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Youth Opportunities Program

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YOP: A Voice for Boulder's Youth



The Youth Opportunities Program (YOP) is a leadership program for City of Boulder youth. The YOP promotes youth civic engagement and leadership development, organizes community events, and provides youth perspective and recommendations on city and community projects, issues and initiatives.  

YOP Mission

YOP strengthens the community through:

  • empowering youth
  • providing opportunities for youth
  • encouraging youth civic participation and volunteer work; and
  • advising city government.

Since 1994 the YOP has:

  • allocated more than two million dollars in sales tax funds to provide more than 100,000 youth with access to cultural, educational, and recreational activities;
  • funded youth-serving or -supporting programs in more than 150 schools and organizations; and
  • compensated young people for contributing more than 55,000 hours of volunteer service to the community.

The YOP offers Boulder youth opportunities to impact their own lives and those of other youth through peer outreach and representation of youth voice on local government and community projects and initiatives, and funding of individual and community grants.

The YOP facilitates:

  • young people educating each other how to prevent risky behaviors.
  • programs that help improve attendance, academics, health and well-being.
  • youths finding their voices.
  • critcal thinking, writing, interviewing and other professional skills

Past YOP grant funding and projects include:

  • A poet teaching 8th graders poetry writing then eighth graders teaching 3rd graders poetry writing based on what they learned.
  • A toiletry drive benefiting the Emergency Family Assistance Association (EFAA) with hundreds of pounds of toiletries donated by students.
  • A 12-year-old paying for her own summer camp with money she earned in exchange for and receives her first personal check.

Youth Opportunities Advisory Board (YOAB)

YOP does this work through the Youth Opportunities Advisory Board (YOAB), which is made up of 16 students from four local public and private high schools. 

Applications for YOAB membership are being accepted for the 2021-22 school year and are due Tuesday, June 1. Please visit the YOAB page for more information. 

Past YOAB projects include:  

  • Coordinating the Youth Climate Change Summit
  • Providing outreach to youth to increase awareness of Census 2020
  • Contributing youth perspective to the master plans for Transportion and Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP)
  • Creating a video about the achievement gap
  • Conducting a survey about youth needs among City of Boulder youth
  • Organizing the Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Day of Service

Local Youth Leadership Opportunities and Youth Volunteer Information

The YOP maintains a list of many different local civic engagement programs middle or high school students can become involved in.  Many of them tend to be longer-term commitments than the volunteer opportunities listed in the Youth Volunteer Information booklet, also published by the YOP, which contains a list of local youth volunteer opportunities organized by age.

Contact us:

Brandon Blew, Youth Opportunities Program Coordinator

720-498-2482 or  [email protected]