(COLORADO SPRINGS) — At the ninth annual Mayor’s Young Leader Awards on Thursday, Mayor John Suthers recognized six individuals for their extraordinary efforts in their respective fields, which made positive impacts in the Colorado Springs community.

The Young Leader Awards were launched in 2015 to celebrate the outstanding achievements of young professionals under 40. The 2022 winners were selected from 30 finalists across six categories.

“The quality of work presented by this year’s Mayor’s Young Leader Award finalists was exceptional,” said Mayor Suthers. “I am consistently pleased with these young professionals and their ambition to serve Colorado Springs across all industries. I am grateful for their contributions to strengthening our community and their drive in making a positive impact in Olympic City USA. I look forward to following their future success.”

2022 Mayor’s Young Leaders Award winners:

Military Leaders Award: TSgt Stephanie Bandy | United States Air Force

As a professional military education instructor stationed at Peterson Space Force Base, Technical Sergeant Stephanie Bandy is responsible for educating and mentoring the junior non-commissioned officer ranks on leadership, management, mission, and cultural topics. She has educated and led more than 300 service members, totaling 2,000 hours of instruction.

Technology and Sustainability: Rebecca Jewett | Palmer Land Conservancy

As president and CEO of the Palmer Land Conservancy and the former executive director of the Rocky Mountain Field Institute, Rebecca Jewett is committed to community health and building through land and water conservation. Driven by on-the-ground impact, she has led the exponential growth of Palmer Land Conservancy, growing the organization more than four-fold and securing millions of dollars to conserve critical natural landscapes and water resources

Sports, Health and Wellness: Aubrey McCoy | Colorado Springs Sports Corporation

As the chief operating officer for the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, Aubrey McCoy plans and operates some of the largest events in Colorado Springs, including the Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off, the Star Spangled Symphony & 4th of July Block Party, the Broadmoor Cycle to the Summit, the Pikes Peak Regional Airshow, and the Rocky Mountain State Games. 

Education: Sloan Gonzales | University of Colorado Colorado Springs

As the program director for the Chancellor’s Leadership Class and UCCSlead, Sloan Gonzales is helping to develop future leaders in the Pikes Peak region. Her leadership development program helps students engage and build relationships with the community, instilling civic pride and a stronger connection to Colorado Springs.

Creative Industry: Jeresneyka Rose | Trust for Public Land and ArtByRizzo

As a freelance visual artist who founded ArtByRizzo and a fellow for The Trust for Public Land, Jeresneyka Rose has contributed her expertise and passion to empower community members in southeast Colorado Springs. Over the last few years, she co-led the RISE | Southeast Colorado Springs Youth Advisory Council on several projects to improve access to quality public spaces, including the successful renovation of Panorama Park.

Community and Economic Impact: Natasha Hutson | U.S. Bank

As a business access advisor for U.S. Bank, Natasha Hutson works to expand business opportunities for minority-owned small businesses by collaborating with community partners. She is an active member of several boards, including the Colorado Springs Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Springs Black Chamber of Commerce, Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Pikes Peak Region (CASA), Downtown Partnership, The Thrive Network, and Women of Impact.