a little about us...
In April 2010, then Belgrade City Judge, Michele Snowberger was concerned for youth in Belgrade. She was seeing more and more young kids in her court for traffic, alcohol, tobacco, and gambling violations. These youth would talk about their lives and what brought them into the courts. A common thread included a lack of connection to family, school, and community. They spoke about boredom and no aspiration for their futures.
The Belgrade Youth Forum formed in 2010 comprised of more than twenty community leaders, parents, and youth whose mission was to encourage and promote positive youth development. The group worked to create activities and increase opportunities for youth in Belgrade, to enhance youth-school-parent-community relationships, and to prevent alcohol and drug use.
As the Belgrade Youth Forum, we hosted dances at the middle and high schools, brought in guest speakers to talk about alcohol and drug abuse, and conducted a community survey to see what local kids were interested in. A local skate park ranked high on the list. Through dedication and perseverance, and in partnership with the Gallatin Valley Skate Association and incredible support from our community, the Belgrade Skatepark opened in 2016 at Lewis and Clark Park. The skate park has been a huge success, with kids of all ages using it year-around.
Over the years, we’ve funded various community groups and projects. Some examples include Soles without Limits, the Belgrade Library, and the Belgrade Robotics Club.
In 2016, we held an open call for youth-created art. We received over 40 submissions which we used to cover twelve utility boxes around town. In 2017, the third phase of the project will wrap additional trashcans with youth art.
2016 also brought on another big change. The Board of Directors engaged in a strategic planning exercise and uncovered a need to expand its focus to the entire community. With this realization came the name change to Belgrade Community Coalition. Our mission is to cultivate a stronger sense of community for Belgrade—for our youth, families, businesses, and everyone who calls Belgrade home. Our goal is to help the citizens of Belgrade feel connected to this community and be proud to call it home.
If you’d like to know more about our current projects and support our mission, click here.