Marijuana tax results in grant for Bright Future Foundation
EAGLE COUNTY — Last November, Colorado residents voted in support of Proposition BB, allowing the state to spend $66.1 million collected from the sale of marijuana. Locals will now see those funds in action with the Bright Future Foundation’s Buddy Mentor Program, which was recently awarded a roughly $94,000 grant.
The grant came from Tony Grampsas Youth Services, a statutory program providing funding to local organizations that work with youth and their families through programs designed to prevent youth crime and violence, youth marijuana use, and child abuse and neglect.
Attracting New Mentors
The grant requires a quick turnaround and high level of efficiency to ensure these funds are distributed in the most equitable, efficient and meaningful ways. Bright Future Foundation plans to use this temporary injection of funds in an effort to double its Buddy Mentor Program from 40 to 80 pairings. The money will go toward recruitment, marketing and advertising with hopes of attracting new, qualified mentors to the program. A rebranding campaign, newspaper and radio advertisements, bus wraps and a launch party are all on the docket this spring to help spread the word.
Eagle County’s Buddy Mentor Program is based on the national Big Brothers Big Sisters model of mentorship. The program strives to inspire and foster youth through consistent and trusting relationships while providing opportunities for the community to be actively involved.
Participate in The Longevity Project
The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.
Value of Mentoring
Through mentoring, children and teens develop a sense of belonging, security and self-empowerment. Research suggests, when compared to their peers, youth who are involved with a mentor are less likely to use substances, less likely to skip school and less likely to engage in physical violence. Moreover, youth involved with a mentor show increased confidence in academic work and increased success in family relationships.
A typical Buddy Mentor pairing consists of a weekly commitment for a period of one year. With the re-launch of the program this spring, Bright Future Foundation is also offering an abbreviated version of the program over the summer months, which is a critical time for youth not occupied by school. Summer Buddies will provide mentors with an opportunity to experience the program without the long-term commitment.
Interested mentors should contact Bright Future’s Belle Hollandsworth at 970-763-7208.