(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Tyesha Robertson is full of positive energy and is on a mission to make a change here in Southern Colorado.
Robertson opened up about a time in her life when she was struggling with her mental health.
“Really, just with my family background being lower socioeconomic background, family was really just dealing with mainly depression and trying to just navigate everyday life,” Robertson said. “But then when it came down to school, I found that I was also really anxious with home life, school life, especially when I started working that also just really got a lot worse.”
Back at home, Robertson was helping take care of her grandparents and began working a job to support her family.
“Definitely taking care of my grandparents along with my mom while trying to do concurrent enrollment in high school classes,” Robertson said. “Also starting like my first job. It was definitely taking like a mental toll on me. And that’s where the anxiety started to come because I always had this bad feeling that something bad was going to happen or that I just would not be good enough.”
Robertson realized her mental health was not in the best state.
“I don’t know in what sense, really, but I just had that like lingering fear constantly that something bad was going to happen and I just wasn’t going to make it out of it, throughout that,” said Robertson.
The support Robertson would receive from the nonprofit organization Peak Education helped her navigate the college application process.
“Personally, I’m a first-generation student, so I don’t have like my parents to guide me through the whole application process,” Robertson said. “And of course, coming from like a lower background, parents are normally working like mine was, constantly working… without Peak Education, I wouldn’t have gotten that one-on-one help because I knew I always wanted to go to college.”
Peak Education provides the tools for low-income Colorado Springs students to best be prepared for the next level of their education.
“Peak Education really serves an important mission in the community with change, the positive impact, the life trajectory of students and families,” CEO of Peak Education, Carlos Jimenez, said. “Most of our students are from low- or moderate-income backgrounds, and they don’t really know much about the college admission process.”
Another teen who has seen the positive impact of Peak Education is Trinity Lawler.
“Peak Education is something that I wish every student could be a part of,” Lawler said. “It means quite literally, the world to me because it has opened so many of the doors that I was able to go to. Like everything routes back to Peak Ed, so yeah, it’s just the roots of my success.”
Robertson is now an intern at Peak Education and is impacting those she crosses paths with.
“I think her vibe is just one of the rare vibes like her vibe is so open,” Lawler said. “Like, I just want to go and tell her, like, everything about my life because she just has that inviting vibe that is so hard to find these days. She’s just a judgment-free person, like anything you tell her, she’s like, there’s no judgment.”
In opening up about her mental health journey and her path toward getting into college, she inspired Perla Ramirez.
“We shared a lot of similarities,” Lawler said. “We’re both first gen… she also was in this program that I was in, concurrent enrollment. We were able to take college courses while in high school and graduate with an Associate’s.”
Robertson is entering her sophomore year at UCCS, where she is interested in pursuing a career in social work with the goal to improve accessibility in schools for low-income students.
“I’m really starting to like program development and what I’m doing here now is like filling those gaps between what our students are accessing versus what students at a different district might be accessing,” Robertson said. “And really just closing that gaps to make sure everything is adequate for our students in lower socioeconomic backgrounds.”
While interning at Peak Education, Robertson is able to inspire others to pursue their dreams of attending college.
“I think Tyesha is such a good example of like, what we’re trying to do at Peak Education, not just get a student to college, but have them think about the ripple effect of what their life could be to others as well,” Jimenez said. “And so to have her go into the social work program and think about all the great things that she’s going to do for the Colorado Springs community after she gets through this program next year is really incredible.”
Jiminez said there are multiple ways to be involved with Peak Education and they are looking for mentors. Information can be found here.
In reflecting on her journey so far, Robertson said she would be in shock if you told her where she would end up.
“So if you would’ve told me my senior year that everything worked out and ‘it’s going to be fine,’ I would have looked at you like you’re insane,” Robertson said. “I would have said, ‘no, it’s not,’ I felt really defeated most of the time… but now that I’m here, I can vouch for myself and other people that it’s going to be okay despite how hard it is.”
Robertson is a true example of finding light at the end of the tunnel and now sharing that light with others.