After-school programs lift kids in need |

After-school programs lift kids in need

Alice B. Pugh
My Echo Story
Vail, CO Colorado
Full Circle participants on a recent hike. Front row: Jose Camarena, Eddie Monge, Jesus Martinez, Federico Montes and Alberto Villalobos. Back row: Brayan Luna, Dakota Renz, Christian Luna, Conner Camp and Makali Beck.

Editor’s note: This column, submitted by Vail Resorts, showcases the nonprofits that the company supports through its Vail Resorts Echo program.

Mountain passes may divide, but Full Circle of Lake County connects neighboring communities. Full Circle empowered 253 children and 236 parents last year. Eighty percent of our parents work in Eagle and Summit counties, leaving their youth with little supervision.

Nubia entered Full Circle in Leadville as a 10-year-old child. With her single mom working long hours in Vail, Nubia was constantly in trouble. She and her mentor turned that energy into real action and, in December, Nubia will graduate from the Colorado School of Mines with an engineering degree, a professional job and, best of all, her U.S. citizenship.

Young people in Leadville face huge challenges of poverty, learning English as a second language, poor self-esteem and a lack of role models. Full Circle changes that equation. Fourth- through sixth-graders enter our mentoring project and are matched with awesome volunteers who meet weekly to cement a positive healthy relationship, help with homework and introduce children to a wide variety of healthy interests such as hiking, skiing, reading or cooking. Outdoor experiential after-school programs are exciting, challenging and inspiring for our youth in seventh through 12th grade. More than 200 youth discover their potential through rock climbing, camping, snowboarding, team building and so much more. All activities use discussion and interactive activities to foster positive development. Full Circle’s youth graduate from high school, become leaders in their community and learn to solve problems peacefully.

Parents need help, as well. Full Circle facilitates parenting classes that teach them how to decrease stress, increase communication and discipline while providing support and empowerment. Full Circle’s Immigrant Project is recognized as a model program. Acculturating women develop leadership and integrate into our community. Cultural competency trainings throughout the mountain region expand our mission.

Full Circle partners with Vail Echo to sustain our successful after-school programs. For just over $1,000 per year per child, Full Circle is making a “World of Difference … On Top of it All.” Find out more at

Alice B. Pugh is the executive director of Full Circle of Lake County. Through Vail Resorts Echo, Vail Resorts hopes to connect its communities to its efforts – from on-the-ground conservation programs to grants for local schools. Aimed at both protecting the natural resources that surround the resorts and helping build stronger communities where its employees live and work, Vail Resorts Echo encompasses three core efforts: environmental stewardship, charitable giving and community engagement. Learn more at

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