Growing Up Boulder is a “child and youth-friendly city initiative” that began in the spring of 2009 through a Memorandum of Understanding between the University of Colorado Boulder, the city of Boulder and the Boulder Valley School District, working in partnership with local nonprofits, businesses, and many participating children and youth. Child and youth-friendly cities recognize the rights and interests of children in local policy, law, programs and budgets as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. 

Growing Up Boulder's vision is to make Boulder an exemplary child and youth-friendly city. Its mission is to empower Boulder's young people with opportunities for inclusion, influence and deliberation on local issues that affect their lives. We accomplish this through many diverse partnerships and supporters.

Because underrepresented children and youth are even less likely to have their voices heard than majority groups, we aim for 50 percent or more of Growing Up Boulder's participants to include young people from the following backgrounds: immigrants, English Language Learners, low-income, ethnic minorities, first generation college-bound students and/or young people with disabilities. Other new initiatives are underway including the Bringing School Home project. For the past 12 years the program was a part of CU Boulder's  Community Engagement, Design and Research  (CEDaR) Center.

Now one of the most successful child-friendly city initiatives in the world, GUB spun off as an independent nonprofit in March 2021 under the fiscal sponsorship of the Colorado Nonprofit Development Center. It continues as an affiliate program of the CEDaR Center.

“Growing Up Boulder will continue its deep partnership with CU Boulder as it evolves during its next phase," said  Mara Mintzer, GUB's director. "It  grew from a strong foundation in academia, and the  students and faculty have been key to its success." 

Growing Up Boulder Website