Making it their way: Kate Elkins: Mentor to future professionals | SteamboatToday.com
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Making it their way: Kate Elkins: Mentor to future professionals

Kate Elkins says her favorite part of her job is working with the Steamboat Springs Teen Council.
Scott Franz

More about Elkins

Originally from Massachusetts, Kate moved to Steamboat in 2008 with her now husband, Matt, and has a bachelor’s degree in hospitality administration from Boston University. She said one of her most rewarding experiences in Steamboat has been to serve as a mentor for a local student through the Partners in Routt County program.

Making it their way

Making it their way

Casey Earp

Kate Elkins



Steph and Glen Traylor

Lindsay Dillenbeck



Steamboat’s Young Professionals Network on rise

More about Elkins

Originally from Massachusetts, Kate moved to Steamboat in 2008 with her now husband, Matt, and has a bachelor’s degree in hospitality administration from Boston University. She said one of her most rewarding experiences in Steamboat has been to serve as a mentor for a local student through the Partners in Routt County program.

— When Kate Elkins first started volunteering at LIFT-UP of Routt County, she realized she couldn’t continue to work at the front desk of a local hotel.

“I feel so good when I feel like I’ve made a difference with four hours at LIFT-UP versus four hours of fielding complaints at a front desk in a resort town,” Elkins, 29, said in her office that is filled with anti-substance abuse posters. “I could see the juxtapositions.”

So Elkins quit her hotel job to pursue a leadership role in the nonprofit world.

Today, she is the director of Routt County’s Grand Futures Prevention Coalition.

In this role, she has become a role model for many local youths, and she helps them realize that they don’t need drugs and alcohol to have a good time.

Elkins also has been a strong advocate for protecting young people from the impact of newly legalized recreational marijuana in the state.

“It’s not something I ever expected to to be involved in,” she said about her experience influencing the city’s marijuana rules. “I’ve learned a lot about community mobilization and public policy and being part of local government and how it works. We’ve taken a stand that what our kids see in our community does have an impact on whether or not they use substances.”

As she reflects on her four years with Grand Futures and its impact on the community, Elkins said the organization has continued to build awareness of the issues and consequences associated with early initiation of substance use and abuse, and especially what that looks like in Routt County.

“She’s awesome,” Grand Futures Board Chairman Kenny Reisman said. “She brings a combination of huge passion to her work along with huge energy and huge attention to detail. I think what makes her so unique is she’s able to do all that and at the same time not take herself too seriously.”

Elkins said working with the Steamboat Springs Teen Council is the best part of her job.

She said she appreciates the students’ enthusiasm and their passion for social, political and environmental concerns.

“For them, it’s not ‘no we can’t do that,’ it’s ‘yes let’s do it,’” Elkins said. “You are reminded that yes, as one person you can make a change, and that’s why I love working with them.”

Elkins serves on the advisory board of the Young Professionals Network, and she said her best experiences with the group have been volunteering.


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