Buddy Program to take over Aspen Youth Experience
December 10, 2009
ASPEN – The local nonprofit Buddy Program is absorbing the operations of the Aspen Youth Experience (AYE), officials said Wednesday.
The arrangement, which will take effect Jan. 1, means AYE will no longer operate independently.
“By integrating AYE’s unique programs into its mission, the Buddy Program will be able to provide specialized, in-depth programming to Little Buddies when needed and add group mentoring programs for its wait-listed children, while continuing existing services for AYE’s Roaring Fork Valley youth and alumni,” a press release says.
The Buddy Program, which was founded in 1973, pairs adult volunteers known as Big Buddies, with youth, or Little Buddies, in mentoring relationships. The pairs meet two to three times a month over a period of a year.
AYE’s mission has been to provide transforming experiences for at-risk teens and young adults. The curriculum has included outdoor activities and year-round life skills development, backers say.
The absorption by the Buddy Program comes at a time when AYE was struggling financially.
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“This integration of services provides an ideal bridge to the shared desire of both organizations’ boards to economically and effectively provide programs that will meet the increasingly complex social and cultural needs of youth in our community,” said Catherine Anne Provine, executive director of the Buddy Program.
AYE Executive Director David Wiedinmyer said the move reduces “duplicate overhead and enables donor dollars for these essential programs to go farther. At the Buddy Program, AYE’s programming will continue serving our valley alumni, grow to reach more youth, and become an even stronger, positive force in our community.”