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Inspire Youth Connections
teens walking together at school

Inspire Youth Connections

Inspire Youth Connections Program

Inspire Youth Connections partners with youth, youth-serving professionals, policy-makers, and community members with the vision of creating a community of resilient school-age children, teens, and young adults who are valued, respected, and supported by the communities in which they live, learn, work, and play. Our roadmap for building mental health and well-being among Boulder County adolescents and youth outlines this vision.

Goals

  • Promote positive relationships between youth and caring adults
  • Create a coordinated, informed youth service system
  • Improve equity for all youth in Boulder County
  • Connect youth and adults that serve youth to the resources they need
  • Ensure that youth voices are heard, validated, and respected

Strategies

  • Promote and implement the principles of Positive Youth Development throughout all systems that reach youth.
  • Encourage adult “upstanders” who are willing to act on behalf of youth.
  • Advocate for school and community policies that ensure safe, inclusive, and healthy environments for youth.
  • Provide technical assistance around a menu of evidence-based programs addressing youth protective and risk factors (including the Sources of Strength suicide prevention initiative)
  • Ensure that points of contact with youth (e.g., physicians, coaches, teachers, etc.) are prepared to recognize signs of concern or crisis and respond appropriately.
  • Build community-wide cultural responsiveness and inclusion across the vast diversity of youth.
  • Work toward strategic coordination of youth-serving agencies in Boulder County.
  • Work on identifying, discussing, and addressing gaps in the equity of youth in Boulder County.
  • Training community members on Youth Mental Health First Aid.
  • Hiring, supporting, and collaborating with youth advisors.
  • Managing a calendar for Boulder County youth events that provides a centralized online platform to learn about these events happening and share event opportunities

Sources of Strength in Boulder Countysources of strength wheel

One of the key strategies in place in Boulder County is Sources of Strength (SOS). This nationally recognized, evidence-based, best-practice peer leadership program uses the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture. The program is designed to prevent suicide, reduce bullying, decrease substance abuse, and enhance school bonding/engagement.

Building Supportive Networks

SOS builds on the strengths of adolescent and young adult coping skills by increasing help-seeking behaviors and connections between peers and caring adults, focusing on hope, help, and strength. The program’s approach to youth suicide prevention moves beyond focusing only on risk factors to building multiple sources of support around young individuals so that when times get hard, they have strengths to rely on.

Sources of Strength in Boulder County Schools

The SOS program is currently implemented at:

St. Vrain Valley School District

  • Erie High
  • Frederick High
  • Longmont High
  • Mead High
  • Niwot High
  • Silver Creek High
  • Skyline High

Boulder Valley School District

  • Boulder High
  • Broomfield High
  • New Vista High
  • Fairview High
  • Centaurus High
  • Monarch High
  • Nederland High
  • Casey Middle
  • Southern Hills Middle
  • Centennial Middle
  • Manhattan Middle
  • Platt Middle
  • Louisville Middle
  • Broomfield Heights Middle
  • Angevine Middle
  • Aspen Creek K-8
  • Monarch K-8
  • Eldorado K-8
  • Peak to Peak K-12

Funding for SOS

Funding support for SOS comes from:

Coordinated Youth Systems

The Boulder County Coordinated Youth Systems Coalition has community partnerships to identify shared protective factors, outcomes, and goals related to Boulder County youth in order to better align and coordinate community efforts.

Vision

“To create a county in which every youth feels respected, supported and valued.”

Pillars of our Coalition:

  1. Coordinated Action based on self-reflection of how we (adults) may be creating or contributing to barriers for youth and how to leverage our power to create more equitable relationships with young people in our organizations and community.
  2. Quarterly Trainings: Each quarter, we will work with community partners to offer free training to all CYS members and member organizations.
    • Some examples of requested trainings are:
      • Positive Youth Development
      • SafeTalk
      • Trauma-Informed Care
      • Vaping
      • Youth Mental Health First Aid
  3. Networking with other Youth Service Providers in Boulder County: Each meeting is an opportunity to connect, but we will also host a “Mixer” twice a year. In December 2018, we hosted our first CYS Mixer, allowing folks to connect and build relationships more informally.

If you would like to join the CYS coalition or get more info please contact us.

Positive Youth Development Training

Positive youth development is a strengths-based view of adolescence. This approach focuses on helping youth acquire the knowledge and skills they need to become healthy and productive adults.

Inspire Youth Connections can provide positive youth development training for agencies, schools, and community organizations free of charge. Please contact us for more information or to schedule a training. You can also call us at 303-441-1390.

Contact Us


Inspire Youth Connections

Main: 303-678-6135
Submit a question


Location

Boulder
3482 Broadway
Map and Directions
Hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Monday-Friday

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