BEST CHARITY - 2005
Finally, an org that literally pounds the pavement. Many youth-mentoring programs aspire to steer kids toward future achievements, fostering dreams that may or may not come to pass. Bolder Options improves on that model by setting substantial and attainable goals from day one. Founded in 1991, Bolder Options combines traditional youth mentoring with sports training. It's like P.E. class meets play therapy: At-risk kids (ages 10 to 15) and adult mentors are matched with the ultimate goal of participating in either three 5K races or three 15- to 20-mile cycling rides. Healthy bodies and self-esteem are developed in tandem, addressing several childhood epidemics in one admirable game plan. Though still an underdog compared to other nonprofits, the foundation has grown steadily since its inception and has attracted high-profile donors and hundreds of volunteer mentors. For these kids, the real goal lies far beyond the finish line, but at least they won't make the journey alone.