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    Blog Posts (60)
    • 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/

    • Youth Spotlight: Grace Dammen and Amanda Sessler,

      Grace Dammen and Amanda Sessler, seniors at Eagle Valley High School, were both chosen for Mountain Youth’s October youth spotlight because we could not pick just one. Grace and Amanda work as safe driving youth advisors for Mountain Youth and possess a strong passion for educating the Eagle River Valley on safe driving practices. Amanda became involved in safe driving work in March 2020 after she saw the need for community education for safe driving practices, particularly in the Valley, where driving becomes especially dangerous during the winters. Noticing the need for education, Grace became involved in safe driving work in May 2020, to assist in making the community more aware and conscious of how to drive safely. Grace and Amanda both know how to see a difference in people’s mentality towards driving - noting that “it can’t be taken lightly.” They spread education messages and tips on how to drive safely on their Instagram page, @safedrivingco. Amanda and Grace’s passions do not stop at safe driving work, however. Both young women are involved in a variety of extracurriculars in the community. Dancing since she was three years old, Grace is now captain of her high school dance team. Grace also possesses an enthusiasm and skill of baking, spending her free time working for a local bakery; one day Grace hopes to turn this passion into a career. Amanda enjoys the perks of having a baker as a friend - getting to enjoy the delicious foods Grace shares. Amanda has played on her high school LaCrosse team since freshman year, and while she thoroughly enjoys the sport, her favorite part of the sport is being on such an inclusive team. She also spends her free time reading and hiking, her favorite hikes being Village to Village, and the Vail Berry Picker. In college, Amanda hopes to spend time studying abroad to learn about the diverse cultural experiences which exist in other countries. Grace also hopes to continue her passions past high school, focusing on community nourishment. Community nourishment projects work to ensure that all people have access to foods necessary for their growth and health. Eagle River Valley will miss Grace and Amanda, but we are extremely excited to see all they accomplish going forward, with their driven attitudes and eagerness to make a difference in their community. In the words of Grace and Amanda, “people need to be more aware of driving safe and educated on how to do that.” For tips and tricks on how to ensure you are driving safely - make sure to follow Grace and Amanda’s Instagram page! @safedrivingco

    • Eat Chat Parent Focuses on Reducing Stress in Our Lives.

      There is an undercurrent of stress rippling through most of our lives. Some days, the stress feels like tidal waves coming from all directions; other days, it’s small tremors that help keep us alert and motivated. It’s how we manage the stress that makes a difference. Just as we can choose the way to react to situations, we can choose how to deal with stress. There’s good stress—that which motivates and focuses us; and there’s bad stress—that which causes anxiety and anguish. Stress is inevitable. Lately, however, it seems that we are more and more enveloped with negative stress. We don’t have to feel like we are drowning, though. Mountain Youth is lightening the load of stress with October’s Eat Chat Parent workshop, presented by Eagle Valley Behavioral Health and Vail Health. Alex Yannacone, director of community programs at the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Depression Center, will return to Eagle County, virtually, to help teach families ways to cope with stress. The mission of the Depression Center is to improve the lives of people with depression and mood disorders through clinical excellence, innovative research, community programs and education. “This interactive talk focuses on recognizing the function and method of stress and how to understand the essential ways to reduce stress,” shares Yannacone. “During this workshop, participants will learn practical tips and tools to manage stress and change unhealthy habits.” This interactive workshop is designed for everyone and will teach young people, caregivers and trusted adults how to better manage stress, tools to address the current stressors in life and provide preventative and proactive tips for stress. “Stress is nothing new, but the more we learn about stress—how it affects us and how we can manage it—the better,” says Amy Baker, Mountain Youth’s family education manager. “We are committed to helping families find the best ways to manage stress, which ultimately will create a more peaceful home life—whether in a pandemic situation or just ‘normal’ life.” Alex Yannacone has an extensive background in implementation and trainings for prevention and intervention of mental health services and education. She is also a master trainer in suicide prevention training including QPR and Working Minds. Prior to her work at the Center, Alex contributed to the oversight, management, and delivery of a statewide child abuse and neglect prevention program. Additionally, Alex has provided therapeutic services to at-risk families and the refugee population within Colorado. Alex currently serves as co-chair of the National Network of Depression Center’s (NNDC) Community Education and Awareness Programs Task Force. “Everyone is coping with some level of stress in their lives,” said Chris Lindley, Executive Director of Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, an outreach of Vail Health. “Rather than ignore it, we must find tools and ways to address it in a healthy manner, and Alex’s expertise in this field will be very beneficial to our community members.” Thank you to our sponsors Vail Heath, Eagle Valley Behavioral Health • Alpine Bank • Vail Resorts Epic Promise • The Slifer Smith & Frampton Foundation • Eagle County Schools • Town of Avon, Eagle, Gypsum and Vail • Eagle River Foundation • Vail Valley Cares • SAMHSA • Wells Fargo • Colorado Office of Behavioral Health • Eagle County Government for all of your support. Mountain Youth was founded in 2001 and has grown over the decades, creating a safe place for conversation, giving young people a voice, providing accurate information and creating a community where all youth thrive. In 2020, Mountain Youth embraced the virtual world in response to COVID-19, while keeping a pulse on the community’s needs, health and well-being. One lucky attendee will win the Ultimate Stress Relief Package valued at $500 must be present at the conclusion of the Eat Chat Parent to win. If You Join: Thursday, October 8th Zoom Virtual Meeting 6 to 7:30, presentation Spanish interpretation. Children ages 10 and older are welcome to join with an adult. Learn more: www.mountainyouth.org/eatchatparent Register:https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_rs3kuxBzSASkpM_zR2fJVQ

