Success through education, recreation in the Vail Valley |

Success through education, recreation in the Vail Valley

Daily staff report
Eagle County, CO Colorado

Organization name: The Youth Foundation.

Executive Director/president: Susie Davis.

Location: Eagle-Vail, The Vail Daily building.

Phone number: 970-763-7000.

Web address:

Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Years in business: The Youth Foundation was founded in 1997 to provide and support programs that serve economically disadvantaged youth from pre-school through college. For nearly 12 years, The Youth Foundation has been making a positive impact on the lives of children and families in our community. As we all know, the needs for our most disadvantaged youth continue to grow as our community population grows and our demographics change. Our After School Literacy programs have helped change the lives of our participants. It is our goal to strengthen our children’s ability to become productive and responsible community members and teach them to live lives of integrity and ethics.

What is the organization’s mission and who benefits from its work?

Our mission is “preparing children in need for success in life through education and recreational opportunities.”

The Youth Foundation impacts youth with positive mentorship, community interaction and recreational applications that inspire self-confidence, friendship and integrity in the hearts of participants, as well as volunteers and supporters. Everyone involved is charged with helping young people discover their individual gifts and qualities that will help them become happy individuals and good community participants. The After School Literacy program is The Youth Foundation’s largest focus, providing literacy-based programming that focuses on English proficiency and homework help, as well as a wide variety of enrichment experiences for elementary and middle school-aged children, including soccer, yoga, snowshoeing, team-building through outdoor recreation, golf, rock climbing, swimming and fitness, to name a few. After School Literacy is not only an after-school study skills and tutoring program, students also have an opportunity to better themselves through academic support and a chance to take ownership of their school careers.

Where does your funding come from?

This community gives to our children in many ways. Funds are raised through individual contributions, corporate and community partnerships, special events, in-kind contributions and grant requests. The Youth Foundation Board of Directors generously contributes financial resources to cover overhead costs, leaving every dollar for the children.

How many staff members work for you?

The Youth Foundation has grown to a staff of seven full-time employees assisted by an active 14-member board. At The Youth Foundation, we hire certified educators to work in our programs and pay them a “livable wage” to work with the students they know. This allows teachers, who often need a second job to supplement their incomes due to the high cost of living in our rural resort region, to use their professional skills and talents, and maintain acceptable hours in a second job. We see this as a win-win ” for teachers, children and ultimately the community as well. This year we have more than 70 teachers working in our programs.

Anything else you’d like the community to know about the organization?

Quality programs for children during out-of-school time increase the livability of a community. After-school hours are a critical time for youth. That time can represent either an opportunity to learn and grow, through quality after-school programs, or a time of risk to youth’s health and safety. A long-term study of 12,000 youth found that the two biggest predictors of adolescent substance abuse and behavioral issues were academic difficulties in school and unsupervised time after school.

After-school programming has been proven to address both of these key risk factors. The Youth Foundation is doing our part to educate young people about healthy behaviors and empowering them to make good decisions. Furthermore, studies have also shown that juvenile crime triples between the hours of 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., and widespread lack of after-school care during this peak time leaves children vulnerable to the lure of unsupervised activities. Having after-school programs available to elementary school and middle school children not only decreases the chances of them participating in risky behaviors, it offers a fun and inspiring way for them to form friendships and gain tools to become successful, contributing members of society. With adequate funding, our after-school literacy programs can offer a powerful path to success on multiple levels.

Want to see your nonprofit organization featured here?

Contact Community Editor Lauren Glendenning at, or 970-748-2983.

Support Local Journalism