University is an intensive four-year program requiring students to increase community engagement and personal growth annually. Students engage in leadership training with a consistent adult mentor, complete service learning and life skills workshops, as well as participate in winter sports. Service projects include stocking shelves at local food banks, preparing and delivering Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets, and bell ringing for the Salvation Army. In the University program, participants complete one day of activity in their communities or in the classroom for every day of activity they complete in the field.
The program progession allows students to grow into responsible leaders in their communities. In Year 1 students are primarily followers, completing projects at the direction of their mentors. By Year 3, however, students are taking more ownership over the direction of the program and self-sufficiently identifying academic, athletic, and social goals. Once students complete their fourth year in University, they are engaged in an intensive leadership development curriculum.
In Eagle County and Summit County, students are required to complete a summer Academy program in addition to winter University requirements to continue into the next year of programming. Combining the seasonal curriculums creates and continuous year of programming, increasing positive touch points with youth. All other locations feature a winter based University curriculum.
- Year One students participate in five ride days with their mentor and complete three service learning days.
- Year Two students continue ride days and service learning days while adding 10 hours of service at a community organization of their choice. The service hours give the students a look inside the agencies that build the community.
- Year Three students develop and implement their own community outreach project in addition to their days on the mountain. The projects are created around local teen issues, such as physical fitness, suicide prevention, or drug and alcohol deterrence. Additionally, they are offered an interactive workshop on healthy living.
- Year Four students have become engaged community representatives. In addition to the five on-hill days, they will complete a core value project. They are further offered workshops on vocation with opportunities to engage with community leaders as role models.