Community became family for at-risk youth |

Community became family for at-risk youth

Dear Editor:

Earlier this month, Aspen Youth Experience (AYE) conducted a very successful summer program for at-risk youth from cities across the country and here in the valley.

Over 12 days, through intense activities and facilitated group sessions, these amazing youth worked hard to overcome the limiting beliefs and negativity they absorb from their environments and developed positive self-esteem to achieve success as young adults.

On behalf of everyone at AYE, I want to thank the Roaring Fork Valley community for supporting this program. Our youth participants could not have had such a powerful experience without the outpouring of support from so many people.

Throughout the program, local host families welcomed each participant into their homes as one of their own. Local businesses and individuals contributed their services and provided meals for our entire group. And for a weekend in Marble, more than 50 volunteers camped and spent two days on our ropes course, ensuring our youth’s safe participation. From the generous contributions of all our sponsors and supporters to the direct involvement of so many volunteers, the local community became a loving, supportive family for our youth ” something they often lack at home.

When our participants returned to their cities, where they continue their development in AYE’s city-based programs and year-round curriculum, they took with them confidence, new skills and the support and encouragement of so many caring people here in the Roaring Fork Valley.

Once again this summer, our beautiful surroundings became a home, and the passionate members of our community became a family for inspirational at-risk youth from cities across the country. And, once again, we were reminded what a special place the Roaring Fork Valley really is.

David Wiedinmyer


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