Garfield County awards $30,000 to local nonprofits

Youthentity and Roaring Fork Leadership receive $15,000 apiece

February 8, 2019

GARFIELD COUNTY, CO – The Garfield County Board of County Commissioners awarded two local nonprofits $15,000 each toward operations in 2019. Roaring Fork Leadership and Youthentity each received funding from the county’s nonprofit general fund.

Roaring Fork Leadership (RFL) saw its support increase from $10,000 in 2018. The nonprofit fosters professional acumen for both youth and adults through education, training, and real world experience, with a goal of improving the community as a whole.

Andrea Palm-Porter, executive director at RFL, told the board that the nonprofit has increased its reach over the past five years, and now touches more than 1,000 people in the community.

“We’re working with SGM engineering, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority, the White River National Forest, and the U.S. Forest Service, for that matter,” she said. “It’s really prevalent that people are looking for these skills to embed in their organizations and communities.”

Palm-Porter added that instilling a strong sense of civic responsibility is key to RFL’s mission.

“We’ve got a lot going on, and it’s really exciting,” she said. “It’s really about teaching our community to get out there and fish for themselves, creating a community of self-leaders.”

Youthentity was awarded $10,000 from the county’s nonprofit general fund, and an additional $5,000 from the nonprofit discretionary fund toward its educational programming.
Kirsten Petre McDaniel, Youthentity executive director, told the BOCC that the organization’s goal is to help kids build successful futures through career readiness and financial education.

She added that the organization aims to serve 3,700 kids in the current academic year; an increase of more than 1,000 students. In 2018, two-thirds of the kids in Youthentity were from Garfield County.

“What we’re trying to do with our industry programs, is we look at group mentoring, where we have a group of coaches and a group of kids we’ve been able to determine are interested in an industry,” she explained. “They spend a significant amount of time with us learning about the careers, developing skills and a plan for their education or employment immediately after high school.”

McDaniel added that the nonprofit’s next step is to create a career academy for its students.

“A lot of that will depend on partnering with the schools,” she said. “So rather than being an afterschool program, it will be an afternoon program.”

“I think you have excelled in what you’re doing, and there are results coming back into our community,” said Commissioner Tom Jankovsky of Youthentity’s work.

Both requests were approved unanimously, 3-0.