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Letter: New mission for Ascendigo


Ascendigo Autism Services (formerly Extreme Sports Camp) has been an important member of the Roaring Fork Valley for 15 years, and this community has continued to inspire us with exceptional support! Our Summer Camp season is in full swing and buzzing with campers, participants, families and new seasonal staff.

Thanks to a great season of snow this past winter, our lakes are full, rivers are flowing and pastures are lush with a deep shade of green. Perfect conditions for all the outdoor summer activities that Ascendigoers love to do!

This summer also brings a new mission statement at Ascendigo. Earlier this year, we embarked on developing a new strategic plan. As part of this exercise, we looked at our core ideology (the purpose and guiding principles of an organization) to make sure our envisioned future was current and well understood by our stakeholders.

I am pleased to share with you Ascendigo’s new Mission Statement:

Our mission is to elevate the spectrum by empowering people, inspiring lives and shattering expectations. 

So, let’s break it down…

Elevate the spectrum: Our primary purpose at Ascendigo is to make living with autism a positive experience. We help our participants realize their potential. Like Temple Grandin, we believe “different is not less.” People with autism matter and they deserve to have the same opportunities as others have. Our communities benefit greatly from having people with autism included. Our role is to elevate those who live with autism to be all that they can be.

Empowering people: It is important to give influence to others for personal and professional growth. This applies to both our Ascendigo clients and staff. We must give choices to encourage ownership and accountability. We must listen, like really listen. Likewise, when we speak, we need to use our words wisely. We employ positive language over negative. When we give power and influence to others, we believe great things can happen.

Inspiring lives: When we live an “inspired” life, it is more likely to inspire others. That’s why we encourage our clients and staff to live a life of passion, one that resonates with them. We want our participants to live to their potential, a life of their calling or purpose. They inspire us with their perseverance and resilience, so we try to inspire them in return. We hope the work we do at Ascendigo wears off on others and that the community as a whole is better because of us.

Shattering expectations: Ascendigo’s roots trace back to teaching extreme sports to kids with autism. Almost no one thought it was possible. But they showed us they are capable and taught us to believe in them. And we do! There is no limit to what someone with autism can do. Our preconceived ideas of what is possible or not disappear almost daily as we recognize the strengths and positive traits that come with autism.

In addition to a new mission statement, we are fine tuning our new core values. A work group of Ascendigo staff members are putting some creative elements to these as we speak. We invite our community to tell us what you think about our new mission statement. We always welcome your feedback. Happy summer!


Peter H. Bell

President & CEO

Ascendigo Autism Services