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TEENS, Inc.

We help change youth and families lives for the better by building academic, parenting, life, and leadership skills, with strong, caring relationships. We provide opportunities though early childhood education, an alternative high school, job training, recreation and leadership development programs.

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New Explorers Learning Center

Class

Youth Development 

Beneficiaries

At-Risk Populations
Children (4-12 years)
Families
Parents
Single Parents

Description

In the last six months, two of Nederland's long-standing Early Childhood Education centers, Little Bear and Aspen Grove Community Preschool, decided to close their doors, creating a critical gap in quality child care programs in the Nederland community. TEENS, Inc., has worked closely with the Boards and staff of these centers and stepped forward to fill this gap creating the New Explorers Learning Center (NELC).
• We know that high quality Early Childhood Education (ECE) is a key precursor to success in the teenage years.
• If preschool options in Nederland were limited, families might have to choose options in Boulder or beyond, thus reducing the likelihood of their children later enrolling in Nederland Elementary School. This would negatively impact all Nederland schools.
TEENS, Inc. has the leadership and staff capacity to create and sustain a great preschool. Our Executive Director and Assistant Director have been with TEENS, Inc. a combined 37 years, and we have strong evaluation and development teams who will help sustain and enhance the programming.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

New Explorers Learning Center began serving the community in the current Aspen Grove building on August 1. In the near future, TEENS, Inc. will also acquire ownership of the building. We have not been able to gather evidence to indicate program success - however, as with all of our programs, we will serve all families and no one will be turned away for inability to pay. The creation of the New Explorers Learning Center (NELC) follows TEENS, Inc.'s (over 20 year) tradition of responding to our community's needs.

Lookout Academy

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Males
Offenders/Ex-offenders
Other Named Groups
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Description

TEENS, Inc. provides an education program modeled on Chinook West to 140 incarcerated youth, ages 14-20 designed to ensure a successful transition back into society with NO recidivism.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Lowering rate of recidivism and numbers of transition into productive members of society.

Restorative Practices

Class

Youth Development 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)
Crime/ Abuse Victims
General Public
Offenders/Ex-offenders

Description

TEENS, Inc. is the driving force behind a community wide initiative to bring restorative practices to all interactions with youth in the Peak to Peak Region.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

High percentage of youth that complete contracts; high satisfaction rates.

Recreation

Class

Youth Development 

Beneficiaries

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)
Young Adults (20-25 years)

Description

Teen Center continues to average over 9,000 visits per year for free drop in recreation for youth 6th grade to 21 years old. Through the consistency and continuity of TEENS, Inc. programming, youth have access to natural mentors, are nurtured within a safe environment, and increase life skills, make positive choices, and lay a foundation for becoming productive members of society. TEENS, Inc. provides free drop-in recreational and social opportunities five to six days per week year-round in a safe, alcohol and drug-free environment for 400+ youth each year. At the Teen Center, youth have access to computers, a gym, and a game room, as well as natural mentors and therapeutic services. TEENS, Inc. also sponsors dances, field trips, volunteer opportunities, specialized classes such as yoga, slack lining, bouldering, etc., which provide extended opportunities for natural mentoring.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

12 year average of over 9000 visits per year.

Averaging over 30 visits per day over the 12 year recreation program.

Greater than 50% decrease in juvenile crime since TEENS, Inc. programming began.

Peak to Peak Prevention Coalition

Class

Mental Health, Substance Abuse 

Beneficiaries

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years)
General Public
Young Adults (20-25 years)
Adults

Description

Peak to Peak Prevention Coalition uses the "Communities That Care" Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration Model evidence-based program. After surveying over 250 7th-12th graders at Nederland Middle Senior (NMSHS) and Chinook West High School, the coalition found that Peak-to-Peak youth report engaging in risky behaviors at much higher rates than Boulder County as a whole, while the number of risk factors for substance abuse is high in all domains: community, family, school, and individual. The Coalition's goal is to reduce substance abuse in area youth by 4-5% by 2015. Our Coalition launched a Social Norming Campaign in 2013.

Rated effective by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, CTC is a five-phase, coalition-based prevention strategy that uses the public health approach to prevent youth problem behaviors. Using strategic consultation, training, and research tools, CTC helps stakeholders understand and apply protective factors and proven programs to build healthy youth development and address challenging risk factors among youth and families. CTC engages all community members who have a stake in healthy youth futures and sets priorities for action based on community challenges and strengths.

