Jacque is a suicide survivor, educator, coach, photographer, and advocate for at risk-youth

From about the time that I was around 10 years old I dreamed of climbing Mount Everest. I never quite thought it was possible until I summited my first Colorado 14er at 13 years old while attending Cheley Colorado Camps.

Camp really helped shape my love for the mountains. It was my sanctuary each summer and my home away from home. However, things changed a bit as I got older. I was suffering from untreated major depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder that completely consumed me. I was struggling to navigate who I thought I was supposed to be vs who I truly am. I was miserable. I suffered trauma that I didn’t know how to heal or cope with at the time. At my lowest point in my mental illness, I attempted suicide, twice… Somewhere along the way I had forgotten how to live life to the fullest and enjoy the things I used to.

Through a very long and hard recovery, I learned how to love myself, accept my true self for who I am, as well as find joy again in life. I fell in love with photography as a creative and emotional outlet to showcase my love for the outdoors.

I found a passion for health, particularly mental health and advocating for the importance of getting help to those who may not have access. I became a high school teacher and found myself constantly advocating for my at-risk students, probably beacuse I saw so much of myself in them. I also fell in love with personal training and coaching and have enjoyed helping others conquer their mental hurdles in an effort to reach for their goals.

On December 31, 2021 my best friend from camp passed away. It brought up a lot of memories but it also made me realize how truly special that place was to us and how much it saved me in some of my darkest moments. I wish everyone, especially my at-risk students, could have an opportunity to attend a summer camp to allow them to have a safe sanctuary where they are free to be themselves and help them grow confidence in their abilities to reach for their dreams.

I would not be persuing my dream of Everest if it weren’t for the things I learned and confidence I gained from camp. I am Climbing for Campers. Through the John Austin Cheley Foundation I hope to raise money through my climbing to send kids to camp who otherwise could not afford it.

“In these mountains we share smiles, swapping tales for miles, and when we’re through, what am I without you?” -Shelby Newly

Follow my journey to the top of the world and check out which summits have been completed so far!


Jacque has a background in health education, psychology, as well as personal experience with mental illness and trauma. Therefore, she is an expert in what it takes to overcom mental barriers to conquer oneself. She is available locally for public speaking events to share her story of hitting rock bottom to climbing to the top of the world. A story that is inspirational and perfect for any event from classrooms, auditoriums, conferences and keynotes! Book your presentation today by at highelevationadventure@gmail.com.