Forward Steps Foundation

Forward Steps fills an important gap that helps ensure post-secondary education success by providing financial assistance, mentorship, life-skills training and individualized coaching to former foster youth.

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Jennifer Falkoski, Acting Executive Director
Start Date: 2020

Jennifer was named Acting Executive Director of Forward Steps in January of 2020. She came to the organization through her affiliation with its sister organization, Realizing Aptitudes Foundation. Jennifer has served in various capacities throughout her 8 years with Realizing Aptitudes Foundation including two as executive director, a role she currently holds in addition to her new position with Forward Steps.

Realizing Aptitudes Foundation is a community based, non-profit organization that provides career and post-secondary readiness services to adolescents and young adults. Realizing Aptitudes helps students identify well matched career pathways based on what they are good at (abilities) and interested in, as well as exploring character strengths and positive coping resources that help students navigate life transitions from secondary to post-secondary education or workforce entry.

Prior to joining Realizing Aptitudes, Jennifer was an organizational consultant in the private and non-profit sectors focused on strategic planning and culture change, program development, and executive coaching.

As a first generation student positively influenced by a few key teachers along her path, Jennifer is committed to paying forward the guidance she received and taught as an adjust instructor in the Colorado Community College System for 7 years. Jennifer earned a Doctorate of Psychology from the University of the Rockies in 2011 and holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Psychology from The Colorado School of Professional Psychology as well as a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and Management from The University of Montana School of Business Administration. She is currently affiliate faculty at Metro State University teaching in the nonprofit studies program.

As a Wyoming native and living in Colorado for 15 years, Jennifer loves being in the mountains and enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and climbing Colorado's many 14ers.

Susi Urioste, Scholar Mentor
Start Date: 2018

Susi joined Forward Steps in July 2018 to serve programs part-time as a mentor to our scholars. She started her career as a financial analyst, having earned her bachelor of science in business administration from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. After four years, she changed career paths to pursue her passions for education and mentorship. She transitioned to working with youth of all ages in both educational and therapeutic settings. During the past five years, she has worked as an academic coach at an online high school, a wilderness therapy guide, a behavior instructor for children with autism, and a K-12 substitute teacher.

Susi has also volunteered with various nonprofits both locally and globally. In Denver, she worked with R.I.S.E., a program that promotes early literacy to preschoolers from low income families, and CHILL, an organization that teaches life skills to underserved youth through board sports. She has also spent extended periods of time volunteering in South America. In Bolivia, she provided tutoring services and led extra circular workshops at a children's home, and in Ecuador, she supported speech language pathologists at a therapy center for children with developmental disabilities. She is now pursuing her master's degree in speech language pathology at University of Colorado, Boulder.

During her free time, Susi loves to hike, backpack, and rock climb. While in the city, she can often be found doing yoga and cooking delicious vegetarian meals at home.

Vicky Judish, Administrative Office Manager
Start Date: 2008

Vicky is originally from Kansas City, Missouri where she earned an Associate's Degree in Business from the University of Central Missouri. She has been an administrative assistant for many years which includes her 21-year tenure with Coherent Technologies, Inc. Currently, Vicky works for part-time for Coherent Investments, Forward Steps and Realizing Aptitudes Foundation and is integral in supporting the operations of each company.

Other activities that keep her busy are volunteering at the Boulder County Humane Society and Meals on Wheels-Boulder; each nonprofit organization serving those areas she is strongly passionate about. When she is not working or volunteering, she enjoys activities including hiking, biking, and golf.

Vicky was a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) for 7 years where held several officer/committee positions. She is a currently a registered Colorado Notary Public.

She and her husband, Bob, reside in Boulder where they enjoy the company of their dog, Hunter.


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