Cool Stuff We Do!

Mountain Circle is committed to the health and well-being of the communities where we live and work. Here are a few of our projects:

Transitional Housing Programs and the Nu-2-U Store

brothersIn 2008, Mountain Circle created the ‘Nu-2-U’ Thrift Store and Job-Skills Training Center to provide older foster youth with on-site vocational training. Our experience has shown that these types of collaborative programs are effective: 100% of the participants are employed or enrolled full-time in school and some 67% remain so a year later – almost double the rate of more traditional foster care programs. Four years later, 75% of participants remain in contact with their job-site mentor and are employed at least part-time. None were homeless.

This program recognizes that young adults who are emerging from the foster care system need to continue learning Independent Living Skills. Foster youth have the opportunity to gain valuable life-skills, while experiencing the greatest amount of freedom possible. The program facilitates a smooth transition for young adults while offering support, training, and guidance. Mountain Circle is looking for more young adults who are willing to be involved in this rewarding Program.

The PowderQuest Adventure

Each March, Mountain Circle takes 25-30 older foster youth, and their adult mentors, on an outdoor adventure at the Sugarbowl Ski area. Skiing and snowboarding are what social workers call a natural ‘tool’ for teaching important life lessons such as patience, persistence, responsibility, courage, respect, and pride. Comments from this year’s participants:

“The trip is awesome. I learned you can’t just be a pro, you gotta learn. It’s amazing! It helps me meet people and not be to “shy.”

“I actually didn’t want to go at first, but I ended up loving ipowderquestt.”

“I learned to just chill and have fun. I really enjoyed everything! Thank you, staff!”

Across the board, traditional foster care programs have dismal ‘success’ rates because they do not address the complexity of the child’s experience- a safe and loving home and traditional therapy are sometimes not enough. A successful program must be comprehensive and dynamic, and it must support youth to make positive choices for the long-term. This means providing opportunities to build self-confidence, self-reflection, and leadership skills- beyond the front door and into the real world. By combining snow sports with leadership training, the PowderQuest Program provides an adventure with a long-term impact. These trips are funded entirely by the hard work of Charity Runners who race at the Running with the Bears Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K event each August. THANK YOU CHARITY RUNNERS!!

Check out this short new video about this year’s adventure!