About The Buddy Program


We envision a thriving community in which all members are supported and connected through meaningful relationships and experiences to achieve success.


The Buddy Program empowers youth through mentoring experiences to achieve their full potential.

Mentoring and More

For 46 years, the Buddy Program has been serving youth in the Roaring Fork Valley community.  The Buddy Program runs four mentoring programs primarily serving youth from Aspen to Carbondale, and thanks to a grant received in 2018, Rifle. These programs include one-on-one mentoring and group, experiential mentoring.


What started as a small, grassroots effort in 1973 to match adults with kids in mentoring relationships, has become one of the largest youth serving organizations in the Roaring Fork Valley. 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 1991 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 volunteers and the Peer-to-Peer Program involving high school volunteers as mentors. In 2010 we incorporated our outdoor, experiential, group mentoring programs known as the LEAD (Leadership through Exploration Action and Discovery) Program. Also, in 2010 the Buddy Program started serving youth in Carbondale and in 2015 we moved our mid-valley office from Basalt to Carbondale to establish a more defined presence in that community. A grant from Great Outdoors Colorado Generation Wild fund in 2018 led to the establishment of our LEAD Outdoor Leadership Class at Rifle High and Middle Schools in the fall of 2018. This is a three year grant.

Over the years the organization has expanded to add to the mentoring experiences we provide youth. Today we offer professional case management, free activities for Buddy Pairs throughout the year, extracurricular activity scholarships for youth, therapeutic counseling and other services. 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 547 youth and their families in 2018 and an additional 147 adult volunteer Big Buddies. The Buddy Program is a registered 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

The Buddy Program is an equal opportunity employer that complies with applicable law.  Except where there is a business necessity or a bona fide occupational qualification, the Buddy Program will make employment decisions without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, military service, veteran or marital status, or any other basis prohibited by law.

Become a Buddy

Become a Big Buddy
Refer a Little Buddy



Fast Facts: More Than Surviving…Thriving!

The Buddy Program is more than just mentoring; the Buddy Program provides the resources for our participants and their families to not only survive, but to THRIVE!


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