Friday, August 17, 2012

Colorado 9to25 Launch!

For the first time ever, youth and adults from across Colorado gathered together to launch a comprehensive, coordinated system for youth ages 9 to 25 - Colorado 9to25 or CO9to25! This initiative, funded by the Maternal and Child Health Program, not only works to ensure that young people in Colorado reach their full potential, but it continues the investment made by Colorado's early childhood system. The CO9to25 Launch, planned by our Youth Advisor and past Youth Partnership for Health member, Schuyler Beauvais-Nikl, was held at the History Colorado Center. With over 150 participants, 50 of them being youth and young adults, there was standing room only for the event. Schuyler integrated some innovative ideas into the launch, such as having YouTube, Twitter and Facebook stations, where youth and adults used social media to promote and learn about the initiative.

The purpose of the launch was to inform youth and adults about CO9to25, ensuring that they understand their role and how to take action to ensure that all youth in Colorado are safe, physically and mentally healthy, educated, connected and contributing. Not only was the event fun, filled with laughter and excitement (thanks to Rose Barcklow's energizing physical activity break!), but serious connections took place.

From left to right: Rose Barcklow, Schuyler Beauvais-Nikl and Adwai Eswaran 
An employee from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, Office of Homeless Youth Services, was introduced to a young person who had only 80 days left in her residential treatment center. She had been in foster care her whole life which qualified her for an 18-month housing voucher and support services. On the spot, she received an application and made an appointment so that she would not have to live without a home, while going to school and working. In addition, the manager of the state voucher program is now going to connect with the residential treatment center to ensure that they are aware of the program, potentially reducing the number of homeless youth. To learn more about how this initiative is making a difference in the health and well-being of Colorado youth, please visit www.co9to25.org. Like the Facebook page!

And, a special thank you to everyone from PSD who made the time to come to the launch. We know how valuable your time is and appreciate your participation and support!

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