Shana – Rising Stars 2020–36

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 to Colorado, taking a job that September as a teacher with the Community Partnership for Child Development.

She’s been with CPCD ever since, and is now the Assistant Director of Child Development of the growing nonprofit. Founded in 1987 as a spinoff of Catholic Charities to manage the Head Start program in El Paso County, CPCD first served about 300 children in just one program. Today, the organization serves 1,800 children every day, with 360 employees and 75 classrooms and other facilities throughout the county.

“Shana did not choose a profession in which money is the driving force,” said her colleague Claire Sanderson. “She chose a profession where she could affect the lives of young children every day, in turn helping parents living in poverty to break that cycle and ultimately building a happier, healthier society.

“I have worked side by side with Shana for 10 years and her heart for service in this organization never ceases to amaze me. … Shana gets it — the big picture and the minute details about how to grow and push every little mind that enters our doors on to succeed in primary school.”

“I’ve always worked for nonprofits,” Lachowicz said. “Nonprofit was where I came from. I started with the classes, maybe not being able to give everybody full attention but realizing that [for these kids] if you don’t have that one person that gives a crap about you, your path is really difficult.”

Lachowicz’s focus is on children from ages 1 to 3 years old, among the most vulnerable residents of our community. She’s continued her education, and now has a doctorate in early childhood education.

“She’s dedicated her life to the service of kiddos living in poverty, and is nationally recognized as an expert in the field,” said Sanderson. “That’s not something many achieve before the age of 40.”

“Shana engages passionately,” added Colorado Springs Conservatory founding CEO Linda Weise. “A more determined, diligent, and intelligent advocate for early education cannot exist anywhere — and how fortunate are we that she lives and works in our community.”