Difference Maker: Bratzo Horruitiner
We all know a person that no one can say anything but kind words about. Bratzo Horruitiner is an exemplary community member that fits that description perfectly. Every path he crosses, there are lasting and positive impressions made. Bratzo’s big smile and luminous personality draws you in and makes you want to get to know him. Making connections is what he does with the students he has coached, the community members that collaborate with him, and with the youth he inspires at My Future Pathways.
Bratzo moved to the Valley 20 years ago from Peru and said that his journey through life has been interesting and serendipitous. Starting with owning multiple businesses, then becoming a coach for the academic soccer club, then starting the COPA Soccer League, and now being the Executive Director of My Future Pathways; you may wonder how Bratzo has been so successful in all of his endeavors. The root underneath each endeavor is the passion he brings to everything he does.
His love and passion for soccer led him to become a coach for an academic soccer league with Vail Valley Foundation. The league encouraged good academic standing to be able to play. Holding students to a higher standard created results. Students wanted to be able to play, which made them put forth the effort in their studies. Bratzo then started the COPA soccer league, starting with ten kids and expanding to over 3,000 kids. The number of players wasn’t the only thing growing, but the relationships Bratzo was making with students and parents in the community flourished. The realization of the importance of relationship-building ignited a passion for working with youth. “Trying not to be cheesy, but this was the first approach to discover my purpose,” said Bratzo.
Through the soccer leagues, he began to partner with Ron Davis, Founder of Guardian Scholars, a program providing comprehensive scholarship, life coaching, mentoring, and personalized attention for foster youth and first-generation students, making their dreams of a college education a reality. Bratzo’s next step to discovering his purpose was when he helped facilitate interviewers for Guardian Scholars applicants. He noticed a majority were female, and the males that interviewed were unprepared.
Bratzo sat down with Ron and Susie Davis to discuss the issues that affected this. He wanted to create a safe space for youth to grow academically and emotionally. He wanted a space where everyone can bring their unique personality, make friends, work on personal growth, and have fun. They wanted this environment to focus on social-emotional development and positive mental health.
My Future Pathways was then created with a mission to provide a helping hand to enhance and enrich the lives of first-generation Eagle County youth, leading them down a positive pathway. Bratzo brings his passion and values to help teach the youth self-discipline, grit, integrity, inclusion, and professional development. With an entrepreneurial background, he instills an independent ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ in the youth mentored at MFP. He encourages them to think of themselves as the bosses of their own lives. If there is a problem in life, you have to either hire someone to fix the problem, cry about it, or manage and solve the problem yourself. My Future Pathways currently mentors 15 – 17 male youth in the valley using a peer-to-peer mentoring program, under the direction of Gerry Lopez and David Garcia.
providing for loan forgiveness.
The youth center located in Edwards next to Alpine Bank is the safe space Bratzo, Ron, and Susie envisioned. This center provides so many resources to youth in the community aside from mentoring and tutoring. They have a fun environment where anyone can play pool or foosball, utilize computers and study hall, play non-violent video games, and eat food provided by the community market. They offer weekly boxing and HIIT classes and even have a gym for the youth mentored at MFP because physical activity goes hand in hand with mental health.
The middle and high school boys that are in the mentoring program are set up for success, surrounded and encouraged by so many good people that want to see them go down a positive path. Each student has the opportunity to apply for the Guardian Scholars. There are currently 33 students on full-ride scholarships to Colorado Mountain College thanks to the Guardian Scholars program. Some students are even going on to get their masters degree, because the support of Eagle Valley Behavioral Health is providing loan forgiveness.
Many amazing things are coming out of My Future Pathways because of passionate people like Bratzo Horruitiner. Bratzo's goal is to continue growing MFP's impact, perfecting it, creating sustainable growth and support to the community, as well as become the best serving youth organization to boys in the Vail Valley.
Learn more about My Future Pathways at https://myfuturepathways.org/