18th annual Telluride Wild West Fest still fresh, fun, and making a difference

18th annual Telluride Wild West Fest still fresh, fun, and making a difference

by Jennifer Nyman-Julia

WWF Eric England 401 Telluride can be a scrappy town, but just as quickly, it is a place that wears its heart on its sleeve.

It's Day One of Sheridan Arts Foundation's Wild West Fest, a program that brings 50 inner city children from Boys and Girls Clubs all over the country to town every spring for a week of exciting learning programs under the guidance of talented local mentors. My name is Jennifer Nyman-Julia. This is my 11th year as the Mentorship Program Director, and I really love my job.

Seven teens from Atlanta just arrived: shy, bewildered, exhausted from their travels, but so very excited and pleased to be here.  Earlier, six girls from Farmington, New Mexico rolled up in their van with a million questions: "Will I really get to ride a horse?  Do we really get to stay in our own condo?  Will we meet any cute boys?"  Of the seven boys who arrived from Ft. Worth, only one had ever been on a plane, and only two had ever left the Lone Star State.  

This group of kids will spend their week fly fishing, dancing, acting, golfing, riding horses, playing music – and waking up to their own potential.  They'll spend their days in small groups, nurtured by skilled instructors, who are truly psyched to be with them. Say "Hi" when you see our Wild West Fest kids around town this week…

In a world in which people often deal with strangers as The Other, this is Telluride's chance to put our best face forward and show these really wonderful kids what our town is really all about. This is Telluride's chance to make a difference by sending the Boys and Girls Club ambassadors home with a smile on their faces and, perhaps, a new lease on life. 

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.