Mountain Youth celebrates families, learning and successes

Capstone event for the nonprofit’s partners brings reflection, laughter and community conversation

Mountain Youth celebrated its successes and the success of its many program participants with a capstone event held at the Lodge at Vail in June.
Anna Glass/Courtesy photo

Mountain Youth is often a behind-the-scenes magic maker. The organization is dedicated to creating a community where all youth thrive — no easy or small task. Yet every year the nonprofit helps young people soar. In June, Mountain Youth celebrated its successes and the success of its many program participants with a capstone event held at The Lodge at Vail.

Families mingled, shared stories, and talked about the past year and plans for the future. Each program leader shared successes from the past year, thanking everyone who has taken the time to be involved. The evening was bilingual, a place for all families to come together and share pride in each other.

Mountain Youth successes in 2021

  • 1,547 students received school-based life skills and social emotional learning opportunities
  • 1,130 attendees at Eat Chat Parent and Move Chat Parent education
  • 243 parents attended Aprendiendo Juntos Spanish engagement
  • 28 young people received Tu Guia tutoring and mentoring
  • 354 individuals received safe driving education
  • 49 individuals received We Hear You family interventions
  • 120 students participated in Valley’s Voice leadership and advocacy opportunities
  • 1,747 participants attended prosocial and community events
  • 514 individuals participated in training opportunities, board and committee involvement
  • 6,805 individuals took the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, Parent Survey or Social Norms data collection and assessment

“We celebrated program participants, acknowledged our annual successes, and embraced education around health — mental, physical and spiritual — and the importance of strong family connections,” said Michelle Stecher, Mountain Youth’s executive director. “Mountain Youth’s Capstone event was an evening to commemorate the hard work of our participants and leaders. Thank you to everyone that came out to share and to learn; we are stronger together.”

The highlight of the evening was two speakers who believe strongly in community involvement and strive to make a difference every day in the world around us.

Program participants were celebrated at Mountain Youth’s capstone event in June.
Anna Glass/Courtesy photo

Pastor Molly Booker focused on the power of collective impact — how together we are always stronger, building each other up for success. In a world that can feel hectic and chaotic, she encouraged attendees to think of five things that bring them joy and to prioritize these passions. After all, the point of life is to live it fully and with joy.

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Booker inspired attendees to think of five people who they love deeply and can be completely themselves around. She implored everyone in the room to make more time to be with those people.

High school student leader Alvaro Marin gave a powerful speech, calling on attendees to think deeply about the special bond between child and parent and to hold that time together sacred. Time is a river, flowing into nowhere. Alvaro is involved with three programs at Mountain Youth and has been part of the organization since 2020. Giving young people a voice is an important aspect of the organization. As a matter of fact, Tu Guia — “Your Guide” — was developed as a result of the need young people saw to help others their age.

Mountain Youth is determined to make the community better through civic engagement, parenting classes, mentorship and tutoring opportunities, and passion projects for young people. It’s not an exclusive organization: All are welcomed and encouraged to be difference makers. Many supporters make the programs possible at Mountain Youth. Vail Resorts made the event possible through its EPIC promise-giving program.

Mountain Youth doesn’t take a break because it’s summer. Mountain Youth offers trainings, workshops, activities and events for people of all ages.

“We strive to work together and bring impactful trainings throughout the year. We’re committed to staying engaged and providing young people and families with fun opportunities,” Stecher said.

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