Our Mission

IOYS builds access, equity, and power with LGBTQIA2+ young people, through leadership, advocacy, community-building, education, and peer support.

Our Vision

Wholeness. Inside and Out.

Our Values










Our History

When Regina Dipadova founded Inside Out in 1990, it was in the heyday of Focus on the Family and Colorado Springs’ reputation as a city of hate. Dipadova recognized that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, queer, questioning and two-spirit (LGBTQIA2+) youth in the Pikes Peak region are at highest risk in their peer group for various health-related problems, including drug and alcohol abuse, school drop-out, physical abuse, sexual abuse, homelessness, and suicide. To address the needs of the LGBTQIA2+ community Dipadova worked with the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment’s (EPCDHE) McMaster Center for Drug and Alcohol Treatment to start the Inside Out Program for LGBTQIA2+ youth.

The program offered support and recreational activities for LGBTQIA2+ youth as well as counseling for drug and alcohol problems. In September 1995, the Board of Inside Out was formed and began to seek support for program expansion and an increase in services for LGBTQIA2+ youth as a 501(c)3 non-profit. In 1997 Inside Out Youth Services became a nonprofit and expanded their impact. Inside Out continues its work creating a safe space for LGBTQIA2+ youth and their allies, and promoting education and outreach into the El Paso County region.

Impact by the numbers


Visits by 249 unique youth to our programs in 2020, including our in-person & digital programs.


Unique individuals served by our COVID-19 Direct Aid fund, receiving grocery deliveries, housing assistance, and medical support


Of Inside Out participants surveyed reported positive effects of our programs and services, including healthier relationships, stress management, and reduced usage of tobacco and other substances


community members trained by IOYS on how to provide safe space and talk to young people about topics like sexuality, marijuana, and depression. One trusted adult in a young person’s life can reduce their risk of suicide by 40%


therapy sessions provided in 2020. Therapy sessions are free for our youth to ensure they get access to the resources they need.


people reached through outreach programs about LGBTQIA2+ youth, including Medicaid providers, police officers, clinicians, teachers, students, parents, educators, and lawmakers

Why It matters


About 9 out of every 10 LGBTQIA2+ youth report experiencing bias-based bullying or harassment


Transgender youth are more than 5 times more likely to contemplate, attempt, or complete suicide than their peers


Of Inside Out youth are currently experiencing homelessness

“Inside Out helps me express thoughts and feelings I am unable to express at home or anywhere else.”

– L., Age 13

Governor Polis and First Gentleman Marlon Reis speak to Inside Out’s mission and impact.

Know the Numbers

Download our 2020 annual report which shares our impact in detail and provides more about our youth and our supporters.

Read our most recent tax audit.

Awards & Recognition

2021: Inside Out won the Mental Health and Wellness award
from Colorado Publishing House.
Inside Out awarded Bronze for CS Indy Best of Colorado Springs Nonprofits category during 30-year anniversary

2020: The AIDS Coalition for Education Recognized Inside/Out Youth Services for Programs Making a Difference in Preventing HIV/AIDS

2019: CO State Proclamation in recognition of Ally Up!

2019: COS City Proclamation in recognition of Inside Out Youth Services

2018: Indy Inclusion Award: Legacy Award Winner

2016: Indy Inclusion Award

2015: El Paso County Public Health award for youth tobacco prevention

2014: Judy Shepard Family Values Award

2014: Organization of the Year COSPride Award

2011: The Steve and Dorothy Humanitarian Award

2008: Colorado Springs Assets for Youth


Jessie Pocock

Executive Director she/her

Jessie Pocock is a queer activist committed to the empowerment of young people. Prior to her work at IOYS, she worked as a grassroots organizer with One Colorado, executive director of the LEAD foundation, and the Vice-Chair of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Pocock earned her Bachelor’s in Sociology at Colorado College and a Master’s of Public Administration at UCCS. She was given the 2014 Non-profit Entrepreneur Award of the Year by the Colorado Springs Independent and Pikes Peak Community Foundation, and the 2020 Diversity Equity and Inclusion Award by Pikes Peak Community College, and was named a 2020 Woman of Influence by the Colorado Springs Business Journal. Pocock is also a published poet and committed experimental lyrical essayist.

Joy Armstrong

Program Director she/her

Joy Armstrong joins the amazing staff of Inside Out Youth Services with 15 years of experience in the museum world, most recently after a decade as an award-winning curator of art at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. In her professional life and beyond, she has dedicated herself to creative, community, and personal development, applying this passion to her work with artists as well as non-profit organizations. Since returning to Colorado Springs in 2008, she has spent her time nurturing and enabling new bodies of artwork, planning and facilitating community events, and breaking down barriers to active cultural participation with the fervent belief that we all belong and have the power make a difference.


Armstrong is honored to have been part of not only the FAC team, but also Imagination Celebration, Harley’s Hope Foundation, Art on the Streets, and the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region. She is enthusiastic about exploring authentic community engagement through Inside Out and to support this tremendous organization by increasing donor awareness, sustainable support, and build robust collaborations. Love and healing for all living beings is possible through unabashed self-expression and embrace of difference!


Armstrong holds a B.A. from the University of Denver, an M.A. from Kent State University, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She lives in her hometown of Colorado Springs with her husband Mike, rescue dogs Mika and Ralph, and kitties Bert and Opal. In her free time, she loves to cook (and eat!), explore the world, play the piano, sing, practice yoga, dance, and spend time with her beloved family and friends.

This position is generously funded by capacity building support from CenterLink, the community of LGBT centers.