Parents Advocacy Sessions Icon

Our goal is to provide advocacy sessions that will empower parents to help their children be successful throughout the school year and beyond. These sessions are also designed to support family growth and sustainability. These sessions were suggested and developed with Parents Challenge parents.


These sessions are not geared to tell parents what to do, they will be geared to provide parents with tools and resources to make informed decisions regarding their child’s education that can be applied at school or at home. Ideally, these sessions help parents to ask questions, seek additional support, develop goals with their children, learn to assess performance data and develop skills to monitor their students’ overall progress. These sessions also support low-income families with financial and community resources.

2019-2020 Parent Schedule
Fall Semester




Tue, Aug 13th, 2019

Session #1: Home School Resources
Mandatory Meeting

This session will provide resources for families around Library Resources, Value and importance of verbal communication, Speech and Debate opportunities, and an introduction to a civic program for home schoolers.

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Dr. Tom Krannawitter, Founder, SpeakEasy Ideas Ralina Ankrum, Home School Joy Fleishhacker, PPLD

Tue, Aug 20th, 2019

Session #2: Parent Advocacy – Understanding State Facts

Mandatory Meeting – Returning Families

It is good public policy to give families the opportunity to choose a school that best fits their needs. In this session, we’ll cover how educational freedom is helping students remove barriers. Learn what kind of educational choice programs operate in America and provide messaging tools and tips to communicate the value of educational freedom to others in their community.

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Angela Dougan
AFP Foundation

Thu, Aug 22nd, 2019

Session #3: How to Prepare for Parent Teacher Conference
Mandatory Meeting – New Families

(No Homeschool Families)

You are your child’s 1st teacher and research says that children who have involved parents are more likely to enjoy school, graduate, have better social skills and many more opportunities in life. This session is designed to assist parents in equipping themselves with all the tools to support their child’s education – Day One and forward.

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Wendy Birhanzel
Superintendent, HSD2

Thu, Aug 29th, 2019

Session #4: How to: Have the best school year!

In this interactive session, parents will work with award-winning educational consultant Lori Bitar to learn tips and tricks to develop priorities and structures to have a successful school year.

Be ready to have some fun and set a plan for school success!

Note: This session is for Middle to High School Students

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Lori Bitar
Academy Advocates

Tue, Sept 3rd, 2019

Session #5: Time Management / Stress Management

This session will address the impacts of stress and how chronic stress causes brain damage. Tools for time and stress management will be provided, i.e. Communication: Family meetings, game nights, structured family conversations. How would your family dynamic change if you had a written agenda for your weekly family meeting?

Note: This session is for Middle to High School Students

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Aley Desiderio
Development Officer Colorado Lending Source

Series: Must commit to all six (6) sessions

Sep 10th – Oct 15th, 2019 (Tuesdays)

Track #1: Strategies for Success – Parent Session
(must commit to all six (6) sessions)

Parents did you know that children think differently from adults?

The Pillars of Success for Parents is a program that teaches parents to understand and successfully redirect/reverse challenging behaviors by:

  • Disengaging from the power struggle
  • Establishing and maintaining crystal clear boundaries
  • Learning behavioral techniques to avoid misperceptions and communicate effectively
  • Empowering the child to initiate pro-social behavior choices by implementing the technique of “irresistible influence” to effectively replace futile power struggles
  • Building the child’s self-esteem and sense of mastery by presenting the child with choices that guarantee the adult’s ultimate control while simultaneously empowering the child
  • Implementing well-timed praise seasoned with sincere and appropriate empathy.

No Scholars Can Attend Sessions

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Sandra Kwesell, Founder:
– Pillars for Success
– Families in Transition

Thu, Sep 19th, 2019

Session #6: Reading Resources

Develop tools to best provide guidance to support your child. Children who can read, do well in all subjects in school. Identify tricks of the trade to help students enjoy reading at all levels (K-12).

