About Cradle to Career Initiative

Building Youth Success from Aspen to Parachute

Ensuring that all children are ready for kindergarten and graduate from high school ready for college and career 

Launched in 2012, Aspen Community Foundation’s Cradle to Career Initiative (CCI) gathers nonprofits, schools, governments, civic groups, businesses, and philanthropy to implement collaborative and innovative ways to working together to increase youth success across our region.

This CCI mission is critically important. While the Aspen area’s scenic beauty, recreation and cultural resources attract many affluent community members and visitors, the 80 miles between Aspen and Parachute are also home to many working class families struggling to survive. Some youth in our region thrive; others are left behind.

Profound achievement gaps existed between our low-income children and their more affluent peers. In addition, the rapidly growing number of English Language Learners in our region challenged schools, and many high school students were unprepared for college and career. We knew that improving youth outcomes – from birth through career readiness – would substantially benefit our region’s quality of life and economy.

Collective Impact

Around 100 community leaders from nonprofits, schools, governments, civic groups, businesses, and philanthropy worked together to create a blueprint for youth success. Since completing The Aspen to Parachute Cradle to Career Initiative Action Plan in May 2014, CCI partners have now launched over a dozen collaborative projects between Parachute and Aspen to help our children flourish.

Our Commitment

As the backbone for the Cradle to Career Initiative, ACF is guiding the vision and strategy, supporting aligned activities, building public will, and mobilizing funding to advance the work of the Initiative. We have established the Cradle to Career Initiative Fund to support these efforts and to help initiate and expand programs and services throughout our region.

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