Granby " Frazier takes reins at Grand Youth Adventures | SkyHiNews.com

Granby " Frazier takes reins at Grand Youth Adventures

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By Stephanie Miller

Sky-Hi Daily News

Stevie Frazier, 30, is Grand Youth Adventures’ new executive director.

Frazier is a technology teacher at East Grand Middle School who has been involved with Grand Youth Adventures (GYA) for five years as either a volunteer or on the board of directors. He also works with the adventure education program at East Grand High School.

Stevie and his wife, Jennifer, live in Fraser with their 9-month-old daughter, Nola.

GYA is a nonprofit organization founded in 1999. Its goal is to give kids in Grand County outdoor experiences, and it provides after school programs at the Panther’s Den in Granby. Frazier described it as an adventures education experience and an after-school mentoring program.

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The Panther’s Den is open every day after school, Monday through Thursday, until 7 p.m. It is open to all middle school students (fifth to eighth grade).

1. What type of kids come to GYA?

We just mostly deal with kids who want a place to hang out after school. We want everybody to know that all kids are welcome. There’s been this connotation in the past that it’s been where the “bad kids” go.

2. Why did you decide to become executive director for GYA?

The board of directors has a lot of energy right now, and we didn’t want to lose momentum for the new year. We want to strengthen our program, make it even more of a stronger after-school and adventure education program.

(Also), I love working with kids, I love working outdoors, and it’s a perfect fit.

3. What do you hope to accomplish with this job?

To provide outdoor education, adventure education opportunities, as well as mentoring to middle-school age youths in the county.

4. What challenges do you face?

Fundraising is a big thing. Curriculum needs ” we’re always looking to improve our programming, as well as community service for the kids.

5. What types of activities does GYA offer?

River trips, like kayaking and rafting, camping, rock climbing, field trips where we explore the state of Colorado. We take advantage of all the outdoor recreational opportunities in the state.

The biggest thing is community service projects. We want to start implementing an electronics recycling program. And we’re going to put together our fall food drive for the county’s food bank.

6. What do you love most about your job? About the program?

Seeing (the kids) succeed. Even if it is just baby steps.

And really, we’re one of the biggest youth organizations in the county that utilizes the recreational opportunities in the area, with the kayaking and the skiing. We fill a major need for kids in the area. We don’t just work with underprivileged kids, but a big part of our program is geared to kids whose parents work and don’t have time to (recreate with their children).

It’s giving opportunities to kids who don’t necessarily have them. And kids don’t have to pay for these programs, either. If they want to go skiing, Ski Depot provides free ski rentals. Christy Sports rents us mountain bikes for free …

7. How do you think it helps the kids who participate?

It builds self-confidence, self-esteem. Knowledge about where they live. Environmental education. Social interaction. Team building.

When we’re working with the kids, it’s not like we just throw them on the hill or water and say let’s have fun. We don’t just baby-sit (them). We really seek to improve them on a mental and physical basis. The board is always looking to improve our curriculum through measures of success.

8. What are some big projects coming up?

Our biggest project right now is we want to get this Panther’s Den into a really outstanding after-school center. We have a small computer lab now ” we want to expand it. As you look around, you can see it’s kind of an old house. We want to improve the structure, make it a place where middle school students want to help after school, or relax, work in the computer lab.

9. What has been something rewarding you’ve seen?

I guess right now, seeing previous participants come back and volunteer, and help with the kids. They gain the skills (with GYA) and are coming back and helping other kids gain those same skills.

10. How can others help GYA?

This spring is when we’re really going to try to make some major improvements in (the Panther’s Den), once the town approves it. We’re always looking for donations, and that could include items for the den, like an old pool table, (etc.). People can contact me ” (970) 531-9837. And we have a Web site: http://www.grandyouthadventures.org.

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