June 23, 2020
Peak Education looks to expand its college counseling services
COLORADO SPRINGS—In the wake of pandemic-induced budget cuts, Colorado’s k-12 schools stand to lose 10% of their already strained funding, totaling $448 million. At the same time, students are requiring more support from teachers and counselors than ever. As education funding is poised to shrink, Peak Education, a Colorado Springs nonprofit, is set to expand its college counseling services.
Jasmine Rainey, Director of College Counseling
Peak Education, which has supported students primarily in D2 Springs schools for more than 20 years, has hired a new dedicated director of college counseling, Jasmine Rainey. “Peak Education’s mission has always been to help students not waste potential,” Rainey said. “My position seeks to achieve that mission while also empowering and encouraging students to maximize their potential. I’ll be able to provide more one-on-one college and career counseling to students and their families and help them match to the best educational pathway, whether that is an apprenticeship, technical school, a two-year or four-year college.”
Rainey, who spent nine years with the Denver Scholarship Foundation, said college counseling is as necessary as ever: “Most job losses due to COVID-19 occurred with occupations not requiring degrees,” she said. “So, it’s important for me to convey to students that college or obtaining some type of educational credential is still important and possible despite the pandemic.”
“Because of the pandemic, many districts are on a hiring freeze,” she added. “This will probably place an additional strain on school counselors who already have large caseloads and multiple responsibilities. My role will allow me to partner with schools and assist with presentations and workshops to alleviate some of the load for our partner schools.”
Peak Education’s CEO, Carlos Jiménez, is optimistic about Peak Education's growing impact in the community. “Our mission to increase college access and educational equity is strongly resonating with school and community leaders. Despite the challenges presented by COVID 19, we are excited to be engaging in new partnerships with Manitou Springs, North, and Fox Meadow Middle Schools and to be enrolling the largest cohort of new Peak Education Scholars in program history,” he said.
Continuing its longstanding commitment to students in southeast Colorado Springs, Peak Education, which currently supports 259 students from 7th graders to college seniors, is looking forward to another year in spite of the challenges facing Colorado public schools in the wake of COVID-19.
Initially conceived as a scholarship-based incentive program, Peak Education has evolved into a mentoring and college access organization that provides long-term engagement with students and families focused on four strategies for success: developing college and career readiness, building students’ capacity for leadership, fostering full family engagement in their students’ journeys, and creating broad-based community connections.