Staff

Jessie Pocock

Executive Director

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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

Development Director

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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.

Candace Woods

Youth Program Manager

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Candace Woods has lived in Colorado Springs since 2004 and loves calling this city home. She holds a Master’s in Divinity from Iliff School of Theology focused on Social Justice & Ethics, a BA in History/Political Science focused on the Middle East, and was previously the youth director at a local progressive church, and a Chaplains’ Fellow at Colorado College. Candace is a trained comprehensive sexuality educator and has a number of years of experience as a community organizer. She has been a supporter of Inside Out for many years and loves serving the needs of queer and allied youth and young adults in the city. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, gardening, herbalism and her flock of urban chickens. 

Goddess Tyescha

Amplifier of Health Advocacy

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Goddess Tyescha is a community influencer who strives toward justice, in order to empower people that have been historically disenfranchised by the current structures in society. She has over 15 years of experience in local communities with youth and young adults. Her last position was a formal teacher was at Liberty High School (D20) where she instructed Social Studies and Psychology. She is a proud parent, partner and friend.
 
Originally from Harlem, New York, Tyescha has worked in Harlem and the South Bronx on campaigns with local youth focusing on Education Reform ( School to Prison Pipeline and Social Justice GED), Environmental Justice ( water quality and food access) and Immigration (the original Dream Act). During this time, she decided to become a formal teacher in social studies with a huge belief that “a people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots” (Marcus Garvey). In addition that an educated public can make better decisions for the future. Graduating in 2013 from Fordham University with a dual Masters in Education ( Social Studies 7-12 and Special Education K-12) she proceeded to build groups in High Schools to empower young people.
 
Goddess is working for Inside Out to create safe space for LGBTQ+ youth and building capacity with compassion and grace to eradicate racism, homophobia and the oppression of people.
 
Goddess Tyescha has worked with NAACP, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, The Black Women’s Alliance, and multiple organizations in New York combating homelessness. Currently she is board President of The Empowerment Solidarity Network, member of the NAACP and associated with many community and arts groups ( Hotcomb Poet) here in Colorado Springs.

Darolyn Stewart

Safe at Schools Coordinator

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Darolyn has worked and volunteered with nonprofits for the last 10 years. Prior to joining Inside Out, Darolyn was an assistant supervisor at a domestic violence shelter, a youth residential group home supervisor and recently worked as a social emotional generalist at a high school. Her personal passions often intertwine with the work that she pursues, with specific interests in teaching social justice pedagogy and eradicating sexual violence.  

Darolyn is eager to join the Inside Out organization and looks forward to collaborating with staff, youth, and community members. She hopes to help unite the community through education, systems of support and policy changes that best support LGBTQ+ youth and allies. 

 

Darolyn graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Sociology at UCCS. In her free time, Darolyn enjoys hiking, traveling, yoga and spending time with loved ones.  

Alissa Smith

Communications Manager

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Alissa Smith is a 25-year resident of Colorado Springs with a passion for the LGBTQ+ community. A graduate of the University of Montana, Alissa has been advocating for equality and equity throughout her life, volunteering with political campaigns and social justice organizations until shifting gears into news media in 2015. Alissa was most recently associate editor at the Colorado Springs Independent, where she founded, edited and contributed to the paper’s bi-monthly LGBTQ+ news and perspectives column, Queer & There. A married parent of three cats (Pearl, Miss Kitty and Lord Byron Fitzwhiskers) and an unrepentant nerd, Alissa enjoys writing, reading, playing video games, and talking to anyone who will listen about Star Trek.

Chris Beasley

Youth Specialist

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Chris “Beas J” Beasley has lived in Colorado Springs since 1999. They are a nationally recognized poet, community organizer, and workshop facilitator. Chris is the Co-Director of Poetry 719, a local poetry group that aims to uplift the voices of marginalized communities and people of color. In 2018 they received  awards from the Pikes Peak Art Council for best recurring event for Colorado Black Voices Matter and Literary Arts Leadership.

 

 

Chris was instrumental in building the foundation of Hear Here Poetry. Once they shifted to a non-profit, he became a board member and community liaison for 3 years. Chris has helped coach multiple youth teams in gearing up for national poetry competitions and has also provided various workshops ranging from middle school to high school students. They believe “The Youth in Colorado Springs have something to say and deserve to be heard.” The spoken word community has been a passion dear to their heart for over 10 years. Their poetry speaks on social injustice, systemic issues, joy, the questioning of masculinity and self-love. They are a lover of pizza, Mountain Dew, Sprite, Dr.Pepper, snickerdoodles, brownies, cherry and vanilla ice cream, as well as their dog Brooklyn.