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    • Calendar | Mountain Youth

      Calendar Mountain Youth Event Community Event Valley's Voice Event

    • All Youth Thrive | Mountain Youth | Edwards,CO

      youth /yo͞oTH/ noun: youth; plural noun: youths the period between childhood and adult age; anyone between the ages of 9 and 25. 15 DAYS TO THE EVENT Eat Chat Parent - Technology Truths: How Screen Time Affects Kids…and Parents Nov 10, 6:00 PM Zoom Register Now Watch Octobers ECP Do you want to be a tutor? ¿Necesitas un tutor? Do you need a tutor? Show More

    • Jobs | Mountain Youth

      Jobs ​ ​ Career Opportunities Questions? email info@mountainyouth.org . Operations Manager ​ Position Summary Mountain Youth’s mission is to continuously and collaboratively improve the lives of youth in the most powerful ways possible. Under the direction of Mountain Youth’s Executive Director, this position supports the mission of the organization by building internal capacity through various administrative and office duties, supporting programs and strategies. ​ ​ Position Responsibilities Administrative Coordination Goal- Support the Executive Director and Mountain Youth staff team, to ultimately increase opportunities for youth and families. ​ • Oversee contact management systems, tracking client and contact activity • Produce reports, highlighting program and organizational updates • Synthesize and report on program evaluations • Coordinate technology needs, including hardware and software purchasing, coordination with technology support specialist, and providing technical support during virtual programs • Field general incoming emails and phone calls, distributing to appropriate team members • Maintain general office supplies and equipment, including supply ordering • Maintain office filing systems • Manage Actively Green certification • Support with general office duties as needed Financial and Accounting Support Goal- Support the Executive Director and Director of Strategic Impact with fiscal responsibilities to build internal capacity. • Developing systems to enhance accounting and personnel processes • Supporting with new hire orientation • Coding and organizing account payable, accounts receivable, and timesheets • Extracting accounting reports from Quickbooks software system • Input and track donations • Acknowledge donors • Organize grant workplans and fulfill monthly grant reports • Tracking expenses by program, including database entry ​ ​ Community Engagement Goal- Strengthen visibility of Mountain Youth in the community, to increase impact on local youth and families. • Represent Mountain Youth on committee and community meetings and events as needed • Provide content for marketing and communications efforts ​ Interest in and commitment to positive youth, family and community development, as well as overall community health. Bilingual English/ Spanish language speaking and bicultural preferred. Accounting experience preferred. Educational background in education, leadership, business, accounting, or related field strongly preferred, or equivalent professional experience. Additional Qualifications: • Ability to thrive independently as part of a small team in a growing organization • High level of professionalism and strong written and verbal communication skills • Innovative and creative • Strong organization, attention to detail, and ability to prioritize • Strong computer skills including Microsoft office programs including Excel; Google platforms; and evaluation tools • Ability to commit to a flexible schedule, including weeknight and weekend commitments as youth are available • Willingness to travel throughout the Eagle River Valley and Colorado for meetings, programs, and events ​ Salary and Benefits: This full-time salaried position will average 40 hours per week. The salary for this position will be commensurate with experience and education ($43,000-$50,000 range). A generous benefits package is available including paid time off, paid professional development, flexible and remote work scheduling opportunities, health and dental insurance, wellness incentive, and more. Cover letter and resume should be submitted to Michelle Stecher at mstecher@mountainyouth.org ​ ​

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34520 US HWY 6, C10, Edwards, CO 81632  ||  P.O. Box 4613, Edwards, CO 81632   ||  970.949.9250   ||   info@mountainyouth.org

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