Border Immersion Program 2019

The Aspen Chapel has partnered with World Leadership School  to provide an open-enrollment Border Immersion Program in El Paso, Texas, for teenagers in the Roaring Fork Valley. This program is designed give students an up-close glimpse into the complexities of immigration and the struggles for those on both sides of the issue. Young people in the Roaring Fork Valley have an opportunity to become leaders in our community, and by learning deeply and experientially about the issues impacting all families who call the Roaring Fork Valley their home, they’re more likely to make insightful, inclusive, and sustainable decisions that pave the way for a thriving community.

Three students have expressed their passion around these topics and their sincere interest in learning about immigration by visiting government agencies, non-profit organizations, and religious organizations in El Paso, a city pulled between two worlds. In addition to engaging with real-world problems, these students will make emotional connections to each other, to community members, and will be prepared to take meaningful action in the world.

Tilly Swanson is a freshman at Aspen High School. She’s passionate about debate, robotics, art, and politics. She believes this trip to El Paso will ignite even more passion in these areas.

Gabriela Silva is a junior at Basalt High School. She plays basketball and softball for her school and is passionate about school. The reason she wants to go is because her own family has experienced the difficulties immigrants face, and she wants to learn as much as she can about the border and the issues surrounding immigration. 

Carla Soto is a junior at Basalt High School. She’s passionate about art and photography, and wants to incorporate her love for photography in the trip so she can raise awareness around border policies. 

These students have been invited to speak on a panel at the Compassion Festival this summer and will share their experiences at the Aspen Chapel to raise awareness. 

This experience costs $1300 plus airfare. These girls can pay for most of this trip, but we still need funding for flights and tuition. The fee covers transportation, room, board, and a coordinator who translates, organizes all meetings and visits, and provides a thorough, well-rounded education around immigration. 

We believe this will be a life-changing opportunity for these students. The impact of this experience will surely serve as a turning point as these students plan their future education and careers.

Donations (0)

  • Beth Wysong 
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Aspen Chapel 
    • $300 
    • 4 mos
  • Lee Rittvo 
    • $180 
    • 4 mos
  • Virginia Newton 
    • $25 
    • 4 mos
  • Vivienne Swanson 
    • $100 
    • 4 mos


WLS Admin 
Aspen, CO
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