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News & Info

Annual Bash for the Buddies!

Join us on Thursday, July 6th, 2017 for our Annual Buddy Bash!

Click here to learn more and purchase tickets!


Boogie's 31st Annual Buddy Race!


Boogie’s annual Buddy Race!
July 4th, 2017

Start and finish at Rio Grande Park:
7:00 AM Registration
8:00 AM 5-Mile Race
9:00 AM 1-Mile Family and Canine Walk

Buddy Program Awards $35,000 in Continuing Education Scholarships!


The Buddy Program awarded 17 scholarships totaling $25,000 for higher education to well-deserving high school students from Aspen to Carbondale, CO for the 2016-2017 school year.

Our mission is to empower youth through mentoring experiences in order to achieve their full potential, and we are honored to carry out that mission. Congratulations seniors!

Pictured: Jill Gruenberg with BHS Scholarship winners!

Daniels Fund and Boettcher Scholarship Awards!

Congratulations to our Peer-to-Peer Big Buddies who received FULL RIDE Daniels Fund and Boettcher Scholarships to college!

These scholarships are given to high school seniors who demonstrate exceptional character, leadership, and a commitment to serving their communities. Volunteering with the Buddy Program has played an essential role in receiving these, and we could not be more proud of them! We are ecstatic to see where their futures take them.

Click here to become a Big Buddy!

Carbondale Chamber Non-Profit of the Year!

We are beyond honored to be recognized as 2016’s Carbondale Chamber Non-Profit Business of the year! Thank you for the opportunity and the recognition!

Mentor Spotlight!

Happy 75th Birthday to one of our star Big Buddies, Arlene Nelson! Arlene and Jakaline have been paired for almost a year and they spend most Sundays together. Arlene comes up with great activities for them to do together: snowshoeing up Hunter Creek, exploring Independence pass during winter, hiking at Maroon Bells where Arlene is a forest service ambassador, gardening, and cooking dinner together. Arlene certainly sets the bar high for a mentor of any age!

Pitkin County Cares Awards

Two of our Big Buddies were honored at the Pitkin County Cares Award Ceremony on November 16th! Community Big Buddy, Anne Blackwell, and Peer-to-Peer Big Buddy, Elizabeth de Wetter recieved awards for outstanding volunteer service in our community. We are so proud of them!

de-wetters-3   anne-recieving-award-3

Pictured left to right:

Elizabeth’s parents, Regina and Robert, receive their daughter’s award on her behalf, as she is a freshman in college in Boulder.

Anne Blackwell and her Buddy, Samantha, stand together as Anne is honored.

Buddy Program Awards over $40,000 in Continuing Education Scholarships

BHS schol night

Pictured from Left to Right are Basalt High School continuing education award recipients: Jamie B, Makenzie H., Daniella C., Blanca L., Michelle L., Nathaly R., Stina P., Becca M., and Lindsay Lofaro Photo credit: Kara Williams

Aspen, CO – The Buddy Program awarded 38 scholarships for higher education to well-deserving high school students from Aspen to Carbondale, CO.

The Buddy Program’s mission is to empower youth
through mentoring experiences in order to achieve their full potential.

“Our donors support our continuing education scholarship fund so that we can reward youth who have been involved as high school Big Buddies, Little Buddies or with our LEAD Programs. It is these donors who make these awards happen. Additionally, our scholarship committee ensures that our dollars are invested in youth who have made a difference in our own community and will continue to make a difference throughout their lives” states David Houggy, Executive Director of the Buddy Program.

This year, the Buddy Program awarded $44,000 to 38 high school seniors who have volunteered as Big Buddies through the Peer-to-Peer program, been involved as a Little Buddy or as a LEAD youth participant. Eighteen of these individuals are the first generation in their family to attend college.  Since 2012, the Buddy Program has awarded $169,754 in continuing education scholarships to 113 youth, 47 of whom have been first generation to attend college.

For over 40 years, the Buddy Program has been serving youth in the Roaring Fork Valley community.  The Buddy Program runs five programs throughout the Roaring Fork Valley, including one-on-one mentoring, group/experiential mentoring, and financial literacy education.  In addition to mentoring experiences, the organization provides professional case management, extracurricular activity scholarships, continuing education scholarships, therapeutic counseling and other benefits. Pairs in our Community Program stay together for 4 years, compared to the national average of 23 months. Program evaluations demonstrate that the Buddy Program has helped our Little Buddies in areas of self-esteem, decision making, academics and relationships with friends and family. The Buddy Program worked with over 1,000 youth and their families in 2014, and continues to grow to meet the large need in the Roaring Fork Valley. The Buddy Program is a registered 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Community Dinner Explores Impact of Marijuana on Developing Adolescent Brains

Nelson speakingAbout 25 community members joined the Buddy Program at the home of John and Jessica Fullerton on October 21st for dinner and a discussion of the potential impact of marijuana legalization on our community. Dr. Alan Nelson, Board Certified Psychiatrist who works with teens and adults in the area of addiction medicine, spoke about the science behind addiction and marijuana’s impacts.  A panel of Buddy Program Case Managers and Big Buddy’s then spoke on how specifically they address issues like this with Little Buddies, to help make sure they are positioned to make smart, healthy decisions.  Click the links below for more information.

