Alpine Achievers Initiative (AAI) supports the positive development of youth and young adults by lifting them through academic achievement and grounding them in their wilderness heritage.
Alpine Achievers Initiative was originally developed in the fall of 2012 by a new high school math teacher working in the Mountain Valley School District (MVSD) in Saguache, CO. This teacher recognized that a majority of the students were struggling academically and needed support, which they were not receiving particularly given their limited financial backgrounds, as well as the limited options available for structured and intentional out of school activities. The teacher began providing these services pro-bono during her after school hours, coordinating with other caring teachers and service providers in the community, receiving seed money through local county government grants, and envisioning a short-term future when these impromptu efforts would become a coordinated, sustainable, grant-funded program designed to benefit all children and families served by MVSD. The original vision quickly evolved and grew to a more formalized after school program with academic interventions offered during the school day, as well as increased staffing (e.g., Prevention Specialist, Program Coordinator and support staff) and a wrap-around support focus to reduce the risk of engagement in high risk activities. Soon thereafter, AAI was awarded an AmeriCorps grant to expand its services to more schools, and that funding was re-secured for a second year with continued expansion, still operating under the auspices of MVSD. In February 2016, AAI filed for nonprofit status and is now in the beginning stages of securing new funding sources (in addition to renewing AmeriCorps funding) to support its operations and continued growth.
"Alpine Achievers Initiative's OST programs make a difference for parents and teachers! We appreciate the food provided, activities, and the ability for parents to complete a work day!"
"If AAI disappeared we would lose a lot of valuable support for our at-risk student population in our school."
"AAI support is vital to our school. We have an over burdened SPED department and many students needing individual instruction and help. AAI helps bridge that gap and provide extra intervention time. Without AAI members, our students would be missing opportunities to receive one to one support and continual improvement and growth would suffer."
"The BGC (Boys and Girls Club) relies heavily on AAI Volunteers for our after school and full day programming. We wouldn't be able to support the number of members we have each day without them."
"Many schools depend on AAI; Valley schools are understaffed and AmeriCorps help to provide better ratios for kids here, as well as infuse the schools with new energy and passion for young people."