Program allowing youth to mentor and give back |

Program allowing youth to mentor and give back

Heather Hower
The Youth Foundation
Vail, CO Colorado
Youth Foundation Community Coaches help register Eagle County youth for the Homestake Peak PwrHrs After School program. For more information on The Youth Foundation, visit

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

The Youth Foundation’s Community Coach Mentor program develops the character of inspiring high school students who have participated in Youth Foundation programs and now want to give back. Participants engage in weekly activities, including personal-growth seminars and service projects. In addition, they act as mentors to younger Youth Foundation participants, providing positive role models and setting good examples.

In 2011, the Community Coaches dedicated an average of 160 hours each to working with their mentees. One of the most dedicated Community Coaches is Eagle County’s Hugo Castillo. Castillo has been involved with The Youth Foundation since the fourth grade. In elementary school, he struggled academically. Thanks to The Youth Foundation’s PwrHrs After School program and his own determination, Castillo met his challenges and has become a powerful leader to younger students.

“As a Community Coach, I help kids develop character skills like honesty and confidence,” said Castillo, who holds his mentees to high standards while maintaining a fun and compassionate atmosphere. “I have the opportunity to help kids in school and be good leaders.”

After graduating from Battle Mountain High School with honors last year, Castillo received scholarships to continue his education. He was awarded the 2011 “Best Service to Community” honor by Battle Mountain for the hundreds of hours he has spent as a Community Coach Mentor. Castillo is currently a full-time Colorado Mountain College student.

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“The Youth Foundation is important to me because it helps me interact with kids and share the skills that I learned from (The Youth Foundation) when I was younger,” he said.

The Youth Foundation, the Vail Valley Foundation’s educational arm, is able to offer programs such as Community Coach Mentors thanks to the support of Vail Resorts Echo.

Heather Hower is volunteer coordinator for the Youth Foundation. 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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