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Erika Tunson, AP, HSD2
Betty McDonald, PPLD

Series: Must commit to all three (3) sessions

Thu, Sep 27th, 2019
Sat, Oct 26th, 2019
Tue, Nov 5th, 2019

Track #2: College / Career Preparedness
(must commit to all three (3) sessions)
Note: This track is for Middle to High School Students

September 27th Session – Grants/Scholarships

Peter worked previously for the Daniels Fund. He will provide great online resources to help with the process of preparing to apply, and how to apply for scholarships. Please bring your laptop to the session.

October 26th Session – The Next Step

Kristi the College/Career Instructor at CEC-CS will provide an interactive workshop to answer essential questions to plan and prepare for life after high school. Each participant will receive a workbook with a wealth of resources.

Tour of Colorado College – opportunity to have lunch on the campus and tour the campus. You will be provided a unique perspective of what CC provides to students from all over the world and especially Colorado.

November 5th – Never Pay Retail for College?

College costs double every decade and triple in the 17 years from birth to college enrollment. Parents need a better decision-making framework for finding and funding education for their kids – without breaking the bank or delaying retirement.




6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Peter Droege
Digital Continent


9:00 am – 11:30 am
Kristi Smith – Colorado Early Colleges, Colorado Springs

11:30 am – 3:00 pm
Colorado College Tour

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Beth V. Walker
Founder, Center for College Solutions and Author of Never Pay Retail for College

Thu, Oct 3rd, 2019

Session #7: Bullying

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying will be reviewed from a physical, cyber, emotional perspective.

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Keith Dorscht
Registered Psychotherapist

Tue, Oct 22nd, 2019

Session #8: Math Resources

Come and learn how to make math fun and interesting. This session will allow students to learn how to apply math content every day, practice math strategies in a variety of ways, and reflect on learning through verbal or written sharing.

Note: This session is for Middle to High School Students

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Karen Jordan, Math specialist
Colorado Early Colleges, Colorado Springs

Series: Must commit to all three (3) sessions

Thu, Nov 7th, 2019
Thu, Jan 16th, 2020
Tue, Feb 11th, 2020

Track #3: Technology
(must commit to all three (3) sessions)

November 7th – School software programs

How to navigate school software programs so you can obtain pertinent information on your scholar’s grades, attendance, activities at school, etc.

January 16th – Understanding Apps/Texting

Come and learn about good apps and bad apps. Do you know what text messages really mean, i.e. Lol, d46?, f2f, irl, fb, ig, sc, o4u, p2p, pita.

February 11th – Gaming, Dependency on Technology

Technology has become a characteristic of this current generation and social norm. Oddly enough it is often directed as problematic to young people, but often has influences on the parental-figure’s life as well. Screenagers movie will be part of presentation and an explanation of the dependency that we have come accustomed to from a social and biological understanding with research proven interventions/strategies for families to explore.



6:00 pm – 8:00 pm



6:00 pm – 8:00 pm


6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Krys Bowman
On Belay Counseling


Thu, Nov 14th, 2019

Session #9: C6th Power

How to ensure we are building creative and contributing citizens- it’s all about including the ARTS!

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Linda Weise, Founder
The Colorado Springs Conservatory

Tue, Nov 19th, 2019

Session #10: Emotional Intelligence

One of the most important life-long skills that is necessary for success in a person’s personal and professional life is the ability to manage emotions when under pressure. Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It includes three skills: emotional awareness; the ability to harness emotions and apply them constructively to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes regulating your own emotions and cheering up or calming down other people.

This interactive training will consist of the following:

  • Increase your awareness of the situations that put you at risk of having your emotions lead to unskillful behavior and poor decisions.
  • Identify patterns, triggers, and emotional habits that either drive or derail your relationships and career.

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Dr. MelindaJoy Mingo
Director of Leadership & Employee Relations, Colorado Early Colleges Professor, PPCC 

Fri, Dec 6th, 2019

Parent Mixer

Showcase your Side Hustle or Craft and Fellowship with other families.

Childcare will be available from 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm.

5:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Parent Meetings
Spring Semester 2020




Thu, Jan 9th, 2020

Session #11: Mental Health

This session will help you access your state of well-being in which you realize your own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and are able to make a contribution to your community.