CTC was selected as the prevention model based on research supporting the effectiveness of the community health approach as a best practice for substance use reduction. (Gold, McCoy, Teutsch, & Haddix. Assessing Outcomes in Population Health: Moving the Field Forward. AmJ Prev. Med. 1997; 3-5.) In a 2009 study, youth in CTC communities who were exposed to CTC evidence-based, prevention programs demonstrated: 11% lower yearly growth in delinquency, 33% lower yearly decline in academic performance, lower yearly growth in risk factors associated with substance use/delinquency, and lower yearly decline in protective factors associated with substance use/delinquency (Feinberg, Jones, Greenberg, and Osgood, Effects of the Communities That Care Model in Pennsylvania on Change in Youth Risk and Problem Behaviors, 2009).

Since May 2011, TEENS, Inc. has been building the The Peak to Peak Prevention coalition with support from stakeholders, including NMSHS, Nederland Elementary School, local preschools, Nederland Police Department (NPD), Parent-Teacher Associations, Nederland Parent Engagement Network, and dedicated community members.

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Evidence of Program's Success

The Communities that Cares Prevention Program is being formulated with a wide range of community stakeholders. A strategic planning session is scheduled for September 17, to begin the process of establishing community workgroups,

Leadership

Class

Youth Development 

Beneficiaries

Crime/Abuse Victims
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Description

TEENS, Inc. has a proven track record of providing youth evidence-based leadership development programs that increase self-esteem, build life skills, and lay a foundation for productive and responsible citizenship. The programs have an overall prevention focus aimed at meeting our goal of reducing youth substance use 4-5% over the next few years. TEENS, Inc. offers: 1) a weekly Roundtable leadership program and 2) a new Outdoor Leadership program. Roundtable, required of all employees and open to all youth grade 6 to age 21, is the governing body of the Teen Center and has weekly meetings year round where participants make policy recommendations, set priorities, and plan activities and fundraising events. Roundtable increases community involvement and knowledge about risk behaviors and support services while building healthy risk taking, communication, and conflict resolution skills, social competence, and confidence/perseverance. Bi-weekly character-building workshops focus on topics, such as cooperative decision-making, teenage pregnancy, suicide prevention, diversity, and self- sufficiency.
Outdoor Leadership. This after school climbing program, offered in four week blocks meeting twice per week during the school year, involves youth in indoor and outdoor roped climbing experiences to promote healthy risk taking, adult bonding, and leadership skills. Rock climbing and other outdoor leadership initiatives are incorporated into youth employment programs as a means to build team work, character, and healthy risk taking. Teens overcome mental and physical challenges as they learn how to use each other for support. All TEENS, Inc. leadership programs provide extensive opportunities for one-on-one mentoring. During the summer months TEENS, Inc. offers two 5-day leadership retreats that incorporate hiking, rafting, and rock climbing. TEENS, Inc. also coordinates one 10-day advanced leadership retreat for youth involving rock climbing and backcountry travel and camping. In a thank you note to the program director, a youth participant stated, "I learned a lot about my own leadership skills and what type of leader I am. It has showed me so much." As need and opportunities arise, TEENS, Inc. incorporates other outdoor leadership initiatives, such as an all-girls climbing and hiking trip offered over spring break focusing on healthy relationships and building confidence.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Eight girls participated in an all girls spring break empowerment program involving five nights of camping, hiking and rock climbing. Surveys showed that all participants scored higher on questions relating to healthy risk-taking and confidence / perseverance on the post-test compared to the pre-test given before leaving on the trip. After the trip, Aubrey (10th grade) stated, "I didn't realize how strong I was, and what I was capable of. I will push myself more in the future and do it with confidence. I feel more confident."
Specific workshops were presented by partnering organizations on topics such as sexual assault, expression through art, non violent communication, drunk driving, sexual orientation and STD's / STI's.
Twenty - four teens participated in the newly formed after school rock climbing program that met twice per week for four weeks. Participants report an increase in confidence and perseverance as well as social skills and a greater sense of community among the youth participants.
Youth coordinated three community events: Spring Egg Hunt, Howl-o-Ween Ned and a fundraiser during a community festival in March.

Youth Employment

Class

Employment 

Beneficiaries

Crime/Abuse Victims
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Young Adults (20-25 years)
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Description

TEENS, Inc. has a proven track record of providing 85-95 teens yearly with experiential youth employment opportunities and evidence-based leadership programs that increase self-esteem and build employment/ life skills, while reducing youth risk factors, such as violence, domestic abuse, and drug and alcohol abuse. All programs have an overall prevention focus aimed at meeting our goal of reducing drug and alcohol use in area youth by 4-5% over the next few years.

