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Hope House Cañon City

MEET OUR STAFF AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Amanda Kolman, Executive Director

Amanda has a Master’s in Professional Counseling from Colorado Christian University. She has worked with teen moms for 12+ years in YoungLives and it’s given her a heart to eliminate the barriers that exist between teen moms and their dreams. She is excited to be a part of providing these young moms with a healthy family structure and the resources they need to succeed, while also providing the gift of living in close community. She is married to Loren and they have three daughters. They like to spend time with friends, playing games, and traveling.

Ainhoa Wagenfuhr-Prieto, Board President

Ainhoa has a Bachelor of Arts in Theology from the University of Bristol. She has been the director of a transitional housing program, a case manager to parolees in the process of reuniting with their children, and has worked in a variety of ministries to children and youth. Over the years she has seen how finding affordable housing can be problematic and is glad to be a part of providing a solution through Hope House. More than that, she is excited to be able to support young mothers and their babies at such a crucial time in their lives and to give them a taste of the Kingdom of God. Ainhoa is married to Greg and has a little girl.

Joanna McIntyre, Board Treasurer

Joanna McIntyre has a degree in chemistry, and a professional background in web design and marketing. She and her husband also manage rental properties and vacation rentals in Cañon City. Serving as a foster parent for eight years opened her eyes to the challenges faced by many in our community, and she has a particular heart for children and young parents. Joanna deeply values community and following Jesus. A mother of six, she spends the vast majority of her time managing her family. She also enjoys spending time outdoors, solving new challenges, and occasionally running and bike riding.

Rachel Tyrrell, Board Secretary

Rachel Tyrrell has dual Bachelor’s degrees from Greenville University in Business Management and Urban/Cross-Cultural Ministry. She has worked in the prevention and rehabilitation of survivors of human trafficking, both domestically and abroad, and sees Hope House as a vital part in caring for those vulnerable to this crisis in her community. Rachel currently works for a fundraising nonprofit in Colorado Springs and is excited to incorporate those skills for the benefit of Hope House. She enjoys mountain hikes, cultivating her small hobby farm, skiing in the high country of Colorado and spending time with her husband, Jesse. 

Jennifer Reish

Jennie Reish has lived in Canon City for 30 years and has a heart for the people there.  She has worked in teen ministry as a mentor and feels a strong connection to teen moms who are trying to build a life for themselves and their children.  Jennie joined the Hope House board, in part, based on her strong belief that being pro-life means that it is imperative to walk alongside teen moms who choose to parent their children. She is excited about the opportunities to create a safe space for these moms and to get to know them and their kids.  Jennie is married to Jeff and has the privilege of being a stay-at-home mom to 2 daughters and a son.

Amy Walker

Amy has a Masters in Counseling from Colorado Christian University and is a spiritual director and writing coach. She had the privilege of working with teen moms in her time as a birthparent counselor and is passionate about creating sacred spaces where women can be nurtured and loved. She also enjoys writing and editing and is thankful for the opportunity to use these skills for Hope House. Amy loves traveling, the Colorado sunshine, and karaoke. She lives outside of Denver with her husband, two teenage daughters, and dog.

Lauren

2013

Lauren is a teen mom who was raised by a mother who depends solely on government assistance. With the encouragement of her Hope House Mentor, Lauren decided to break the mold and become independent, but her family was not willing to support her decision. Through the donation of a reliable used car, Hope House was able to make a real difference in Lauren’s journey:

“Recently I was blessed enough to receive a donated car from Hope House. The weight lifted off my shoulders the moment the keys were handed to me. Now I am not only able to attend college and take my daughter to my mom’s during class, I have also been lucky enough to start working. When it comes down to it, I wouldn’t be as successful without my car.”

Today Lauren is living on her own and is working for one of our Career Partner businesses, where she is up for a promotion!

Kori

2013

A teen mom without much hope, Kori joined our GED Program this summer. Her story is hard to hear and includes physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her own family. However, she is committed to breaking this cycle of abuse and providing a different kind of childhood for her three little daughters. With this goal in mind, Kori is now attending our Parenting classes, where she is known to be one of the most enthusiastic, engaged students!

Hope House recently received this note from Kori:

Thank you so much for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Thanks to you I’m getting my GED, I’m bettering my life, and I’m going to be someone in life. Now my kids can look up to me. Thank you Hope House for giving us a better tomorrow.

With love,
Kori

Vanessa

2014

Vanessa first used alcohol at the tender age of 8. She dropped out of school in 10th grade and became a mom at age 16. Unfortunately these are common realities for a young woman growing up in poverty. However, not only did Vanessa grow up in generational poverty, she also grew up in an environment that did not trust the police force and actually hated police officers.

Fortunately Vanessa found Hope House where she earned her GED and joined our Mentoring program. Wanting to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty, she explored a variety of career options. Through this process, Vanessa had the opportunity to go on a drive-along with an Arvada police officer. This experience completely changed Vanessa’s perspective of the police force, and she now wants to join the legal system by becoming an attorney! We look forward to offering Vanessa practical support through our Learning Lab as she enrolls in college to pursue her dream!

