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RY funded by a block grant in western Colorado

Five high schools in western Colorado added Reconnecting Youth to their course offerings thanks to a Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant grant from the Colorado Division of Behavioral Health. The program is run by Mpower, a non-profit that provides programs to young people.

Alec Raffin, the Executive Director of Mpower, recently emailed us their first annual program evaluation report, saying “Year one exceeded our expectations and we are very pleased with the outcomes our students have achieved thus far.”

The RY class is offered to students who have been identified as at-risk for school failure. The program serves as a behavioral Response to Intervention (RtI) for this indicated population of students.

The Mpower RY Program Evaluation Report states that “Program Research studies in Colorado and elsewhere in the US demonstrate that a disproportionate number of students who have adverse risk factors and inadequate protective factors, and are doing poorly in school or have a suicidal risk, show increased use of alcohol and other drugs as compared to others their age.”

The Momentum Program Evaluation Report from the first year, reflects positive impact on students at the end of the semester they were enrolled in the program, including:
• a statistically significant improvement in Grade Point Average (GPA);
• significant advances in accumulating credit toward graduation; and
• a decline in their alcohol and marijuana use.

The same RY students also reported:
• a decreased use of cigarettes and other tobacco products;
• an increased tendency to believe alcohol and cigarette use is harmful; and
• more inclination to work for an employer who did alcohol and other drug testing.

Congratulations to Mpower and your RY graduates! We are very encouraged by these initial findings, and are looking forward to continuing our work together.