Frisco, Colorado—Saturday, April 22, 2006 was a milestone for the SOS University program in Summit County. Thirty students completed their requirements for the year. Four of those students were the first class to complete the program from Summit County. The graduates learned how to snowboard and they became dedicated community members.

The University Program is a four year follow-up to the first year Learn to Ride program that helps SOS students build resiliency and protective factors in their lives. The students are matched with mentors who teach the SOS core values of: courage, discipline, integrity, wisdom and compassion. The mentors provide guidance and support to their youth during on hill activities and community service projects.

Each year the participants snowboard for five days and they complete community service projects. During a student’s fourth year, the students complete an internship and a job training program.

The graduation ceremony is an appreciation event. The community mentors provide positive feedback to each of their SOS students. They recognize each student’s achievements during the previous year, and the students thank each of their mentors.

“I cannot wait for next year, said Theresa Bisio, SOS University Coordinator. “I had eight mentors who were truly committed to youth development, and there were thirty participants dedicated to community development. They made my job easy.