“When middle school and high school youth walk into My Future Pathways, they feel like they belong,” says Ron Davis, founder of My Future Pathways (MFP).
“Working with youth individually, we create positive pathways that build self-esteem, teach good work habits, and foster the social-emotional development of each participant. Noting the alarmingly low high school graduation rate of marginalized families in Eagle County, I became motivated to change that paradigm,” he says. “We’ve learned when well-being improves, academic achievement increases.”
My Future Pathways, a community partner of Vail Health’s Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, was first created to provide mentorship for middle and high school Hispanic/Latinx boys. When they recognized the same need for girls, the organization expanded its services. Now in its second year and having already accomplished so much, MFP continues to empower young locals to pursue their goals and dreams fearlessly.
Using a three-pillar approach, MFP provides social-emotional support through mentoring and psychoeducation through partner organizations; academic support through tutoring and scholarships; and physical health and wellness through sports classes and recreational activities.
Connecting with Eagle County Youth
“We get the kids early in middle school so they can start learning character and build on those values. We create this environment where they have a sense of belonging and then can strive for their own future,” describes Executive Director of MFP, Bratzo Horruitiner.
The MFP Youth Center, located in Edwards, Colorado, provides local youth and their families a safe and positive environment that offers culturally relevant and inclusive programming. The organization has also recently opened a new facility in Gypsum, Colorado, allowing them to reach even more at-risk students.
As someone who experienced behavioral health challenges as a youth, Ron knows that having a support system is pivotal to a young person’s future –– especially those who need additional help to navigate the complexities of becoming an independent adult.
“I came from a family of abuse and alcoholism,” explains Ron, “and I had people that mentored me and gave me support. Having the opportunity today to do the same for others is probably the most gratifying thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
For over 25 years, Ron has devoted his time, talent, and treasure to provide guidance, support, and encouragement to youth and help them find a positive pathway in life. Through MFP’s approach to connecting with Eagle County youth, Ron and Bratzo’s vision is to foster the next generation of leaders who represent our valley’s demographic.
Paving a Brighter Future
“We’re a community that has a lot of resources. There are a lot of people that have been very blessed in their life, but at the same time, we have a lot of people that have very significant needs.”
Ron’s generous $2 million matching gift challenge represents his commitment to addressing those needs and offering youth the necessary guidance, support, and encouragement to succeed. He hopes his gift will inspire others to give so the resources that serve Eagle County students continue. All donations and planned gifts will be matched and will benefit ongoing MFP programming.
“The long-term big picture is that the youth we’re helping today can someday be a county commissioner or on the school board, or the boards of our valley’s nonprofits,” says Ron. “Education is one part of the success of our future leaders; it starts with mentoring, it starts with compassion, and it starts with supporting our students.”
“I had people that mentored me and gave me support. Having the opportunity today to do the same for others is probably the most gratifying thing I’ve ever done in my life.”Ron Davis