Born and raised in Colorado, Nicole married her high school boyfriend at age 16. Shortly after, she and her husband had two children, leading Nicole to drop out of high school after her sophomore year. Nicole’s relationship with her husband was abusive from the beginning. Like many women in abusive relationships, Nicole felt afraid to leave her partner, as she did not feel that she could effectively support herself or her children on her own. Eventually the abuse became unbearable. Nicole fled her abuser and was admitted to Bright Future’s shelter.
While at the shelter, Nicole actively participated in counseling and support groups. She explained she felt “so connected to the women and finally felt like part of a community.” Working with the shelter coordinator, Nicole decided she wanted to go back to school and finish her degree so she could work with women who have experienced similar situations. With the support of Bright Future, Nicole received her GED and is currently working a full-time job and actively volunteering with Bright Future. “My Bright Future advocate helped me see the possibility of hope,” Nicole said “Now I am able to help others see that light.”
A grass roots organization from the start, Bright Future Foundation was founded on a November evening in 1983 in the basement of the Vail Chapel to help people like Nicole. Today, Bright Future Foundation has established itself as a leader in the effort to break the generational cycle of violence by empowering individuals and families affected by domestic violence and sexual assault.
As Eagle County’s only domestic violence and sexual assault agency, Bright Future continues to play a vital role in its community through proactive and culturally sensitive programs that create sustainable emotional, behavioral, and community change.
In recognition of Bright Future’s efforts, El Pomar honored the organization on October 6, 2015 during the annual Awards for Excellence ceremony. Bright Future Foundation received a $25,000 grant and a video highlighting its dedication and passion to serving the state of Colorado.
*Names in this piece have been changed to respect the privacy of those mentioned