The Glenwood Springs High School A-Team is a group of students who, through the encouragement of a service-learning class at their high school, utilize their talent and vision to identify community concerns, prioritize them and develop plans to address the most crucial issues.
Since the project began in 1994, the students envisioned, planned, raised the funds for and implemented the building of a pedestrian mall in downtown Glenwood Springs. Despite financial barriers and some community opposition, they worked with the established political and planned processes and ultimately accomplished their goal. "Not only did the A-Team students become aware of the issues facing our community, they also were able to develop relationships with people that they normally would have been intimidated by," commented Gregory J. Geissler, Executive Director, Governor's Commission on National and Community Service.
The A-Team used innovative techniques to address the identified community need. They raised more than $75,000 for the mall. They help community planning sessions and conducted a live town meeting on public television. The club recruited professional adult volunteer mentors and involved the entire community in a fundraising campaign. They also solicited the construction industry for in-kind building opportunities.
The mall is now the main feature of the downtown area and has brought a sense of pride to the community. The A-Team maintains the mall.
These students have been a role model in leadership, promoted community action and volunteerism and helped their community through service. The A-Team's dedication and motivation has inspired other student service-learning groups to approach local organizations to build a park and a river trail in the community.