Alondra

2015

Alondra is a teen mom following her dreams.  She has a scholarship and is attending Metro State University of Denver where she is working toward an RN degree. She lives downtown with her son and works part-time while attending college full-time.

Alondra’s journey is amazing because she had many challenges to face… she became a mom at age 16. That fact alone meant she had less than a 1% chance of ever earning a college degree!

Alondra also had to overcome homelessness and generational poverty.

Today at age 19 with a 3-year-old son, Alondra is still a teen mom. But she is also a graduate of Hope House Colorado, and she is working hard toward self-sufficiency. Her future is bright!

Brittani

2016

Brittani was born into poverty and chaos — and her mother struggled with cancer and her father with kidney failure. Dropping out of school in 10th grade, Brittani was pregnant by age 15 .

Brittani named her baby girl Deavyne and set out to create a different life for her daughter than she had known growing up. One of her friends told her about Hope House, where she earned her GED so she could go on to college.  She also met with her Hope House mentor regularly and took Parenting classes at Hope House.

Today Brittani has finished her degree program and works full time as a Medical Assistant with benefits… and she loves her job!

She has been living in the same duplex for two years, which is longer than she has lived anywhere in her life. Her daughter goes to school a half block away and loves it.  Brittani and her boyfriend are working on their credit score so they can buy a house.

“For the first time in my life, I feel stable and stress free. And I couldn’t have gotten here without Hope House to get me started,” says Brittani.

Stephanie

2017

Stephanie is no longer the vulnerable, frightened teen mom who applied to Hope House.

Her background is not uncommon around Hope House. Stephanie grew up in generational poverty, became a mom as a teenager and dropped out of school. By the time her daughter was born, her boyfriend was gone. She was sleeping with her baby girl on a couch in a crowded mobile home.

Fortunately Stephanie found Hope House. She knew she would have to work hard — her first educational assessment placed her at 5th grade.

And so she worked hard!  I am proud to say Stephanie earned her high school diploma through one of our online high school partners.  She also completed our Parenting, Healthy Relationships, and Financial Literacy classes – as well as an internship at Head Start.

Stephanie’s last requirement was to find full-time employment.  With support from our College & Career Program, she found a customer service position at PC’s for People, a non-profit organization that provides computers to low-income individuals (I love seeing the process come full circle in her life!).

Kathryn

2018

The teen moms at Hope House are true heroes…  Kathryn is no exception. We are not the only ones impressed with her incredible resilience in the face of hardship – Kathryn was recently given the Adams County Mayors and Commissioners Youth Award!

In 2018, Kathryn wrote and recorded her story for Hope House. You can view that video here and learn about her incredible resilience!

Janelle

2019

Janelle remembers when her world crumbled.  She was 12 when her parents’ fights and addictions led them to split. Although Janelle and her brothers were already used to living in chaos, now they were left on the sidelines, trying to take care of themselves.  Janelle ended up meeting an older boy – and they connected deeply as they shared stories from their rough childhoods.

By age 14, Janelle was pregnant, and that same boyfriend became abusive, leaving her with bruises make-up couldn’t cover. By the time Joseph was born, Janelle had stopped going to school. By the time he turned four, Janelle had another baby boy.

Janelle and her boys eventually became homeless — sleeping in a car, on the ground, or in homeless shelters. Sleeping in a car was actually a good night because the ground was cold and the shelters were crowded, smelly and scary.

Janelle knew she had to make a change.

She found Hope House online and enrolled in our GED Program. Surrounded by staff and volunteers who encouraged her, Janelle began to feel hope.

Six months later, Janelle had earned her GED and had found her own confidence. With the support of our College & Career Program, Janelle applied to the Community College of Denver and began working toward a certification in machining.

The tutors at Hope House helped Janelle when she needed it, and she stuck with the program. When she graduated, she was offered a job at Ball Aerospace as a machinist. Today Janelle is loving her job, where she gets to use the skills she learned in college.  She also now owns her very own house, where she and her boys are thriving!

Edith & Ian

2020

Edith, pictured with her son Ian, started at Hope House in February 2019 when Ian was just five months old. At the time, Edith was experiencing depression while facing the economic challenges of being a teen mom. After a friend introduced her to Hope House, Edith felt the encouragement she needed to move forward with her life and build a healthy future for herself and her son. In a year’s time, she was able to cover her expenses and begin saving for a down payment for a house.

During the year of the pandemic, Edith accessed our curbside Grab & Go for food and essentials; took virtual parenting and healthy relationships classes; received individual counseling; and participated in group classes to support mental health on her path to building a healthy future for herself and her son. She works at Amazon and continues to make smart financial decisions to reach her goal of owning a home.

