Communities that Care

Communities that Care

Our mission to foster vibrant communities would be incomplete without an emphasis on our youth’s health and well-being. We believe that our community benefits from listening to youth and elevating their voices. Our San Miguel Communities that Care Coalition is focused on working alongside youth to develop programs to promote healthy and drug-free living. By allowing youth to take the lead, CTC aims to ensure that youth have the space to participate actively in our community and make healthy decisions for themselves and their peers.

The Coalition

Our coalition provides an effective platform for assessing risk and protective factors facing our youth and implementing a comprehensive community-wide prevention plan.

A message from the co-founders:

Sophia Watkins and Rhys Chambers tell us what the CTC club has meant to them during their high school career.

Join the Coalition!

Are you a parent, young person, teacher, or community member who wants to support youth in the Telluride School District and reduce teen substance use in the region? Join the San Miguel Communities that Care Coalition!

When you join the coalition, you will be part of a variety of projects in the Telluride area that aim to provide healthy alternatives to substance use. Coalition members assist with youth activities, community events, and exciting year-end gatherings. Additionally, the Coalition is working with the school district to develop a social-emotional learning curriculum and collaborating with the Parks and Recreation Department to ensure a youth center is built in Town Park. Finally, the Coalition is advocating for the adoption of a social host ordinance.

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The CTC Model

As an evidence-based program developed at the University of Washington and employed across the United States and worldwide in rural and urban communities, it intends to give youth in our community a voice. CTC uses prevention science as its base, fostering healthy youth development, improving youth outcomes, and reducing problem behaviors. 

The CTC program is grounded in the science of prevention, focusing on risk factors and protective factors, and on the engagement and development of youth. To address these factors, the Coalition uses data to learn about the experiences of youth growing up in Telluride. Every two years the Telluride School District participates in a statewide survey, the Healthy Kids Colorado survey. Along with student attitudes and perceptions, the survey asks students about adolescent substance use in our community. These results inform our work supporting the youth in our community and help us create campaigns to promote healthy choices by working alongside Telluride’s youth.

Risk Factors

A risk factor is a norm, condition or idea that negatively impacts youth  and increases the likelihood of youth engaging in risky behaviors.  For example, two thirds of Telluride students report that they think it would be sort of or very easy to get alcohol or cannabis in our community. The overwhelming attitude among students at Telluride High School that alcohol and cannabis are easily accessible is a risk factor in our community, reinforced by the large number of local stores that sell these substances.

Protective Factors

A protective factor is the opposite: it is a factor that positively contributes to the wellbeing of youth in our community. The Healthy Kids survey found that 86.9% of Telluride High School students report that they could ask a parent or guardian for help if they had a personal problem. The fact that so many students have an accessible adult figure in their life may protect them from risky behaviors and improve their mental health and wellbeing. Another protective factor is the upcoming opening of a Youth Center- a place for youth to safely spend time and recreate with friends.

To learn more about the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey results, click here.

Through both our youth club and coalition, we want to bring youth into the conversation and advocate for a healthier community together. Here are some recent examples of events we’ve hosted!

2020-21 CTC community events

What We’ve Achieved

Since the Coalition’s inception in 2017, our successes have included:  

  • Lobbying for and passing a Tobacco 21 law in Telluride  
  • Preventing the approval of Cannabis Social Consumption Rooms in Telluride 
  • Ensuring that the Telluride Parks & Recreation Master Plan identifies space for a youth center 
  • Creating youth middle and high school clubs in the Telluride R-1 School District 
  • Supporting our local youth in creating a temporary youth hangout in partnership with the Telluride Ski and Snowboard Club  
  • Supporting the Telluride School District’s efforts to create a district-wide Social Emotional Strategy 

We are a community that empowers our youth to be healthy, productive, resilient, and engaged. To learn more about our past campaigns, click here.

What’s Next?

We want to continue to empower our youth. We want to change the experience of the youth growing up in the Telluride School District by challenging the social norms of drinking and drug use.

Currently, we are working to establish a permanent youth center in the community.  We are also supporting the School District in implementing a comprehensive social emotional curriculum and working alongside youth to create a social norms campaign that challenges the perceptions of how many youth use drugs and alcohol in Telluride. We want to broaden membership in the Coalition so that it truly reflects our entire community. And we need your help!

You Can Be Involved!

Are you a student in Telluride? The San Miguel Communities that Care has clubs at both Telluride High School and Telluride Middle School club. Ask your high school principal or school counselor if you are interested in joining.

If you are interested in helping us achieve our goal of establishing a permanent youth space, raising funds for fun, safe, and engaging youth-focused events, and learning how your voice can make a difference in our community, CTC is for you! Click here to learn more about CTC youth clubs.

Are you a parent or community member interested in helping our Telluride youth thrive? Please join the Communities that Care Coalition.

For more information, please contact Tammi Ragan, our CTC Administrator at 970.708.7096, or via email at

Watch this video to learn more about what the coalition has accomplished since its inception in 2017 and what we plan to do moving forward.

Funding for this coalition is provided through a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment and the Centers for Disease Control.

If you have any questions, please email our CTC Administrator at or give us a call at 970.708.7096.

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