Sandy Fales // Student Story

November 9, 2018

Sandy Fales graduated Summa Cum Laude with her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs in May 2018, is a Quad project Alumni, and is currently working with the Quad as their full-time Research Fellow.

As a single parent of two children, Sandy felt lost in her post-graduation prospects from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. As a sociology major, Sandy knew she was passionate about social justice and making a difference in her community, but didn’t feel that she had the necessary connections that are vital to navigating the job market. In hopes of networking with other individuals that shared her passion, she applied for the Social Service Access Project with the Quad Innovation Partnership for the 2018 Spring semester.

Sandy was intrigued by the project that aimed to improve access to social services because of her personal experience with accessing resources to get back on her feet. Having lived in a domestic violence safe house with her children for two months in 2015, Sandy felt that she had a unique perspective understanding how lost a person can feel when they don’t have basic needs met and suffer from “information poverty,” or a lack of available resources. Working with 11 team members of all different majors, Sandy was grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with a well-rounded and passionate group. Since graduating from UCCS, Sandy has accepted a full-time position at the Quad as a research fellow and is currently working on discovering best practices for creating a Social Enterprise Database in Colorado Springs, the state of Colorado, and beyond. The Quad is partnered with the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado and the Colorado Institute for Social Impact on this project and will be a great asset to the consumers and businesses of our nation.

Sandy says, “The Quad helps you get a foot in the door, which greatly increases your chances of employability because now you’re a face instead of just a resume. The program also fosters a sense of confidence in students and allows you to bridge the gap between school and workplace.”

Sandy also owns her own small business in Colorado Springs, Wild Prairie Photography. She is a natural light photographer based in the foothills of Colorado Springs. Her main focus is photographing the raw, organic emotions of her clients. Using the graceful mountains as a backdrop, she encourages her clients to show her who they really are. Driven by the love and devotion she has for her own children, she loves to motivate the children of her clients to take lead during their session. Doing so, she feels she is able to break down the barriers that can sometimes mask the innate love a family has for one another when meeting someone new. Sandy also spends her free time exploring tasty eats in Colorado Springs, hiking all the trails she can find, and reading books in her backyard hammock.