45 Facts for 45 Years at the Buddy Program!

  1. This year we celebrate 45 years of programs and services. That’s a lot of mentoring!
  2. We are one of six organizations in Colorado, and the only organization in the Roaring Fork Valley, to be recognized by Mentor, The National Mentoring Partnership and Mentor Colorado through the National Quality Mentoring System for our excellence in programming.
  3. We serve youth in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield Counties with our programming ranging from Aspen to Rifle, including programming in 12 schools.
  4. Six of our staff are bilingual in Spanish.
  5. Our matches in the Community Program stay together for 4.5 years on average (the National average is 23 months)
  6. In 2017 we worked with 134 Adult Big Buddies and 104 High School Big Buddies.
  7. We have 16 board members and 10 Junior Board Members and over 100 volunteers help with the Race and Bash Events in the Summer. We love our Volunteers!
  8. Last summer we sent 4 students to study in Uruguay, Spain, France and Morocco, thanks to support from private donors and the Student Diplomacy Corps.
  9. 5 students spent last summer on Outward Bound Courses, thanks to generous scholarships from Colorado Outward Bound School. Our staff work tirelessly to ensure these opportunities are realized!
  10. The Buddy Program provides scholarships for extracurricular activities twice a year to all of our Little Buddies, thanks to our Empowerment Scholarship programming.
  11. In 2017, our LEAD (Leadership through Exploration, Action and Discovery) Program participants spent 600 hours in the back country, 236 hours in the classroom and 23 nights under the stars, participating in back country experiences and exploration to develop critical life skills such as communication, team work and planning.
  12. The Buddy Program’s Outdoor Leadership course at Basalt High School, Roaring Fork High School, and Rifle High School is designed and taught by Buddy Program staff. It’s in its 6th year of back country trip planning, navigation, meal planning, local land features and management, camping, backpacking, non-technical climbing, mountain weather, and group dynamics.
  13. High school students enrolled in the Buddy Program’s Outdoor Leadership course earn dual high school and college credit with Colorado Mountain College.
  14. The Buddy Program Outdoor Leadership course instructors are accredited Colorado Mountain College faculty for the Mountain Orientation and Non-Technical Mountaineering courses.
  15. New in 2017-2018, Basalt High School Outdoor Leadership program piloted Colorado Mountain College’s Canyon Orientation course to the curriculum, bringing even more opportunity for CMC credit to our students.
  16. New this year, the Buddy Program is pleased to be part of the Garfield County’s Generation Wild coalition to bring outdoor opportunities to youth in Western Garfield County. Through a 3-year grant from Great Outdoors Colorado, the Buddy Program has expanded our Outdoor Leadership program to Rifle High School and Rifle Middle School and could not be happier about it!
  17. Expected Outcome questionnaires, administered to Outdoor Leadership high school and middle school students in the 2017-2018 school year, revealed that 97% of both high school and middle school Outdoor Leadership students identified improvement in communication with peers. Additionally, 100% of Outdoor Leadership high school and middle school students identified improvement in teamwork and 100% of Outdoor Leadership middle school students identified improvement in trust.
      1. Roaring Fork School District and Garfield School District No. Re-2 are critical partners for Outdoor Leadership. Staff provide student referrals, help coordinating meeting space within the buildings, and assist with outreach to youth and families. Thank you, RFSD and GSD!
      2. Colorado Mountain College is a valued partner for the Buddy Program. In addition to offering college credit to Outdoor Leadership high school students, CMC also shares curricular materials and provides other critical technical support. Thank you, CMC!
      3. The Buddy Program has incredible support from the community! Some partners from this year’s Outdoor Leadership program included Aspen Expeditions, EcoFlight, Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers, 10th Mountain Hut Division, 5Point Film Festival, and Wilderness Workshop, just to name a few!
      4. In 2017, the Buddy Program served 529 unduplicated youth ages 6-18 through our four core mentoring programs, at no cost to families, youth or schools served.
      5. The Buddy Program provides case management to youth and families as well as training for Big Buddies to ensure relationships are set up for success.
      6. The Buddy Program provides funding for professional counseling should our youth or the family benefit from it.
      7. The Buddy program arranges 20-25 FREE activities for Buddy pairs to participate in each year. These include ski days, bowling, cooking classes, community service projects, and tickets to performances just to name a few!
      8. The Community Program is the Buddy Program’s longest running program where youth ages 6-18 are matched with an adult mentor, referred to as a Big Buddy. Buddy Pairs see each other 3-4 times a month, receive an average of 4 hours of case management monthly and are invited to 20-25 free activities throughout the year. In 2017, 178 youth were served in our Community Program.
      9. In the School-based Program, adult Big Buddies meet with their Little Buddies at the local elementary or middle school weekly throughout the school year. Pairs are encouraged to spend time together, talking, eating lunch, working on the computer, playing games, or working on projects provided by the Buddy Program. In 2017, 23 youth were served in our School-based program.
      10. In the 2017-2018 school year, the Buddy Program was part of a collective grant effort through Mentor Colorado to receive an AmeriCorps member to mentor 10 youth at Basalt Elementary School. The AmeriCorps member spent one-on-one time with the students each week and supported them in their classroom as well.
      11. In the Peer-to-Peer Program, high school Big Buddies meet with their Little Buddies at the elementary or middle school once a week throughout the academic year. TBP serves youth in the Aspen Elementary School, Basalt Middle School, and Crystal River Elementary School (Carbondale) through this program. High School Big Buddies are coached by staff on developing and maintaining strong relationships as well as balancing schoolwork and volunteering, while managing their time and staying accountable to their relationship with their Little Buddy. In 2017, 104 high school Big Buddies and 120 Little Buddies participated in our Peer-to-Peer Program.
