Supporting youth pays off |

Supporting youth pays off

Dear Editor:

On behalf of everyone at Aspen Youth Experience, I want to thank the Roaring Fork Valley community for supporting AYE’s Winter Program last week.

Over 10 days, a group of amazing at-risk teens from cities across the country and here in the valley participated in rigorous activities and facilitated group sessions. They worked hard to develop the positive self-esteem and skills they need to rise above the negative forces of their environments.

Throughout the program, the local community became a loving, supportive family for our youth ” something they often lack at home. 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. Volunteer ski and snowboard instructors spent three days on the mountain propelling the youth to overcome their fears and experience a true success.

Our youth participants could not have had such a powerful experience without the outpouring of support from so many people. 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.

Our youth need our programs now more than ever, as their positive support systems weaken and destructive influences strengthen in the current economic climate. We are grateful for the passionate members of our Roaring Fork Valley community, who continue to make a difference in the lives of our youth, help them make positive choices, and enable them to focus on a constructive future as forces for change in their own communities.

David Wiedinmyer

executive director

Aspen Youth Experience

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