rates of crime and poverty than most other parts of the city, a lack of economic development, and too few opportunities for young pe…

If you’ve ever ventured into the artificial caves beneath CityROCK climbing gym or tried a CaveSim mobile cave at a school or science event, you’ve had a glimpse into the mind of inventor, entrepreneur and CaveSim LLC creator and founder Dave Jackson.

When Keeley Griego graduated in 2018 from the women’s and ethnic studies program at UCCS, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do. She took a chance and signed up for Leadership Pikes Peak’s LeadershipNow! program.

Before working for Ent Credit Union, Amber Lundy was immersed in an endeavor she’s still passionate about: the care and upbringing of children.

Ashley Cornelius came to Colorado Springs from Flint, Michigan as a 3-year-old. She had been diagnosed with severe, even life-threatening asthma, and her mother decided that moving here might save her daughter’s life. Ashley has survived and thrived, forging an exceptional life and career — …

Alicia Klausmeier is prescient, fortunate or really smart — and maybe all three.  In February 2019 she opened her home-based business, Dream Accounting Solutions. She calls it a “virtual bookkeeping service.” She doesn’t come to your business, sort through your scraps of paper and misfiled b…

Creating a culture of compassion, kindness and connection is the core focus of Alex Baker’s leadership and student engagement philosophy at UCCS. Baker, who serves as the case manager for the Office of the Dean of Students, says he didn’t experience that type of inclusiveness very often grow…

Dr. Jake Cripe, 40, hopped around a bit before landing in Colorado Springs in late 2018. He’d spent some time in Hawaii, where his mom is from, and Louisiana, where his dad is from, but a good chunk of his life played out in Texas. 

Later this year, Elena Salinas plans to open a small neighborhood grocery store that will not only help provide Southeast Colorado Springs residents access to affordable fresh food, but also act as a haven for women. 

Goddess Tyescha Anglada started working with youths in New York when she herself was only 15. Anglada continues her work with young people today as the amplifier of health advocacy for the nonprofit Inside/Out Youth Services, which works to provide support, mentorship and opportunities to LG…

Traveling across the country for 15 years doing admissions work for Colorado College and Colorado State University-Fort Collins, Carlos Jiménez has a unique view on the impacts of inequitable schooling in America. 

Rising from volunteer to CEO in a span of five years is a remarkable accomplishment for anyone. For Kat Lilley-Blair, who heads up Family Promise of Colorado Springs, it’s the continuation of a remarkable journey to change her life and the lives of others.

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]