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Youth Empowerment

Developing the skills to support social, emotional, mental, and physical well-being empowers young people to engage in their community, develop healthy self-esteem, and experience success through adulthood. 

However, it is estimated about 20-25% of youth from 0 to 18 across the region are in environments with chronic family stress and adverse experiences – making it difficult to build skills to support their wellbeing.

| Our Goal

All youth build competency and confidence to thrive, now and in the future.

| Our Approach

We address four key factors of youth empowerment:

  1. Expand access to career-connected learning and post-secondary planning support
  2. Enhance physical, social-emotional, and mental health

  3. Expand access to out of school time opportunities

  4. Remove barriers for youth to engage

| Our Actions

Youth in Nature

Youth in Nature is a paid educational opportunity that connects high school students from across our region with new people, places, and outdoor professionals.

Youth Empowerment Alliance

The Youth Empowerment Alliance strengthens the capacity of youth-serving nonprofits and builds a system of youth empowerment opportunities.

Career Exploration Network

The Career Exploration Network is a coalition dedicated to providing opportunities for students to explore, experience, and learn about careers with the support to help them pursue these pathways.


ACF directs several funds that help students reach their postsecondary education goals and provide opportunities for experiential learning.

| Our Progress

Since 2012, we’ve seen a 55% increase in postsecondary education plans for students in the region.

In 2022, ACF awarded $228,500 in scholarships to 116 students from 33 schools in the Aspen to Parachute region.

"The program forced me to open my mind to meeting new people and having new experiences. I have grown more confident in my ability to connect to others."

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