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Ellyn Rocha
with Boulder County Enhanced Supervision Team (B.E.S.T.)
by Anna Fine

Getting a manicure with a friend may not sound like volunteer work, but this is precisely how Elynn Rocha spends a typical day as a mentor for Boulder County Enhanced Supervision Team (B.E.S.T.). B.E.S.T. matches teens on the brink of incarceration with adult mentors who serve as positive role models.

Since becoming involved with B.E.S.T. in October 2007, Rocha has gotten to know her 16-year-old mentee very well. The two meet in person on a weekly basis and even talk via text. "We have so much in common," Rocha says. "We're very close."

Rocha has worked hard to help her mentee recognize the blessings in her life and take control of her own future. "I firmly believe that if you don't like something, you can change it," Rocha says.

Anne Brubacher of B.E.S.T. says, "Elynn has done a tremendous job of engaging her mentee when her mentee was not engaging in any other positive activities. Elynn's mentee even left her boyfriend on Pearl Street for a meeting with Elynn! That is significant in the world of working with teens."

When she isn't volunteering, Rocha works in a residential treatment center for boys. She has found that consistency is something teens crave and through mentoring she is able to provide this for at least one teen.

"Just being a positive influence for a few minutes a day is better than nothing," Rocha says. "Mentoring is the best way to give back to your community. Every day is memorable."

For information about volunteering with Boulder County Enhanced Supervision Team (B.E.S.T.) or other agencies, call the Volunteer Connection at 303-444-4904.

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