Fostering future leaders
Local juniors and seniors in high school within the Roaring Fork Valley can take this ACES course for college credit in partnership with the University of Colorado Denver. Through the program, students explore the cutting-edge intersection of social justice and environmental issues while discovering the power of their own civic voices. It is an additional commitment from everyday school work and extracurricular activities, and students must attend the three-hour sessions held Monday nights throughout the semester. The program provides an opportunity for high school students from different districts to come together and learn from each other. It is a rigorous, interactive, discussion-based class that asks students to examine their own actions and day to day life relative to topics such as race relations.
"As I expected, I listened and learned, but unexpectedly and most importantly, I spoke."
- Brittany Pollack, Tomorrow's Voices Graduate
In addition, the program brings in local experts to explore various positions on contentious subjects, allowing students to form their own opinions after listening to different perspectives. The program’s impact goes far beyond academic credit and grades, by cultivating a cohort of active citizens. For example, Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale is now completely powered by solar panels thanks to Tomorrow’s Voices’ students, who advocated for and worked with the school board to purchase and integrate them. In 2018, Tomorrow’s Voices served 25 students and 80% enrolled for the second semester.
Tomorrow's Voices was founded in 2000 by educators AO Forbes and Willard Clapper. ACES partnered with Tomorrow's Voices in 2011 to further accomplish their mission and engage high school students to their full potential as responsible global citizens. Tomorrow's Voices officially merged with ACES in 2014.
Each year, ACES and Patagonia Snomwass host the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in support of the Tomorrow's Voices program and in memory of life-long educators, Willard Clapper and Arin Trook. Join us for this year's Wild & Scenic Film Festival on March 14th.
This special evening will showcase the best and brightest in environmental and adventure films that both inform and inspire attendees to take action. Proceeds from the event will benefit ACES' Tomorrow's Voices program, which provides civics and environmental leadership education to regional high school students.