Established in 1983 and based on the national Big Brother/Big Sister model of mentorship, Buddy Mentors strives to inspire and foster youth through building consistent and trusting relationships. Research suggests that when compared to same age peers, youth who are involved with a mentor are less likely to use drugs and alcohol, less likely to skip school, and less likely to engage in physical violence.

Youth involved with a mentor show increased confidence in academic work and increased success in relationships.

Vail Resorts EpicPromise has been a valued supporter of our Buddy Mentors programs as well as an incredible supporter of our events. We are grateful to have such a strong community partner! Thank you #EpicPromise for our commitment to Making Futures Bright

The benefits for youth participants:

  • 91% feel better about themselves
  • 65% have improved self-confidence
  • 67% have better sense of right and wrong
  • 76% show improved school grades
  • 80% have a better school attendance record
  • 82% develop better relationships with their teacher
  • 90% get along better with other kids

Interested in making a positive impact in a young person’s life?

Please click below to complete the volunteer application.

Do you know a local child who can benefit from being a part of the Buddy Mentors program?

Please click below to begin the enrollment process.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Junior and Senior Buddies

How much does it cost?

It is free to be in the program. The only cost incurred would be should you choose to engage in an activity associated with a cost. The most important aspect of the mentoring is the relationship, not costly activities. We encourage the Senior Buddy to use good judgment in gift giving and costly activities so that the emphasis is on the relationship.

How does community based mentoring work?

Adult volunteers (Senior Buddies) commit to consistently meet one-to-one with a local child (Junior Buddy) who could benefit from a positive role model. Along the way the mentor will offer support, encouragement, and guidance to the child. By spending time together, learning new things, and enjoying a friendship, the mentor encourages the youth to dream bigger and grow stronger.

What are the requirements to become a Senior Buddy mentor?

Volunteer mentors must be at least 21 years of age and have primary residence in Eagle County to participate. A Senior Buddy volunteer must also complete the simple, yet thorough application process. Remember, you don’t have to be brilliant, athletic, famous or rich – our kids need real people, who want to have fun, be a positive role model, and most of all lend a listening ear and encouragement as a trusted adult friend.

What are the volunteer steps?

First, let us know you’re interested by emailing, calling or submitting an online application. After we hear from you, we will contact you to set a time to meet you in person and discuss any additional questions you might have. Once you take the leap to become a mentor (Senior Buddy), we will walk with you through the entire process! Once accepted, our program staff will begin the matching process to connect you with a child in need of a mentor.

How long will it take to be matched with a Buddy?

On average, a Senior Buddy’s complete acceptance process takes a couple of weeks, however, it is contingent on the applicant’s efficiency in submitting the required information and completing the training.

Once you have received full acceptance, we will begin identifying the best Buddy match for you. The Jr. Buddy and his/her family must also complete a process of interviews, parental meetings, and agreement to program guidelines. Again, this process is subjective to many circumstances. On average, a diligent process will take about a month from initial organizational contact to the actual match meeting.

How are Jr. Buddies selected?

Our Junior Buddies are residents of Eagle County who have been nominated by an adult and have completed the referral, interview, and program permission procedures. As a result of life circumstances, most our children have been identified as someone who would most benefit from a relationship with a positive adult role model.

How are the Buddies Pairs determined?

We assess the strengths offered by the adult volunteer and match it closely to a child who could best benefit from these positive characteristics. We take into consideration the backgrounds, personalities, interests and experiences of both the volunteer and the child. Our program staff then aim to find the right buddy pairing.

How is a match supported?

Buddy Mentors staff will guide you from the initial steps of becoming a Senior Buddy through the entire life of the Buddy Pair! Professionally trained program staff will work individually with your match. Program staff will always have your match’s success in mind, and will provide guidance, and direction concerning your friendship, activities and goals. In addition, Buddy Mentors staff will offer enrichment opportunities specific to the Senior Buddy and the Buddy Pair.

What happens after I meet my Junior Buddy?

At the match meeting you will be introduced to your Junior Buddy. During this time we will discuss the best times for you and your buddy to get together as well as the best point of contact and communication. A plan for the first outing will also be determined at the match meeting. Thereafter, it will be up to you and your buddy to determine when, where, and how the next outings will take place. The Junior Buddy’s guardian should always be apprised of the plan and of any changes which might occur in the process.

What happens after my year commitment is over?

Often the year bench mark comes faster that you realize, however, Buddy Mentors program staff will be monitoring the time and will contact you for a formal closure and celebration time. It is quite common at this juncture that you and your Junior Buddy wish to continue in your mentoring relationship and must simply opt to renew the Buddy Mentors commitment for another year!

What is expected of me as a Senior Buddy?

We ask that as you are off and running with your Junior Buddy that you honor the commitment to check in with the Buddy Mentors staff overseeing your match. You will receive monthly “check ins” via emails or calls and we ask that you keep us informed. In addition, our community and staff offer many opportunities for you and your buddy. Please make every effort to attend and enjoy time with the larger Buddy Mentors community!

What do I do with my Junior Buddy?

We are fortunate to live in a resort where activities appear endless! However, you might be shocked to learn even the simplest activities might be new to your Junior Buddy. We encourage you to discuss the opportunities with your buddy and choose something together. Try new things, but please never underestimate the power of a simple walk, game night, cookie cooking, or hot chocolate sipping moments together!