Ten CC students were among 25 students and recent grads from four area colleges and universities who participated in the third Quad Innovation Project Summer Intensive, partnering with local organizations in developing scalable, innovative solutions to real-world problems.

“I was pushed out of my comfort zone and challenged to think bigger, broader, and from multiple perspectives,” says Abbey Lew ’18 (above), who worked on a project addressing food insecurity in the community.

The teams included members from CC, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and Pikes Peak Community College. “For many of our participants, it was their first time working closely together with students from such radically different backgrounds, and it went phenomenally,” says Quad Partnership Director Jake Eichengreen.

Maylin Fuentes ’19, a CC political science major, worked on a project to build an urban farm. Her teammates were a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Special Forces pursuing an associate’s degree in science and a retired army private who just finished his third degree in advanced manufacturing at Pikes Peak Community College.

Thomas Gifford ’18 worked with his team to reduce peak energy demand in the region by developing a new format for utility billing. “Not only did I gain confidence in my own abilities, but also in the idea that I can truly contribute towards solving a large and complicated issue when working with the right people,” he says.

Gifford received a job offer from the startup Maxletics, which he accepted and where he worked for the remainder of the summer; he met the company’s founders through the Quad summer program. Along with Gifford, several summer participants interviewed with and/or obtained employment with businesses or organizations that visited the class as part of the program.