After finding true family, Aurie Madrid finds success |

After finding true family, Aurie Madrid finds success

Aurie Madrid stands inside Walmart in Rifle.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

It’s hard not knowing how long you’re going to stay with a family, said Aurie Madrid.

The 18-year-old Coal Ridge High School senior has essentially spent her entire life bouncing from one foster family to the next.

“It’s just, like, what’s next?” she said. “You don’t know.”

Madrid is originally from the Arvada area. Her life since then has been unstable. She’d go into foster care at the age of 5 because her father left and her mother went down the wrong path, she said.

Before coming to Garfield County, she had already been in two high schools and “bounced from families and houses a lot,” Madrid said. During this turbulent time, she said she’d get into a life of drugs.

Madrid said she once stayed with a foster family for no more than two weeks with her sister, Savannah. She’d also spend time in a group home before moving three years ago to Garfield County to live with her true family, Angela and Kyle Mills.

“They helped me get a set plan to figure out what’s next,” Madrid said. “Before I moved here, I got into drugs and stuff. And now, I’m not doing that. I’m on the right path.”

Since then, life has become a lot better for Madrid. She’d go on to attend Coal Ridge High School and help the school’s cheer/spirit program win state titles.

“It helped that I was in cheerleading and I had to keep my grades up,” she said. “It sure helped a lot with having friends and meeting new people.”

Aurie Madrid poses for the camera near the Colorado River in Rifle.
Kyle Mills

Meanwhile, she maintains a 4.0-grade-point average and has her sights set on Colorado Mountain College.

“I’m scared because I don’t want to go to college,” she said. “But I am.”

After Colorado Mountain College, Madrid said she wants to move to Denver, where she’ll attend Metro State University. There, she wants to study the very subject that reared her all her life.

“I want to do social work because human services isn’t very good with kids,” Madrid said. “So, I want to help out.”

Reporter Ray K. Erku can be reached at 612-423-5273 or

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.