Fatima & Julian

2021

Fatima’s childhood felt very lonely and isolated. Her family dynamics were difficult, and at an early age she felt neglected and left to fend for herself. As a preteen, she was given freedom without the tools to navigate it. Landing in the wrong circle of friends, Fatima began smoking and drinking at age 10. At 15, she found out she was pregnant. Already struggling with little support, five months into her pregnancy, Fatima lost her brother to suicide. 

Life felt so intensely depressing that Fatima feared she would have a miscarriage. Her living situation with family was chaotic and unsafe all throughout her pregnancy, but at 16—with little support or encouragement—she gave birth to her son Julian.  

Falling into a deep post-partum depression, Fatima knew something needed to change. 

Fatima heard about Hope House through a friend of a friend, and after having joined the program, she quickly began working on her high school equivalency through Penn Foster. She also applied to and was accepted into the Residential Program. Fatima and Julian moved into the house and started making friends with other moms and staff. A residential staff member had a huge influence on her and became like a grandmother to her, something Fatima never had. Older moms in the house became mentors and guides to her. At the house, Fatima found a caring community. 

Through classes at Hope House, Fatima learned how to set boundaries and establish healthy relationships. Hope House also helped her get a car, a paid internship with Jefferson County and an apartment. 

Today, Fatima and Julian live in an apartment by themselves. She feels safe and is excited to provide an environment for Julian that is supportive and caring, two things she longed for as a child. Eventually, Fatima hopes to become a tattoo artist. She is drawing every day to practice her skills while raising her lively, talkative and energetic little boy. 

Reflecting on her own experience and what she would say to a future or current teen mom, Fatima genuinely shares, “I’d ask her where she sees herself in the future. I’d ask her who she has as support. And if she says she doesn’t have anyone, I’d tell her I’ll be her absolute best friend. I’d tell her I’ll support her. I’d tell her my story. I would want to be that person, that support system, that I needed three years ago.” 

Since becoming a Hope House Mom, Alejandra has been able to finish her GED through Penn Foster in February of 2022 and is incredibly thankful for the support and motivation she had through Hope House Staff. She attended the GED graduation in May 2022 and gave the graduation speech. Janely, Alejandra’s 9-month-old-daughter, is also enrolled in the Early Learning Program. At first, Alejandra said, “I was hesitant because of bad experiences I had with babysitters for Janely, but I got to meet the staff and they’re really nice and I’m never far away from [Janely] which is really great”. Alejandra has also taken other classes including Parenting 101, Relationship Classes, and Self-Care classes.  

Alejandra is so proud to have graduated Penn Foster in only two months and have gotten her permit and driver’s license since becoming a Hope House Mom. Alejandra also attended a House of Congress meeting and testified on behalf of the Colorado Teen Parent Collaborative and Bill HB22-1042 to support the state providing driver’s education to teen parents. “I’m very vocal about the rights of my community – the Hispanic community, the Teen Parent community, and the people around me,” Alejandra explained. 

Alejandra hopes to get her Real Estate License and move into that field, to find an apartment, and to continue to create a bond with Janely where Janely can tell Alejandra “anything and everything. I want to see her grow up and do something she is passionate about, and to be able to get her started with a good and healthy foundation.” 

Alejandra & Janely

2022

Alejandra found out that she was pregnant just days before her 17th birthday. An “A” student who had spent her first three years of high school taking IB and college classes, as well as working, Alejandra wasn’t sure what her life would look like as a teen parent. Alejandra hid her pregnancy until she was about six months along, and eventually told her parents and friends. She felt shamed and scared, and she was struggling with preeclampsia and migraines as she got closer to her due date. Eventually, Alejandra got connected to Hope House through clinic staff at the office where she went to get ultrasounds. At first, she was nervous about what her family would say, but in January of 2022, Alejandra became a Hope House Mom and has loved it ever since. 

Since becoming a Hope House Mom, Alejandra has been able to finish her GED through Penn Foster in February of 2022 and is incredibly thankful for the support and motivation she had through Hope House Staff. She attended the GED graduation in May 2022 and gave the graduation speech. Janely, Alejandra’s 9-month-old-daughter, is also enrolled in the Early Learning Program. At first, Alejandra said, “I was hesitant because of bad experiences I had with babysitters for Janely, but I got to meet the staff and they’re really nice and I’m never far away from [Janely] which is really great”. Alejandra has also taken other classes including Parenting 101, Relationship Classes, and Self-Care classes.  

Alejandra is so proud to have graduated Penn Foster in only two months and have gotten her permit and driver’s license since becoming a Hope House Mom. Alejandra also attended a House of Congress meeting and testified on behalf of the Colorado Teen Parent Collaborative and Bill HB22-1042 to support the state providing driver’s education to teen parents. “I’m very vocal about the rights of my community – the Hispanic community, the Teen Parent community, and the people around me,” Alejandra explained. 

Alejandra hopes to get her Real Estate License and move into that field, to find an apartment, and to continue to create a bond with Janely where Janely can tell Alejandra “anything and everything. I want to see her grow up and do something she is passionate about, and to be able to get her started with a good and healthy foundation.”