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YouthPower365 awarded AmeriCorps grant to establish student assistance program

August 6, 2021, 8:15 am

The Vail Valley Foundation on Thursday issued the following press release on AmeriCorps awarding YouthPower365 a grant to set up a student assistance program to mitigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic:

The disruption caused by COVID-19 to Eagle County students is not difficult to demonstrate. Very few have adjusted without challenges along the way, and some have fared worse than others.

In Eagle County today, more students than ever are in critical need of one-on-one engagement, extended learning opportunities, and a broad scope of support so they can find their way back to steady, lasting academic and social-emotional growth.

Despite the critical need, finding additional mentors, leaders, and teachers who can provide such services has proven to be challenging.

Enter Peak Pathfinders, a new AmeriCorps program soon-to-be established by the nonprofit Vail Valley Foundation’s YouthPower365, in partnership with Eagle County School District, that will bring 10 service members to the valley from September to August to provide mentorship, academic support, and family engagement with the county’s most at-risk students. Members will fill that critical trusted-adult relationship that kids need to thrive, that “person” they can connect with when no one else can. (To learn more or apply to be a program member, visit https://youthpower365.org/program/americorps-peak-pathfinders/).

 “This is an exceptionally important program, and one that could not come at a more critical time,” said Sara Amberg, Executive Director of YouthPower365. “It’s an effort we have been pursuing for years, but recently, through the hard work of many people at our organization and at Eagle County School District, we were awarded with a generous grant to get this established and help the students who need it most.”

“We are very excited to be partners in establishing this transformational support program for our students and their families,” said Melisa Rewold-Thuon, Assistant Superintendent of Support Services for Eagle County Schools. “With the community support and infrastructure we have in place, we expect our most at risk students to benefit immensely from the Peak Pathfinders AmeriCorps program this school year and for years to come.”

Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through thousands of nonprofit, community and faith-based organizations across the country. These citizens have played a critical role in the recovery of communities affected by disasters and helped thousands of first-generation college students access higher education. They also tutor and mentor young people, connect veterans to jobs, care for seniors, reduce crime and revive cities, fight the opioid epidemic, and meet other critical needs. As the federal agency for volunteering and service, AmeriCorps brings people together to tackle the county’s most pressing challenges. Since the agency’s inception in 1994, nearly 1.2 million AmeriCorps members have served the nation-wide.

Serve Colorado empowers community-based organizations to meet locally identified needs and statewide challenges through service and volunteerism. Guided by the Governor’s Commission for Community Service, Serve Colorado administers AmeriCorps Colorado and the Volunteer Generation Fund; promotes volunteerism through Days of Service; presents the Governor’s Service Awards; and supports early literacy initiatives.

To learn more about Serve Colorado’s programs and serving with AmeriCorps visit www.serve.colorado.gov.

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