Jeresneyka Rose always has wanted to be identified as an artist first, the creator of colorful caricatures and social-activism portraits that have garnered her a bevy of customers and enthusiastic reviews on her Art by Rizzo website. But it is Rose’s community activism in feeding and housing…

Christine Costa is an architect from 9-to-5 and a woodcarver after sundown. She works in the Downtown office of RTA Architects on Tejon Street, and prior to her arriving in Colorado Springs, she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from Lawrence Technological Unive…

Raised in Tompkins County, New York, in the Finger Lakes region, Ashley Klein eventually made her way to Colorado Springs, where she now lives and works in real estate as a new-build sales consultant. Klein is the daughter of a taxidermist who owned an archery shop for 15 years. Her mother w…

Paula Andrea lives on the Southside of Colorado Springs and is passionate about human beings and their quality of life — simply, their joy. Andrea’s seemingly meandering journey took her from South America to the East Coast of the United States — to Hawaii, South Korea and eventually here to…

Laetitia Ouadah was born and raised in Strasbourg, France, on the border with Germany. She grew up trilingual — French, German and English — and studied at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers, earning a master’s in human resource management before moving to the United States in 2016. 

Lauren Ripko has coordinated some of the Front Range’s biggest festivals: Rocky Mountain Showdown, Denver’s Big Air, People’s Fair, and the Colorado Restaurant Association’s Taste of Pikes Peak.

Abragail Kappel worked in evening news production in laid back Grand Junction, and in bustling Albany, New York, before settling in Colorado Springs in 2016. Journalism was one of her first passions, Kappel says, but she’s starting a new chapter. This week, she’s taking on the role of market…

Jessi Summers has a passion for helping others, particularly those with disabilities. As the administrative aide for Councilwoman Yolanda Avila, she goes by the nickname “Eyeballs.” 

Joshua Stensrud sees a bright future for Legacy Bank, but he started with the bank at a particularly dark moment in the financial world — and right after he and his wife were hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis.

Paul Brueggemann is no stranger to the Springs — he’s been here 20 years — but his borderline obsession with the art of brewing coffee is still relatively new. He started working at Loyal Coffee in August 2018, and this week was promoted to assistant general manager of the company’s Downtown…

Jessica Beecham’s personal journey as a blind woman combined with her work with individuals with disabilities showed her that there is a need to break down barriers so that everyone has access to a healthy lifestyle.

Joshua Barrett didn’t think he’d ever be in a management position for a Comcast help desk call center in Colorado Springs. The 30-year-old began his professional life working in retail in Minnesota. But for the last 2½ years, he’s led a team of employees for the telecommunications conglomera…

When children crawl through the artificial caves that Dave Jackson has created, they’re able to have a hands-on learning experience in both science and how to safely explore caves.

Located in Southeast Colorado Springs, Kingdom Builders Family Life Center is a nonprofit that provides education and support to victims of domestic violence. Founded in 2013 by executive director Lisa Jenkins, who is herself a survivor of domestic violence, the organization has grown from a…

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By Christina Cavazos Alicia Klausmeier has a passion for helping small business owners thrive. “I love helping them get to know their finances, understand their financial statements, and really helping them be successful,” Klausmeier said. “I grew up in Colorado Springs, and this community has grown a lot since then, but we are still very […]

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By Christina Cavazos Karson Gonzales, better known as “Karson with a K,” remembers the day he passed by a skating rink on his way to junior high school and decided to ask if they needed a DJ. “I knew nothing about ‘DJing,’ except for the messing around I had done with my dad’s stereo while […]

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By Bridgett Harris When Candace Woods first came to Colorado Springs at 19, it wasn’t to stick around. She moved here in 2004 to join an international nonprofit organization that focused on relief, youth services and development — in countries all over the world.  Woods spent five years working in countries in Asia, including Thailand, […]

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By Griffin Swartzell Molly McClure took up the family trade. She’s a painter, just like her dad, Riley, and she’s always had a love of portraiture.  Locals may have seen some of the portraits she’s shown in various exhibitions since she became a full-time artist in 2016. But more recently, she’s shifted to larger pieces […]

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By Griffin Swartzell People always think Keyshon Cooks is older than he is — but the new community coordinator for the Colorado Springs Council of Neighbors and Organizations is only 23.  Cooks is a native of Colorado Springs’ Southeast. He graduated from Colorado State University in 2019 with a bachelor’s in communications and a minor […]

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By Griffin Swartzell Elizabeth Sottile, manager of member services and events for USA Karate, isn’t a martial arts practitioner. Her background is in sports medicine — she earned her bachelor’s of science degree in sports medicine from Springfield College in Massachusetts — but during her senior year, she realized she wasn’t passionate about being a […]