Students in Chaffee County, CO. sing RY’s praises
Decreased drug use and increased resilience are among several positive effects reported by both Chaffee County, Colorado school districts implementing Reconnecting Youth. Among the 30 high school students that completed the RY program last year, there was a 30% drop in both alcohol and marijuana use, along with statistically significant increases in resiliency and positive outlook.
Youth @ Crossroads delivers the RY Program through Family and Youth Initiatives, a division of Chaffee County’s Health and Human Services Department. Kayla Maddox, a trained RY Facilitator and the Youth @ Crossroads Coordinator, shared some of their RY students’ year-end testimonials with us, this summer.
“RY has helped me find healthy ways to improve my mood, and helped me open up and express
my feelings towards the right people.”
“I know that I do have to control my anger otherwise I could get in serious trouble. I’ve learned there are steps to take.”
“At the start of RY, my drug use control was…well let’s just say that I was using heavily.
Now I don’t use at all, like actually, I am proud of myself.”
“What helped me the most is the mini-Goals for RY. Identifying fun activities I could do that decrease my depression.”
“I learned to organize my day so I can meet my needs first, and then my wants.”
“Self esteem helps you accept criticism and turn it into self-improvement.”
“RY helped me learn to see what my triggers are and showed me that if I stay calm
most times the people I’m talking to will stay calm too.”
“I learned better ways to talk to my mom when I’m angry.”
In Chaffee County, underage alcohol misdemeanor and drug delinquency filing rates are higher than Colorado’s rates and Chaffee’s poverty rates have remained higher than the state’s, including among school-aged youth.
Youth @ Crossroads seeks to reduce high risk behaviors in youth ages 13 – 18 by promoting positive decision-making and personal responsibility through education, community service, and ongoing year-round activities.