Aspen Youth Experience director to step down

Aspen Times Staff

Aspen Youth Experience Executive Director Bennett Bramson will step down as of July 31. “It was an opportunity to pursue some personal things,” Bramson said. “Aspen Youth Experience has been great. It’s gone through tremendous change, but it’s been really positive. Now is a good time to let someone else take it to the next level.”Bramson has been with Aspen Youth Experience for two years and will spend a good deal of time before the end of July helping with the search for his replacement. “He hired a completely new staff of four,” said Dave Marrs, board president for Aspen Youth Experience. “He took us out of a cash constraint position to a positive, healthy balance sheet. This was our first year we ever had a corporate sponsor, which is a big deal for us and shows the strength of our mission. Those are key accomplishments.”Bramson said he will likely go back to working more on his 9-year-old consulting business, DevelopMentors. “I’m not leaving the valley,” he said. “We own a home here. I’m going to try to make positive impacts in the valley, continue to work with Aspen Youth Experience; I’m a big believer in collaboration and cooperation.”During Bramson’s tenure, he encountered challenges such as dealing with students affected by Hurricane Katrina and the killing of a student. “You come in every day and you’d like to know everything is great, but in the population we deal with there are struggles and challenges,” he said. “For many of them, we are their family.”Aspen Youth Experience’s plans for the summer include a Latino Youth Camp, summer program, fundraiser and a collaborative event with Theatre Aspen. Bramson said he hopes a new executive director will be working by the end of June.”Change is the only inevitable in the world today,” he said. “You take that change and make it into opportunities for development. I think we’ve done that.”