Mountain mentor of the month: April 2017 | SummitDaily.com

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Mountain mentor of the month: April 2017

Summit County Mountain Mentors wishes to recognize resident Alyssa Kuge, left, as the program's mentor of the month for April 2017 following her ongoing work with mentee Kaileen.

Summit County Mountain Mentors, the community-based mentorship program matching caring volunteers with youths age 8 to 16, would like to honor its Mentor of the Month for April, Alyssa Kuge.

The mission of the program, now in its 30th year, is to positively influence the county's youth to lead healthy lifestyles through a consistent, one-on-one relationship with an adult. Research shows this connection can help a young person overcome life challenges as well as learn skills that may prove valuable in the mentee's development.

After moving to Silverthorne, Kuge was looking for volunteer opportunities in the community when a friend suggested she check out Mountain Mentors. She applied, was able to get involved quickly and it wasn't long before she was matched with Kaileen.

"Mountain Mentors is a very flexible program and the kids are awesome," said Kuge.

Since being paired, the two have gone on a number of outings through the months, and it's allowed Kuge to express her personality just the same as Kaileen. When they're together, they both just act like kids, doing cartwheels and handstands no matter where they are. Because Kuge admits she tires faster than Kaileen, one of their favorite activities is heading to the local animal shelter to play with the cats and walk the dogs outside.

Many children in the county apply and wait several months before being matched, so Kuge encourages anyone considering becoming a mentor to sign up. For more information about the program, or to learn more about becoming a Mountain Mentor, visit: co.summit.co.us/332/Mountain-Mentors