The Piñon Project has teamed up with Colorado Skate Collective to put on the inaugural Youth Mentor Skate Jam, a kid-friendly skate competition at Parque de Vida scheduled for Saturday.
The free competition, open to skaters ages 7 to 17, will feature a demo from the Colorado Skate Collective skate team, trophies and prizes.
"It's the first skate competition that we're really involved with, and is more geared toward the type of stuff we want to do in the community in the future," said Colorado Skate Collective owner Michelle Harrison.
Mike Yank, youth activities leader for the Piñon Project, says that in addition to being a fun, organized and free event for local kids, he's aiming for the Skate Jam to be a springboard for more participation in the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP!).
The program, which matches adult mentors with juvenile mentees, has gotten an overhaul over the last year, launching more after school activities. Upcoming "Early Release Day" outings, which are Wednesdays from 2:30 to 5 p.m., include golfing at South Forty Golf Course, biking at Phil's World and a llama trek hike in the San Juan Mountains.
The mentor program requires a one-year commitment for three hours per week.
"We're really trying to get more mentors involved," said Yank. "A lot of people say think that they're no qualified, or don't know what they'd do with the kids. ... It's just about spending time with them. That time you spend talking with them makes a huge difference."
As far a the Youth Mentor Skate Jam goes, both Harrison and Yank hope it's something the skaters of Cortez come out for.
"I am so excited to do something like this, it's right up our alley," said Harrison.
The Youth Mentor Skate Jam at the Parque de Vida skate park is Saturday, Sept. 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the contest is at 10 a.m.
For more information about the Youth Empowerment Program or mentoring with Piñon Project, contact Mike Yank: email@example.com