True North inspires individual determination and teaches self-advocacy by providing year round positive youth development programs for teens in our rural San Miguel region who have limited access to resources, opportunities, and support.
In February 2014 three longtime mentoring professionals, with over forty years of combined experience working with youth, along with several leaders in the community, Social Services, and Nonprofit sectors, identified a serious service gap among our region's teen population. Due to a lack of family and financial support, many teens were not thriving; were not preparing for their future; were not succeeding in their academics; and were not having positive experiences in their social life. There had been no teen specific programs that provided them with positive youth development engagement and growth opportunities outside of school or sports.
True North Youth Program fills the gap by providing year-round, free programming for teens in five Pillar Programs: Community Service Learning, Academic Tutoring and Support, Experiential Wilderness Education, Rising Stars Summer Bridge Program and College, Career and Scholarship Prep. We've grown from an all volunteer organization, to now having 3 staff and from serving 6 students to over 150 students and their families. We look forward to continuing the growth of the True North family, so reach out and get involved!
"All of the True North activities they do along the way help to strengthen their resume so when the time comes to apply for scholarships, they are truly a well-rounded individual and a competitive candidate." - Daily Planet article
"It was awesome... yet again! They all had a blast! You are fantastic and the organization behind you is SO much fun, always seamless from a spectator's (my) end. Thank you! True North is near and dear to my heart... angelic in many ways and I am so, very grateful!"
- Jody Brown (parent of two teens, after our return from Moab, 2019)
"Thank you. That was an excellent day. I think we all learnt tons of valuable information. I am deeply grateful for all the help and knowledge. I want my children to get the education I never did. So today was very meaningful to me. Thank you" - Parent after the 2019 College & Career Conference
Student Success Story:
We have known David since he was five years old. During Kindergarten, David lost his father tragically to a heart attack and has since been raised by his single mother. When he was 11, his mother had twins, but she also continued to provide financial support for the whole family by working as a cleaning staff for a local hotel. Thus, David became the primary caregiver for his twin siblings, and spent an average of 40 hours per week walking them home from school, helping them with homework, preparing their meals, and putting them to bed. Once his brother and sister were in bed, David would start his homework, around 8pm every night. David never had time for any extracurricular activities or sports. However, even with his free time taken by childcare responsibilities, he managed to maintain a 3.2 GPA. David participated in True North community service activities when he was able, and True North volunteers helped him to participate by making accommodations for his younger siblings and even offering child care. True North found David a part time summer job and then facilitated David's enrollment in a leadership program through Telluride Academy and covered his lost wages so he could participate. During David's senior year in high school, True North practiced "intrusive advising" by maintaining consistent communication and encouraged him to apply for certain scholarships. David was accepted into University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business and was invited to participate in a Scholar's Summer Bridge Program. Additionally, he was awarded a generous institutional financial aid package, as well as numerous local scholarships, including True North's Skyler Kelly Memorial Scholarship. He is now able to attend college without taking on any loans. True North was also able to equip David with a bicycle to take to CU in the fall, a gift to the organization from a donor. David thanked True North in his graduation speech. David has now completed his first two years in the Leeds School of Business and maintained a 3.7 GPA. During the summer of 2021, True North helped David update his resume and connected him with a paid internship at Alpine Bank while he was home in Telluride. He was then able to transfer to an Alpine Bank in Boulder when he returned for the start of his junior year in school. We look forward to seeing David continue to succeed in his future endeavors.