‘Tis the season to be jolly and folks were fairly jolly on December 12th during AYO’s annual holiday party. Held at the Aurora Strong Resilience Center (who were glad to open their doors to the mentoring community in this way), 45 AYO mentors, their mentees, and families came together for food and fellowship. There was plenty of delicious food and folks played ping pong, trivial pursuit, and some get acquainted games. The Broncos were playing the Chargers and although the staff couldn't find the right channel, the party planners were willing to broadcast the game, had it been possible!
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A great group of people came out to support Aurora’s youth on a chilly evening in October. Many community members and friends of our mentors were brought to hear first-hand from our matches about the unique opportunity to mentor a youth.
Matches Efrain & Matt and Diana & Linda made posters about their match relationships and shared with potential mentors about how they were matched up and what times of activities they do together.
Sandwiched by fun-filled summer days and star-studded evening skies was the third annual campout supporting AYO’s mentor/mentee relationships. Through engaging and hands-on activities held the weekend of September 6-8 at Cherry Creek State Park, matched pairs of mentees and their mentors were provided opportunities to strengthen their developing relationships. Swimming, paracord survival and friendship bracelet crafts, a hike to the reservoir, sharing personal stories about our names, outdoor cooking, and a presentation on “Survival: CO style” were some of the weekend’s highlights.
On Saturday June 8, 2013 Aurora Youth Options Mentor program held its June monthly activity at KidSpree @ YumFest on the Great Lawn of the Aurora Municipal Center. The day focused on matches volunteering a portion of their time assisting The Aurora History Museum pass out flyers and with many of the fun-filled activities available: Radio Disney karaoke, stilt walkers, rock climbing, bean bag toss, water wall, Kandy Lane, the giant maze, Zumba dancing, and carpenter’s corner.
Aurora Mental Health's Hampden Academy staff ran in support of AYO at the Colfax Marathon. Thank you Hampden Academy!!
Last night, two AYO youth won the Youth Award at the Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. Gala. Strother volunteers at our Homework Help and Tutoring program; and Diana has been a long-term leader in our mentor program.
An AYO adult volunteer-tutor, Carolyn, also won an award.
AYO is very proud of our volunteers and participants and we greatly enjoy working with such wonderful people!
On Monday April 29th, AYO held its annual volunteer recognition event. AYO would like to say thank you to all of the great people who volunteer their time to make the Aurora Youth Options program possible! Just nine months into the 2012-2013 fiscal year, our volunteers have already given over 1,700 hours of their time! AYO’s volunteers help change youths’ lives through tutoring, mentoring, and supporting the AYO staff in offering referrals to community resources. Thank you!
On Saturday April 13, Aurora Youth Options Mentor program held its monthly activity at the Aurora History Museum. The purpose was to provide youth with the opportunity to see various exhibits, learning the history behind culture, fine and decorative arts. The highlight of the day was the Growing Up Gamer: A History of Video Games exhibit and the hope was to show the youth a different side of being what they call being a “gamer.” The exhibit showed how video
games have evolved from the beginning to now and how society and the world look at the technology today.
On Friday April 12, 2013 Aurora Youth Options was fortunate enough to have one of our very own Mentor Program youth serve as a representative on the Student Panel at the Youth Mentoring Collaborative Symposium. This young man did an excellent job giving his personal testimony on how having a mentor has impacted his life. An audience member of the student panel emailed AYO the next week to share his positive feedback:
On Saturday, February 23th AYO Mentor Program hosted its February Monthly Activity: Movie Matinee, where youth and adults watched the movie Akeelah and the Bee. The movie is about an 11 year-old girl from south Los Angeles with a special gift and the obstacles she deals with in her life. This is a great movie that promoted discussion for our mentors and mentees on a number of topics, but more-so helped our youth gain a better understanding of their own personality. This was a great time and experience for all who attended and was evident by the smiles on the youth’s faces.