Youth Employment: All teens involved in youth employment programs must be working to further their education either through high school, college, or working towards their GED. Over the next year, TEENS, Inc. anticipates employing over 100 youth in the following positions:
▪ Peer Supervisors: Up to seven youth are employed at given times throughout the year to help govern, supervise, and implement Teen Center activities. In the process, peer supervisors learn computer and marketing skills; develop leadership, communication, and conflict-resolution skills; and plan and implement activities that target middle school-aged youth.
▪ Mountain Youth Corps: Employing up to 20 youth each summer, this award-winning program (Boulder Community Foundation's Environmental NOVA award) integrates community projects with physical labor such as park and trail maintenance, open space clean-up, and, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, noxious weed removal and mapping.
▪ TeamWorks: This summer program hires over 80 youth, both from Denver, Conifer and Peak to Peak area, to work in partnership to perform habitat restoration while learning inquiry driven science methods. Scholarships are provided to those who maintain a B average in a post secondary school or training program.
▪ Summer Venture Camps: A general summer camp for middle school aged kids. Youth counselors are responsible for planning and implementing activities with the guidance of an adult mentor.

Each TEENS, Inc. youth employee chooses an adult staff member to have a weekly check-in with. This scheduled appointment with an adult mentor is a time for teens to discuss jobs, family, school, friends, and other potential stress in their lives and allows adult staff to assess the external stress the teen is faced with and how it may affect decision-making and job performance. TEENS, Inc. youth employment programs have a proven record of helping teens gain job experience, make positive choices, and become productive members of society.

Photos

Evidence of Program's Success

Over 80 youth are employed through various youth employment programs. Youth demonstrate specific job related skills as evidence through performance reviews. Surveys show youth increase conflict resolution, social competence and confidence / perseverance. "I want to be independent and I got the opportunity to work at this awesome place."
~ Uma, 12 grade Peer Supervisor

Chinook West

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Crime/Abuse Victims
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged/Indigent
Substance Abusers (Drug/Alcohol Abusers)
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Description

In 2002, TEENS, Inc., in collaboration with Boulder Valley School District (BVSD), met the #1 need identified by the Nederland community: an alternative high school program for area youth. Today, TEENS, Inc. is the only contract school in BVSD. This contract empowers TEENS, Inc. to hire its own teachers and serve students with Individual Education Plans. Chinook West meets BVSD graduation requirements utilizing experiential and differentiated instruction that focuses on increasing academic and life skills and attachment to school.

Chinook West's proven, positive youth development approach emphasizes decisions made in partnership with youth. Chinook West focuses on increasing protective factors, such as strengthening adult bonding, setting high behavioral standards, providing pro-social activities, and creating warm, caring relationships. 95% of Chinook West parents participate in parent/student/teacher conferences and students help make decisions about class topics/structure, and their own means of assessment. Chinook West students create their own individualized learning contracts, giving them ownership of their education, and complete 90 hours of self-selected community service, service learning, or internship as a graduation requirement. Learning expeditions that incorporate academics, leadership, and adventure into extended trips provide opportunities for engaging curriculum as well as opportunities to practice and learn critical life skills. Past examples include backpacking in Yellowstone, rafting on the San Juan River, and studying Native American culture in Havasupai Canyon.

Chinook West students are required to participate in weekly check-ins with TEENS, Inc. staff. This allows staff to evaluate each student's stress related to school, work, friends, and family. Students benefit by having a trusting adult to confide in and are able to work towards healthy alternatives to deal with the pressures and challenges in their lives. When necessary, students are referred to TEENS, Inc.'s staff therapist for more support. Students enrolled in Chinook West are more likely to participate in other after school activities including leadership and youth employment programs. This mentoring and therapy structure coupled with high expectations (70% or higher is passing) and community partnerships has proven successful in keeping mountain area at-risk students in school and less likely to engage in delinquent activities.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Since the inception of TEENS, Inc. programming, the Nederland/Peak-to-Peak area has seen a 58% decrease in juvenile crime, Nederland High School has seen a 50% decrease in drop outs, and Chinook West has maintained a 87% retention rate. Evaluations performed by Colorado State University show that Chinook West students increase attachment to school (relevance of school work, enjoyment/effort in school, and educational aspirations) and increase life skills, including conflict resolution, social competence and confidence/perseverance. Additionally, Chinook West students acquire knowledge, increase grade point averages, and attend school regularly. A significant number of Chinook West students go on to college, many with partial or full-ride scholarships.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.