Youth Development

BIG SKY YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROJECT INC

Getting Outside, Growing Inside

aka BYEP

Bozeman, MT

Mission

Big Sky Youth Empowerment provides opportunities for at-risk teenagers from Gallatin County, Montana to experience success with the goal of becoming contributing members of the community through outdoor adventure and group mentorship.

Ruling Year

2002

Executive Director

Mr Pete MacFadyen, MS, LCPC

Main Address

PO Box 6757

Bozeman, MT 59771 USA

Keywords

mentor, at-risk youth, adolescents, outdoor, snowboarding, skiing, white water rafting, rock climbing, character development, reduction of problem behavior, group, independent living skills, social skills, tutoring, work placement program, community service

EIN

81-0543203

 Number

3525717143

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Adult, Child Matching Programs (O30)

Other Youth Development N.E.C. (O99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Big Sky Youth Empowerment (BYEP) was incorporated in 2001 to address the need for creative, preventive, and strength based programming for 'at-risk' teenagers residing in Gallatin County, Montana. As an organization, we believe that 'at-risk' teenagers constitute a valuable and underserved segment of our community. We provide these youth with an unparalleled adventure-based group mentoring program designed to develop an actionable plan for independence and produce actively engaged contributing members of the greater community.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Approach Program

Crux Program

Summer Works

Summer of Service

BYEP Tutoring

Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Hours of mentoring

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Adolescents (13-19 years)

Context notes

Our volunteer mentors commit to 12 weeks of programming for 10 hours a week each season (Winter, Summer, Fall).

Number of mentors recruited

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Adolescents (13-19 years)

Context notes

Number of mentors per year. Mentors are recruited for each season (Winter, Summer, Fall) and often return for additional seasons (58% average retention rate for mentors).

Number of youth who plan to attend post-secondary education

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Adolescents (13-19 years)

Context notes

Average number of participants each season that report they plan on going to college.

Number of youth who volunteer/participate in community service

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

Adolescents (13-19 years)

Context notes

Average number of youth per season (Winter, Summer, Fall). Each season we have built into our curriculum activities in which youth participate in community service.

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Big Sky Youth Empowerment provides opportunities for at-risk teenagers from Gallatin County, Montana to experience success with the goal of becoming contributing members of the community. Immersion in a mixture of weekend adventures and life skills curricula yields increased self esteem, internalized locus of control, and the development of both character traits and social competencies all of which contribute to the creation of actively engaged contributing members of the community.

Our program is similar to other mentoring programs in so far as we target similar age groups with a target population of 'at-risk' youth. We differentiate from these organizations by way of exposure, training, intentionality, and evaluation. Our program success lies in our massive exposure to the young person's life. A youth engaged in our program will take part in 360 hours/year of programming. Multiply that by 4 years and our impact multiplies at a common factor.

Our program's 12 sessions over the course of 4 years constitute a two part intervention. Our intentional social-emotional curriculum paired with outdoor adventures has been effective at showing growth in the areas of character acquisition, locus of control, self-esteem, and social interaction skills. The first program component (grades 8-10) known as 'The Approach' is an adventure based group mentoring program which engages the teens in both outdoor adventures and character education. The primary focus of the Approach program is the relationship the youth has with him- or herself. Our curriculum covers developmentally appropriate topics such as conflict resolution, trust & teamwork, communication, identity, healthy relationships, suicide awareness, drug education, and sexual reproductive health.

The second component (grades 11-12) known as 'The Crux' is a continuation of the Approach mentoring program although the focus shifts to the relationship the youth has with their community. In Crux we overlay the social skills learned in Approach while introducing independent living skills, employment skills, and preparing for life after high school. Our goal is to equip the youth with the skills to make educated decisions towards an empowered and independent future.

Established during the summer of 2001, Big Sky Youth Empowerment's philosophy to make decisions based upon what is in the best interest of the youth we serve has never wavered. While this may seem simplistic, the organization believes that this philosophy is one of its core assets. Because decisions are guided, and relationships are forged, with a firm understanding that the organization exists to ensure youth become actively engaged, contributing members of the community, mission accomplishment has become ongoing and regularly attainable.

With that said, Big Sky Youth Empowerment cannot exist without volunteers. Our most important human resource remains the volunteer mentors that support our programs on a trimester basis. As Big Sky Youth Empowerment has grown to serve additional youth, our need for volunteer mentors has also grown and they have been identified as a key competitive advantage. As such Big Sky Youth Empowerment has dedicated resources to their recruiting, training, and appreciation. The program managers who work directly with the mentors and youth are all dedicated and educated youth care workers supervised, trained, and supported by our licensed program director.

Our board of directors is actively involved in program review as well as fundraising and long term organizational strategy. The organization has forged a number of community partnerships over the past 17 years. Of extreme importance is the positive relationship with the local school districts. Formal memorandums of understanding signed with both districts allow for easy communications to occur between the schools and Big Sky Youth Empowerment. Additionally, we have a strong working relationship with the local youth probation office where information is allowed to flow freely as a result of parental permission to release confidential information.

Our dedication to continual feedback from our constituency, coupled with continuing education about nonprofit management and program delivery, places our organization as a front runner with regard to interventions designed to engage at risk youth.

We evaluate youth outcomes as well as their level of satisfaction with our program at the end of every session in which youth engage with us. Including the pre-evaluation, that is potentially 13 evaluations over the course of four years. We measure the following character acquisition traits: grit, zest, self-control, optimism, gratitude, curiosity and social intelligence. In addition, we also measure an internalized versus externalized locus of control, self-esteem, and social interaction skills, as well as skills for independent living. We believe that character development, internalized locus of control, and increased self esteem and social competencies are all objective assets which lead youth toward health, eventually becoming engaged contributing members of our community.

During the past three years we've increased our annual enrollment from 86 to 120 youth and increased total donated volunteer hours from 10,920 to 12,960. We also increased total program hours offered from 32,950 in 2015 to 41,280 in 2017 and increased overall attendance rates from 79% to 83% resulting in increased total hours completed. 

We expanded our staff from 6 to 9 FTE which included the hiring of a Program Director, Program Administrator, and a Business Development and Events Manager. 

Since 2015 we have introduced additional program components that are in direct service to our youth, including our Summer Works Program, expanded our reach to include Manhattan school district students, implemented a Summer of Community Service, and partnered with Montana State University students to deliver an optional tutoring program.

We have designed and maintained a formal participant and volunteer database, increased professional development for all staff, performed a safety audit, maintained formal memorandums of understanding with the local education agencies, decreased our board of directors size from 17 to 9, moved to a larger facility which allows for all programming to be delivered in one location and developed an aggressive growth plan as a result of youth and community stakeholder feedback.  

BYEP's strategic plan for the next five years is exciting. Our goal is to increase our programming from 120 to 200 kids, which includes expanding to 7th grade students and offering programming to Alumni for 18+ BYEP graduates; we will have secured (or be constructing) a permanent home that is an inspiring facility for the kids and our work; we will have evaluated various models and developed standards for expansion outside of Bozeman and be ready to implement if the opportunity arises in another location.

External Reviews

Photos

Financials

BIG SKY YOUTH EMPOWERMENT PROJECT INC

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

No

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Yes

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

Sexual Orientation

We do not display sexual orientation information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity