This is a love letter to the Mid-Valley. I moved from El Jebel to Basalt after a break-up and I’m so happy I did. I considered moving home (out of state) to be near my family, but I just couldn’t leave this valley. I decided to stay. Basalt was my place to heal and find happiness again. I even bought a T-shirt that says, “Basalt, Colorado, makes me happy,” and I still wear it proudly.
By then, I was already a Big Buddy with the Buddy Program, and even after I moved to Carbondale, I stayed with my Little Buddy. We’ve been together for more than four years. When we were first matched, she was a fourth-grade student at Basalt Elementary School and we met for lunch at her school once a week (which is the school-based option for Buddies). After more than two years, we transitioned to the community-based program, and now we meet outside of school hours for our own adventures and general shenanigans. Today, she’s an eighth-grader at Basalt Middle School … and she’s as tall as I am!
This is my love letter to the Mid-Valley … thank you, Basalt, for healing me, and thank you, Carbondale, for becoming my new home.
And now I need your help, Mid-Valley. There are many kids from Basalt, El Jebel and Carbondale who’re waiting to have a mentor in their lives. I’m the recruitment manager for the Buddy Program, and I’m asking for your help. You probably think you don’t have the time for a Little Buddy, but I guarantee you do. You have time to get a slice of pizza, go for a short hike or play a game of cards once a week or so. There is evidence that mentors, even more than parents, contribute to adolescents’ self-esteem. These kids just need to know their hometown cares about them.
What say you, Mid-Valley communities?