By Rebecca Tenpenny | Pagosa Community Initiative
We are excited to announce the Pagosa Community Initiative, a new nonprofit in Pagosa Springs.
This nonprofit has grown out of the needs of Archuleta County youth and families. The mission of this new nonprofit is to create interactive opportunities that honor culture and diversity to provide Archuleta residents with services that increase wellness and engagement for a better quality of life. We will do this through out-of-school-time programming for youth in our community, adult education and family services.
This last year the Pagosa Arts Initiative operated a successful after-school program for students K-12. The After School Camp was implemented by the Pagosa Arts Initiative in 2021. This summer, it was moved to the Pagosa Community Initiative so that it can become more community-focused and continue to grow into an organization that can truly fulfill community needs. This program has provided the following to over 150 K-12 students: after-school programming, job training, internship creation, community-based arts programs/projects, family art nights and public art projects.
Through this program, we also provide academic support through project-based learning and opportunities for students of all ages to build professional skills. We work with the students to build social-emotional skills, develop creative thinking skills, interact with the community in multiple ways, and create a lasting mark on the community through community projects.
Because of the After School Camp, students in our community are provided with a safe space after school and during the summer that gives them a sense of belonging. Approximately 80 percent of the students that we serve are considered to be at risk. By providing this programming, we have been able to help a number of local families that have very few natural supports for child care and/ or financial resources.
Students in grades 5-12 participate in the program as mentors and job-training interns. These students mentor younger participants in the after-school program through positive character building, leading by example and helping them through problem-solving endeavors. They participate in leadership and mentorship training on an ongoing basis while also using 21st century skills, practicing communication, presentation and the building of networks within a community.
In the coming year, we are hoping to add more youth to programming, add parenting classes, adult education opportunities and build on our family services.
We will be holding a fundraising concert at Motel Soco on Aug. 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. At this concert, Master D’s and the Big Mistakes will be playing, and there will be a variety of fun activities to help us raise funds. Prizes will be given away from a variety of local businesses. Come out, support a great cause and have some fun as a community.