Dr. Nelson has offices in Carbondale and Aspen, and can be reached at 970-963-1588

Marijuana’s Effects on the Brain

Adverse Health Effects of Marijuana Use

Cannabis Revisited

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!

Volunteer needs!

Mentee Waitlist Spotlight-June 2017

Name: Sergey P.     Age: 10     Lives in: Aspen
Sergey moved to the valley from Kazakhstan a little over a year ago and will be in 5th grade at Aspen Middle School next fall. Sergey is kind, smart, open-hearted, creative, and athletic. He is passionate about Tae Kwon Do, and also enjoys skateboarding, biking, basketball, ice skating, swimming, the climbing wall, and going to the ARC with friends. Sergey would like to be an actor when he grows up and if he could meet any famous person, it would be Bruce Lee!

Mentee Waitlist Spotlight-May 2017

Name: Sonia M.    Age: 10    Lives in: Carbondale
Sonia is 10 years old and attends Carbondale Community School. She is outgoing, loves the outdoors, snowboarding, bowling, ice skating, painting, and animals. Sonia is a mini cheerleader at Roaring Fork High School and her favorite color is pink. She’d like her Buddy to be funny, noisy, and good at math (because she is not!). Sonia would feel “thankful for her Big Buddy and would appreciate the opportunity!”

Mentee Waitlist Spotlight- April 2017

Name: Evan W.     Age: 10     Lives in: Aspen
Evan is a 10 year old, 4th grade student at Aspen Elementary School who is waiting for the right Big Buddy. Evan is friendly, extroverted, active, theatrical, and very funny. Evan has 11 year old twin sisters, a close family, and lots of friends, but he would love a mentor that he can play sports with including soccer, lacrosse, football, basketball, tennis, golf, hiking, bowling, and skiing. When he’s keeping you busy with all those activities or making you laugh with his sense of humor and acting skills, Evan enjoys going to plays, listening to and playing music, movies, and watching science fiction shows such as Dr. Who!
click here to become a Big Buddy!

Mentee Waitlist Spotlight- March 2017

Name: Nayeli N.     Age: 14     Lives in: El Jebel
Nayeli is an 8th grader at Basalt Middle School. She is a smart, sweet, compassionate, and very articulate girl. In her free time she enjoys riding her bike, baking, listening to music, going to the pool, arts & crafts, and being outdoors. Education is important to Nayeli; she feels happy when she gets her homework done. Her dream is to go to college and become a nurse or doctor. She is looking forward to having a Big Buddy “who understands me, who has hope, and also someone I can trust during difficult moments”.
click here to become a Big Buddy!

Mentee Waitlist Spotlight- October 2016

Name: Tyler S.   Lives in: Aspen   Age:11

Tyler enjoys football, soccer and being outdoors.


The one thing he would love to do with his Big Buddy is to go to the Glenwood Springs Caverns, as he’s trying to conquer his fear of heights. He is full of energy and his smile will make you melt!

click here to become a Big Buddy!


Mentee Waitlist Spotlight - Sept 2016

Name: Rosa L.

Age: 13unnamed

Lives in: El Jebel

Rosa is an 8th grader and will soon be going to high school. She would really benefit from a Big Buddy who can support and encourage her through her teenage years. She loves playing basketball and ping pong, arts and crafts, swimming, and going for walks to the park!.
click here to become a Big Buddy!

Mentee Waitlist Spotlight - Summer 2016

Name: Ariel R.   Age: 11 this summer!   Lives in: Carbondale
Favorite actAriel Ruiz IIivities: Ariel is very active and loves sports and the outdoors. He has been involved with the AVSC, taking snowboard lessons. He also likes riding bikes, playing football, soccer and basketball, swimming, music and dancing!

What Ariel would gain from having a mentor: Ariel is REALLY excited about getting a Big Buddy to explore and be active with. He would benefit from having a Big Buddy who can help him experience many different types of activities in the valley!

Ariel was recently matched with a Big Buddy! Click here to see!

Click here to become a Big Buddy!