YouthPower365 receives grant for student assistance program
New AmeriCorps program is in partnership with Eagle County Schools to support students and families
The Vail Valley Foundation’s YouthPower365 is establishing a new AmeriCorps program, Peak Pathfinders, in partnership with Eagle County Schools. The program will bring 10 service members to the county from September to August to provide mentorship, academic support and family engagement to the county’s most at-risk students.
“This is an exceptionally important program, and one that could not come at a more critical time,” said Sara Amberg, executive director of YouthPower365. “It’s an effort we have been pursuing for years, but recently, through the hard work of many people at our organization and at Eagle County School District, we were awarded with a generous grant to get this established and help the students who need it most.”
This program directly speaks to a critical need of students that was only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than ever, many Eagle County students are in need of one-on-one engagement, extended learning opportunities and a broad scope of support so they can find their way back to steady, lasting academic and social-emotional growth.
Despite the need, finding additional mentors, leaders and teachers who can provide such services has proven to be challenging.
The Peak Pathfinders program will seek to fill this need by helping students build a trusted adult relationship to connect with and build trust.
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“We are very excited to be partners in establishing this transformational support program for our students and their families,” said Melisa Rewold-Thuon, assistant superintendent of support services for Eagle County Schools. “With the community support and infrastructure we have in place, we expect our most at-risk students to benefit immensely from the Peak Pathfinders AmeriCorps program this school year and for years to come.”
Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through thousands of nonprofit, community and faith-based organizations across the country. These citizens have played a critical role in the recovery of communities affected by disasters and helped thousands of first-generation college students access higher education.
They also tutor and mentor young people, connect veterans to jobs, care for seniors, reduce crime and revive cities, fight the opioid epidemic, and meet other critical needs. Since the agency’s inception in 1994, nearly 1.2 million AmeriCorps members have served the nationwide.
In Colorado, AmeriCorps is administered by Serve Colorado, a program guided by the Governor’s Commission for Community Service that aids community-based organizations to meet local needs.