      12. In the LEAD Experiential Group Mentoring Program (Leadership through Exploration, Action and Discovery) students in grades 6-12 explore life skills through outdoor and hands-on programming. Programs include a 5-day camping, rock climbing and rafting trip in Moab, Utah for high school students; a 5-day camp in August for middle school students, an Outdoor Leadership Course at Roaring Fork and Basalt High Schools and Carbondale and Basalt Middle Schools and monthly activities and camp reunions. Students in the high school Outdoor Leadership course meet twice a week in the classroom setting, participate in monthly outdoor excursions such as rock climbing, trail work, or hiking and have three multi-day outings during the school year including backpacking and a winter hut trip. At the middle school level, students meet with a Buddy Program instructor once a month and participate in two, multi-day trips throughout the course of the year. In 2017, 105 youth participated in our LEAD Program.
      13. In 2017 the number of high-risk referrals increased. This includes risk factors such as abuse and neglect, death of a parent, domestic violence, and youth being at risk for out of home placement.
      14. 55% of youth and families we served in 2017 report making less than $50,000 a year. In 2015 the self-sufficiency standard for Pitkin County was $63,717 and the highest in the state of Colorado.
      15. The Buddy Program offers training courses for new mentors and our case managers are implementing a Mindful Mentoring approach in our work with our volunteers. Every two months, mentors receive an email on the element that is the focus for that time frame and are asked to look for ways to apply the associated actions in their relationship with their Little Buddies.
      16. The Buddy Program case management team utilizes The Developmental Relationships Framework, identified by The Search Institute. It is comprised of five elements, expressed in 20 specific actions, that make relationships powerful in young people’s lives. The case management team at the Buddy Program is excited to share our new focus on Developmental Relationships and the way we are using this framework to inspire and coach our Big Buddies to mentor with intentionality.
      17. The Buddy Program’s Love Your Community initiative promotes community service among our Buddies and families and we encourage our mentees to participate in community service at least twice a year. The same way that our mentors volunteer their time, encourage and guide so many kids in our community, mentees can also participate through random acts of kindness or through formal projects with outside agencies. The Love Your Community initiative is the Buddy Program’s way of teaching youth in our programs the importance of giving their time and effort for the sake of giving alone – the reward being the joy of living in a wonderful community!
      18. In 1973, a therapist at the community mental health center recognized that many of his clients were single mothers. Having been a Big Brother in college, he started providing mentors for boys and girls in the community. In 1989 the Buddy Program was incorporated as a 501(c )3 and in 1994 the organization expanded to include the communities of Basalt and El Jebel. In 2005 the organization started School-based Programming with adult and high school volunteers and in 2010 we incorporated our outdoor, experiential, group mentoring programs. We now service youth in Aspen, Basalt, El Jebel, Carbondale, and Rifle.
      19. The Buddy Program is more than just a mentoring organization! Whether families are in need of counseling or winter coats, the Buddy Program helps to connect families to the right resources so they can not only survive, but THRIVE!
      20. The Buddy Program is an active partner with the Aspen, Roaring Fork, and Garfield No. Re-2 School Districts, Mindsprings Health, Aspen Youth Center, Aspen Family Connections, Kids First, Pitkin and Eagle Counties Child Protection Teams, RESPONSE, Roaring Fork Family Resource Centers, Youth Zone, the Hope Center, Aspen Community Foundation, Christ Episcopal Church (we refer families for Holiday Baskets and their tutoring programs), among others. We find that the schools can ensure academic services but use the Buddy Program to ensure that a child in their school has the social and emotional support as well as connections to other services in the community.
      21. The Buddy Program is so grateful for the support of so many people in our community. Everyone who helps us is invaluable – we could not do what we do without you! Each year there are a few individuals who distinguish themselves by going above and beyond. The Buddy Program celebrates these individuals each year with awards in three different categories:
        1. Hero Award – Established in 2000, the Hero is awarded to those without whom our programs would never be as strong and successful as they are.
        2. Angel Award – Established in 2009, the Angel is given to outstanding individuals who have significantly advanced the Buddy Program’s fundraising and development efforts.
        3. Golden Carabiner Award – Established in 2014, the Golden Carabiner is awarded to individuals who have been instrumental in furthering our LEAD programs.
      22. The Bash for the Buddies typically raises $700,000 or more in one night which is nearly two thirds of the Buddy Program’s annual operating budget, thanks to the generosity and support of our many donors!
      23. The Buddy Program has arrangements with over 40 local businesses that provide discounted products and services to Buddy Pairs when they are together. We are so grateful!
      24. There are over 25 boys and girls currently waiting to be matched with a Big Buddy! Becoming a Big Buddy is one of the most enjoyable things one can ever do. And, it’s a fulfilling way to give back to the community. Big Buddies have the opportunity to make an impact on a child’s life and shape their future for the better by giving time, talents, energy and commitment.  The relationships formed between our Big and Little Buddies are what make our programs so special. We match Big and Little Buddies according to their interests so that they can share in activities they already enjoy doing!
      25. 42 new youth were matched in 2017 in the Community and School-based programs.
      26. The Buddy Program connects holiday baskets for 25 families each year, through a partnership with Christ Episcopal Church.
      27. Now firmly ensconced as a holiday tradition, the Annual Buddy Program Gingerbread House Workshops are a fun activity for over 100 Little and Big Buddies to gather for an afternoon of creativity and sweets as they decorate their own gingerbread houses to help ring in the holiday season. 2018 marks our 6th year, and will be the first year of adding a second workshop in Carbondale!
      28. All donations to the Buddy Program are 100% tax-deductible to the full extent of the law and come with many other special perks!

      Here’s to the next 45! 

      Please consider making a donation to the Buddy Program so we can continue to serve our youth in the Roaring Fork Valley.



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