News & Info

Board Member Diane Anderson and Big Buddy Isabel Wolfer awarded Pitkin County Cares Awards!

Diane Anderson Isabel WolferTwo people associated with the Buddy Program were honored today with Pitkin County Cares Awards.

We are extremely proud that Buddy Program Board Member Diane Anderson has won the 2014 Pitkin County Cares Award for the Children/Youth category! Diane has served on the Buddy Program Board of Directors since 2004, and has been the Chair of the Development Committee for many of those years.  She is an unwavering pillar of support for the board and the organization, and a personal counselor to many of the staff.  This award is very well deserved, and we are very lucky to be able to work with Diane in so many ways!  You can view the video of the reading of her proclamation here.

Also honored was Isabel Wolfer, who won in the Rising Star category. Isabel is a Big Buddy in our Peer-to-Peer program at Aspen High School.  She was recognized for her work with the Buddy Program and with Pathfinders.  Congratulations Isabel!

Wait List Little Buddies

Brothers Abraham and Adrian T. have each been waiting for a Big Buddy for 2 years. Watch their video below to learn more about them and call us today if you are interested in making a difference in their lives through mentoring!

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Buddy Program Awards Over $38,000 in Continuing Education Scholarships!

This year the Buddy Program awarded $38,600 to 34 high school seniors who have been Peer to Peer Big Buddies, Little Buddies or LEAD participants. Seven of these individuals are the first generation in their families to attend college. Scholarship amounts range from $250 to $4000. Since 2012 the Buddy Program has awarded $125,100 in continuing education scholarships to 65 youth, 22 of whom have been first generation in their families to attend college.

Many thanks to Ali and Lewis Sanders and Debbie and Richard Jelinek for their generous support of the 2013 Buddy Program’s Scholarship Fund. (Pictured: Sole Lowe, Director of Community Programs, with scholarship recipient Natalie)

Experiential Program Has a New Name


Outdoor Leadership Participants from Roaring Fork High School take in the view

We are thrilled to announce a new name for our Experiential Group Mentoring Program: LEAD (Leadership through Exploration, Action, and Discovery).  Our LEAD group mentoring programs help at-risk teens develop life skills while exploring hands-on activities alongside peers and caring adults. LEAD includes Moab Youth Camp, D.R.E.A.M. Day Camp, Outdoor Leadership at Roaring Fork High school and Carbondale Middle School, and a variety of monthly activities.  Click here to learn more about L.E.A.D. Many thanks to Nathan and Karen Sandler, Laura and Lance Welch, The John Denver Aspenglow Fund, the Aspen Skiing Company Environment Foundation, Aspen Rotary Club, and the Betty Jane Schuss Charitable Fund for their generous support of LEAD.

LL HK Klanderud award

Congratulations to Buddy Program Assistant Director Lindsay Lofaro, the inaugural recipient of the Helen Kalin Klanderud Leadership Award! Lindsay received this recognition for her leadership, passion, service and commitment to quality in Health and Human Service in the Roaring Fork Valley, awarded by Pitkin county Health and Human Services.

We’re proud of you Lindsay!

Buddy Program Awards Empowerment Scholarships to 75 Little Buddies


This fall, seventy five Little Buddies were awarded up to $100 each to take part in different extra-curricular activities. Thirty seven of these Little Buddies will be involved with Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Clubs programs where they will develop as athletes while at the same time learning AVSC’s core values of commitment, teamwork, and integrity. Other Little Buddies will be using their Empowerment Scholarships funds towards gymnastics, martial arts, theater, piano lessons, and wrestling, among other activities.

 Research shows that youth who participate in extra-curricular activities are more likely to have better grades, higher educational attainment, as well as higher self-esteem. The Buddy Program is proud to have awarded so many Empowerment Scholarships for extra-curricular activities that decrease the opportunity for youth to engage in risky behaviors and encourage positive youth development.

The Joys of Being a Buddy!

Aspen Daily News

October 25, 2013


Life smiles at us when we do something for someone else. It’s a basic law.

The Buddy Program provides us with a unique opportunity for life to smile through the face of a child. Those who have experienced this know that there is nothing more wonderful. This is why I decided to become a Big Buddy mentor.

I would say that being a volunteer only takes a few hours out of my week, but the reality is that those hours aren’t “taken” from me; they are given to me.

There is no better investment for our community than listening, playing and smiling with a young person who in the future will become a source of light in our neighborhood, or anywhere else in the world. This is the best way to prevent crime and hopelessness, and to promote love and abundance.

The Buddy Program needs more male and female mentors in the midvalley, where the most children are waiting to be matched.

Call Heather Hicks, director of recruitment, for more information on how you can get involved at (970) 920-2130, or visit www.buddyprogram.org.

Samuel Bernal


A Day in the Life of a Buddy Program Case Manager

Buddy Pair Sky and Carlton, and Case Manager Sarah Evans, on Lemonade Day in Aspen

The occupation of Case Manager and Program Coordinator is somewhat esoteric.  For people in the community – from my personal friends to donors – the work of program staff in a mentoring organization like the Buddy Program may not be well understood.  Because I am extremely proud of the work that I and my colleagues do and…

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Give Back to Your Community in 2014!

Another year has begun and is filled with the hope for a bright year of health and happiness. It is very common that at the beginning of a new year we all begin to think about resolutions: things that we want to change or improve in our lives, new goals and purposes. If you are…

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