(719)249-0123

Meet Our Team

Cliff Hunter

Cliff Hunter

Executive Director

Cliff is committed to applying his experience in business administration and workforce development to addressing gaps in care for young adults exiting foster care and youth corrections.

We have to address the whole person. None of us can meet all of the health, housing, and employment needs a young person faces as they transition into adulthood, but together we can.”

Ed Shipp

Ed Shipp

Operations Manager & Instructor

As Operations Manager and Instructor for our Construction Pre-Apprenticeship course, Ed is one busy guy! An experienced trainer and teacher as well as a small business owner in Colorado Springs, Ed shares his knowledge openly with his student body, eager to use his expertise to train, empower and mentor the future workforce of Colorado’s Construction Industry

Natalie Forth

Natalie Forth

Office Manager

Few things compare to discovering a true sense of purpose in our work. After 23 years in the technology industry, Natalie is eagerly embarking on a new chapter with Diakonia as their Office Manager. Community empowerment has always been close to her heart and Natalie is excited to bring her wealth of experience garnered from years of dedicated volunteerism and professional know-how to help make a tangible difference in the lives of others.

Mat Lujan

Mat Lujan

Development Manager

Mat loves connecting young people with resources and training to transform their next steps. He has worked with and advocated for youth over the last 15 years both in the non-profit and business world. He enjoys connecting others to the story of Diakonia and create pathways for them to take part in a student’s journey of success. 

Oscar Torres

Oscar Torres

Career Navigator

Oscar is passionate about serving and helping others. He enjoys seeing people become who they are and discovering their potential. He has an enthusiastic personality and the ability to relate to anyone and meet them where they are.

“We need to see our youth overcome their barriers and get into a place where they can thrive in their lives.”

Board Of Directors

Leadership Philosophy: We are compelled to action by our faith and belief that every person has value in the eyes of God and that every young adult deserves permanency, advocacy, and an opportunity to succeed.

Chuck Mingonet

Chuck Mingonet

Chairman

Chuck has been mentoring at-risk young adults in foster care for over a decade. Coupled with over 26 years of service as an officer in the Navy, Chuck is a compassionate and capable leader.

“Sometimes, all a young person needs is someone there to cheer them on. It’s amazing what God can accomplish in a person’s life when they know there are people that believe in them.”

Steve Hayes

Steve Hayes

Treasurer

After retiring from 36 years of leadership in the business sector, Steve now serves as the Treasurer of Project Diakonia in its mission to address gaps in care for youth aging out of government systems.

“As an adoptive parent, I am intimately aware of the challenges foster youth face. I believe in what Diakonia is doing to offer a sense of purpose and permanency to young adults who may have missed out on that.”

Chris Hagan

Chris Hagan

Secretary

Chris is an Electrical Engineer in the semiconductor industry, has served as Council Chairperson for his church and led several mission trips to Haiti. Chris is passionate about developing people, helping them find their purpose, and connecting with young adults starting out on their career journey.

“Young adults need purpose and direction, and the trades are a great place to find both.”

Nikki Carter

Nikki Carter

Member

Nikki has worked in Career and Technical Education for 16 years. She has served as a Business Teacher, Work Based Learning Coordinator and is currently the CTE Director Widefield School District 3. Nikki has a strong desire to apply her experience serving high school students to serving at-risk and disadvantaged youth.

Jackie Jaramillo

Jackie Jaramillo

Member

Jackie has dedicated 40 years to developing opportunities for underprivileged communities and populations. Over a 30-year period, Jackie founded several non-profit organizations that addressed issues ranging from literacy and job training to economic development.

“What you do today can improve all of your tomorrows."

Ralph Marsden

Employment Partners

If you are a local employer interested in learning more about becoming an employment partner, please contact us. This is a great way to meet a need in the community and fill open positions in your company with competent, highly-capable workforce.

Community Partners

If you are interested in becoming a partner in health or housing, please contact us. We would love to coordinate care with your agency to provide the most comprehensive wrap-around services possible for our youth.

Reach out today

Contact Us

Address

3595 E. Fountain Blvd. Suite 200,
Colorado Springs, CO 80910

Phone

(719) 249- 0123

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Project Diakonia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization Federal ID #: 27-2274120