What is the Hurst Community Initiative?
Generously funded by Bob and Soledad Hurst, the Hurst Community Initiative seeks to promote dialogue, increase understanding, and facilitate opportunities for meaningful collaboration – among the communities of the Roaring Fork and Colorado River Valleys (Parachute to Aspen, Colorado).
We believe that individuals are most resilient as integral members of communities that promote equity, inherent belonging and civic engagement.
Distance: 80 Mile Corridor
Area: 4,000 Square Miles
Total Population: < 90,000 Total
Working Class: Tourism & Oil/Gas
White: +/- 70%
Hispanic/Latinx: +/- 30%
Other Race/Ethnicity: 3%
Children Under 18 yo: 20,000
Free & Reduced Lunch Qualifying Students:
Aspen School District: 5%
Roaring Fork School District: 43%
RE-2 School District: 45%
Garfield District 16: 58%
Garfield Self-Sufficiency Standard: $75, 239
Garfield Median Household Income: $69,161
Eagle Self-Sufficiency Standard: $76, 608
Eagle Median Household Income: $79, 556
Pitkin Self-Sufficiency Standard: $95, 667
Pitkin Median Household Income: $74, 576
Pervasive Regional Challenges:
Fair, Equitable & Affordable Access to Quality
• Food & Housing
• Medical Healthcare & Mental Health Services
• Preschool & Childcare
• Skills-Based Training & Professional Development
• Diversity of Competitive Career Opportunities
• Living Wage | Financial Self-Sufficiency
Additional ACF Data: Realities in Our Region Data Report & Cradle to Career Regional Data
Additional Data: OpportunityAtlas.org
Leadership & Program Advisors
A Colorado native, Evan Zislis joins Aspen Institute with over twenty years in the Roaring Fork Valley working as an educator, social entrepreneur and community advocate. With a career focused on building relationships through program development and organizational leadership, Evan’s expansive network in the public and private sectors strategically positions him to launch and direct the Hurst Community Initiative, targeting public policy and regional populations hit hardest by the defining challenges of our time. Evan lives with his wife and daughter in Carbondale, Colorado.
Director of Community Engagement 970.366.2532
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The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Aspen Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the greatest challenges of our time.