Celia Palmer

Young Adult Specialist

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Celia joins the Inside Out staff after serving as a volunteer for a year, helping to facilitate sexuality and relationship education programs. She earned BA in Sociology from Colorado College and has worked in multiple capacities to educate young people around mental health, sexuality, communication and creativity. At Inside Out, she is a member of the programs team and facilitates life skills and sexuality education programs for young adults ages 19-24.

Celia is so excited to be part of an organization of gloriously queer and allied staff and young people, and to continue doing the work of building communities where everyone can love and grow and be their true selves. In her spare time she rides her bike and makes hot sauce, bread, and quilts, among other things.

Priscilla Morales-Mitchell

Administrative Assistant

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Priscilla has been involved with Inside Out Youth Services since July 2017. She recently re-joined the IOYS team as the Administrative Assistance. Priscilla has worked with young people for over 5 years and is utilizing her background in administration and organization to venture in a new direction with Inside Out Youth Services. She enjoys the mountain views, spending time with family, and being a part of the LGBTIQA community. “I have learned so much about the nonprofit sector but have gained so much more knowledge and respect for the group of individuals we serve.” I am delighted to once again have found my place at Inside Out Youth services.

Marve

Peer Program Assistant

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Marve was born and raised in San Diego, California. They currently attending Colorado College and pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy with a minor in Race, Ethnicity, and Migration Studies. Outside of classes and Inside Out they are an avid fan of American animation, romantic comedies, and stand-up comedy. After college they plan on pursuing a Master’s in Social Work with  a focus on serving LGBTQ+ and POC communities.

Ryan O'Meara

Marketing & Development Fellow

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Ryan joins the Inside Out team for Summer 2020 from the Public Interest Fellowship Program at Colorado College. Finishing his senior year there, Ryan is pursuing a degree in Tourism and Development Studies, and independently designed major designed to research the tourism industry. He is passionate about social and sustainable business and enjoys working with nonprofits. In Colorado Springs, he has worked with the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Quad Innovation Partnership, and Exponential Impact. 

 

With IOYS, Ryan is focusing on marketing, communications, and development. He is interested in growing Inside Out’s mission in El Paso county, enabling youth to feel safe and empowered in their city. In his free time, Ryan enjoys ceramics and exploring Colorado Springs. 

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Spencer Hall

Social Work Intern

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I was born and Raised in Denver Colorado. In 2011 I graduated from high school and joined the military right afterwards, where I served in the Army or eight years as a Mortician. After my contract came to an end with the service, I attended Front Range Community College and discovered my passion for social justice and the natural sciences. I later transferred to Colorado State University, where I am currently a student and will receive my Bachelors of Social Work in May of 2021. My brain craves the understanding of the inner workings of the world, yet my heart is driven to community outreach. After receiving my Bachelor’s degree I will be attending graduate school to attain my Master degree in Social Work. My heart is in challenging and dismantling the system that we exist in. My background outside of my studies and the Army is in a variety of different social justice movements. I am involved in a variety of social work programs, fighting food insecurity and housing insecurity, programs supporting independent and first-generation high school and college students and Men in the Movement. I have co-created and co-facilitated numerous social justice centered organizations and sat on numerous committees and boards. Outside my passion for social action my hobbies include adrenaline rushing activities, such as hiking, bungee jumping, ziplining, ect.. When I’m not exploring the outdoors, I am usually working out or just simply binge watching queer shows on Netflix.

Tracey Porter

Volunteer Coordinator

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Tracey started her journey with Inside Out in 2008. She is part of this organization because she is a lesbian and she believes that we all  need a safe place. Her mother doesn’t fully accept her due to her mothers fundamentalist beliefs and she knows that she is not the only person experiencing rejection therefore a safe place is needed. She was raised in a home where even though they did not talk about “it”, she fully knew she should not talk about “it”. Inside Out is a place that is talking about it and she wants to be a part of normalizing talking about it.

Lisa Schoenstein

Certified Recovery Coach

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Lisa Schoenstein (aka Lisa Show) is a Springs-born rock cellist and master’s counseling student, among numerous other things. She loves coffee, cats, gardening, books, writing, and rain.

 

In 2015, during Lisa’s undergraduate degree in philosophy, she joined Inside Out as a volunteer. This led to an internship, then Administrative Assistant position, then full-time gig as Program Manager. Her experiences working with LGBTIQ+ youth directly informed her decision to pursue a masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at UCDenver, where she will begin her practicum and internships this summer. 

 

Lisa absolutely loves working with young folks, and feels fierce and reverent about ensuring that queer youth can access a strong community and trustworthy adults. She’s deeply committed to transformation, returning the “care” to trauma-informed care, and community collaboration to build empowering structures that will replace those that cannot be reformed. She loves a good conversation, and has undying curiosity and delight in people. 

Looking to get in touch with our team?