Our mission to foster vibrant communities would be incomplete without an emphasis on the health and wellbeing of our youth. We believe that listening to the voices of our youth and elevating these voices allows our communities and our young people alike to thrive. 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.
Our two-pronged approach to youth development is a prevention model of coalition building and community engagement. Our coalition provides an effective platform to organize our community, to assess the risk and protective factors facing our youth, and to implement a comprehensive community wide prevention plan.
The San Miguel Communities that Care Coalition is a coalition of parents, youth, teachers, and others who are working to support youth in the Telluride School District and to reduce adolescent substance use in the Telluride region. 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. We are a community that empowers our youth to be healthy, productive, resilient, and engaged. To learn more about our past campaigns, click here.
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 is intended 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. 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.
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!
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 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 call 970.708.7096 or contact Amy Schweim, our Community Mobilizer at 970.708.7096, or via email at email@example.com.
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.