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Jim Hinkle
Executive Director
Two Cor

Sat, Jan 25th, 2020

PC Event: National School Choice Week – School Fair

Free Event – Food, Fun, Entertainment and Opportunity to learn about educational options, summer programs, after-school events.

10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Discovery Center and Space Foundation

Tue, Jan 28th, 2020

Session #12: Healthy Living and Exercise
Mandatory Meeting – All Families

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Dr. Regina Lewis Professor,
Pikes Peak Community College; Founder

Series: Must commit to all three (3) sessions

Sat, Feb 15th, 2020
Sat, Feb 29th, 2020
Thu, Mar 5th, 2020

Track #4: Financial Preparedness
(must commit to all two (2) sessions)

February 15th and February 29th – Renovating your Finances

Join us for two half day sessions to better learn how to manage your budget, get a handle on your credit, and build for your future!

Session #13 – Banking and Credit

Interested in learning how to take control of your finances?
Together we will cover effective ways to manage your money and break down what makes up a credit score.
We will also uncover the myths and realities of budgeting and credit.

Understand how to open bank accounts, manage and eliminate the myth regarding banking institutions.S



9:00 am – Noon
P. Johan Sekovski Entrepreneur, Author, Real Estate Essentials

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Bree Shellito, Manager of Community Education
Ent Credit Union

Thu, Feb 6th, 2020

Session #14: $Money Matters$

Teach your kids the proper perspective of money and how to use it in a responsible way that helps them achieve their future dreams.

Note: This session is for Middle to High School Students

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Josh Shi and Jill Johnson, Americans for Prosperity Foundation

Tue, Feb 25th, 2020

Session #15: Leadership Skills

So you want to be a leader? What does it take and how do you measure your success?

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Deborah Hendrix
CD Global Enterprises

Series: Must commit to all six (6) sessions

March 12th – April 16th, 2020 (Thursday)

Track #5: Survival Skills – How to get ahead and stay ahead (must commit to all six (6) sessions)

Are you tired of missing the mark? Frustrated that those you thought were or should help you, have fallen short. Have you hit enough brick walls and not been able to recover? This series will take you on a journey to set and establish goals to eliminate the ups and downs of staying on track, meeting your expectations and managing life with all parties involved.

Go on this journey of self-discovery with a former welfare mom who has earned her Ph.D and is a professor at PPCC and the Newman University.

No Scholars in Class.

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Dr. Tiko Hardy, Founder Pikes Peak Leadership Solutions

Sat, Mar 21st, 2020

Session #16: USAFA Tour

Take a tour of the United States Air Force Academy with a previous graduate and board member of Parents Challenge. You will learn information that is not available with regular tour guides. A fun day with lots of goodies and lunch.

Note: This session is for Middle to High School Students

9:30 am – 1:30 pm
Retired Brigadier General Randy Cubero

Tues, Mar 24th, 2020

Session #17: The Digital Boy: Ensuring 7 Milestones of Male Development

This session will discuss how to ensure appropriate male development in this digital age. It will focus on how parents should control, expose, and monitor technology for their sons from birth to 18 years old.

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Dedrick Sims, CEO
Sims-Fayola Foundation

Tues, Apr 14th, 2020

Session #18: Parent Session Refresher

This is a follow-up for Parents that have taken the 6-week parenting class, in 2017, 2018, 2019, to receive additional tools and to share outcomes.

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Sandra Kwesell

Thu, Apr 23rd, 2020

Session #19: Top Tips for Avoiding Summertime Slump

Come and learn some easy, fun ideas to keep your kids’ brains active. Fill your days with educational and memorable summer activities. Maintain and improve your child’s skills and enable them to return to school in the fall ready to learn.

Note: This session is for Middle to High School Students

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Judith Hanke, Founder Mindbuilders

All Meeting Locations: Southeast YMCA, 2190 Jet Wing Drive (unless otherwise noted)
Childcare and Meal provided at each session