Stepping Stones is a community-based youth mentoring program that operates drop-in centers for youth ages 10 to 21 in the Roaring Fork Valley. Our philosophy is that strong, long-term relationships with positive adult role models are the key to empowering at-risk youth and their families. Our drop-in centers are open five days a week, and provide a safe, diverse, bilingual atmosphere where participants and staff feel comfortable sharing meaningful life experiences and challenges. Stepping Stones maintains a 10 to 1 youth to mentor ratio, and each participant works toward individualized goals with support from our staff.
To meet the varied needs of our participants, Stepping Stones offers essential services and programming free of charge, including mentoring, skill development, nightly meals, basic needs assistance, educational support, family engagement, and experiential programming. Our centers function as a community hub to connect youth and families with the supports they need to thrive. Stepping Stones empowers young people to accomplish their own goals, like finding their first job, reducing substance use, going camping for the first time, beginning counseling, or improving their grades. We offer 32 hours of drop-in programming per week, and engage youth in over 65 experiential learning outings annually. Our Youth Program serves ages 10 to 14, and our Young Adult Program serves ages 15 to 21. In each component of our work, Stepping Stones seeks to empower youth to reach self-sufficiency, through risk-prevention and crisis intervention services.