Selected by the Broncos in the first round (20th overall) of the 2017 NFL Draft from University of Utah, Bolles has consistently demonstrated a commitment to using his platform to impact the community during his seven seasons as a Bronco. Bolles' commitment to his community has not wavered throughout his time in Denver, continuously expanding the reach of his impact, varying from empowering children with learning disabilities to mentoring local justice-involved youth and using his foundation to spread kindness.
BOLLES' 2023 COMMUNITY WORK
During his seventh NFL season, Garett Bolles has elevated his commitment to providing meaningful and impactful mentorship to justice-involved youth. Bolles puts in substantial time to build personal connections and be a positive influence and mentor to youth in our community who need it most.
The Arapahoe County 18th Judicial Youth Probation Court Incentives and Sanctions Court is for youth who have completed the court's orders and will terminate off probation successfully (Incentives) or are demonstrating noncompliance and are at risk of having their probation revoked (Sanctions). Since 2020, a local organization that provides intake services for the county's justice-involved youth reported a 230% increase in referrals, demonstrating the need for support for this group of kids. Bolles provides monthly mentorship through personalized recorded videos based on the individual circumstances for each youth and attends the monthly court hearings to show additional support and make an in-person connection with the kids. Since 2020, Bolles has provided mentorship to 82 different youth — including 37 youth thus far in 2023. In recognition of his outstanding service to the juvenile justice system, Bolles was presented with the Raymond C. Frenchmore Juvenile Law Award from the Arapahoe County Bar Association in June.
The Marvin W. Foote Youth Services Center is a secure youth detention holding site (ages 10-17) that uses an adaptive pro-social behavioral management philosophy and provides individualized education, restorative justice and life skills education. Following a visit with teammates and ownership at the beginning of the season, Bolles adopted a facility-identified "high risk pod" developing rules and launching a rewards program to incentivize individual and pod behavior. Bolles committed to weekly visits and providing positive reinforcement when individuals and the pod meet their goals. Youth behavior is ranked by facility staff each week, and three of the eight youth currently in the pod have reached the highest level since Bolles began his recurring visits in September. The bonds created between Bolles and the youth have had an incredible impact on youth being kind, respecting others and loving themselves. At the conclusion of each visit, Bolles asks how they are going to maintain their positive behavior and tells them he loves them.
Bolles works tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of justice-involved youth, the same way adults mentored him as a justice-involved teenager. This year alone Bolles hosted 36 different mentorship meetings with high-needs individuals and small groups.
More information about the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award presented by Nationwide can be found at www.nfl.com/manoftheyear