TEENS, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization was founded in March 1997 in Nederland, Colorado as an outgrowth of the Town of Nederland Youth Services Programs to ensure that Nederland area youth are not only safe during after school and out-of-school hours, but also have access to a wide range of activities that help them develop the life, educational, and job-related skills they need to become productive, responsible citizens.
In 1999, TEENS, Inc. assumed full responsibility for administering the Teen Center to ensure its youth programs would not be affected by local government instability or political pressures. Through a three-year capital campaign begun in 1997, TEENS, Inc. raised over $1,000,000 to fund the construction of a new Nederland Teen Center. This 6,800 square foot facility opened its doors on January 2, 2000 and currently provides programs for youth of all ages and their families. Programs are free for youth 11-21, while activities for other age groups require a nominal use fee, creating a diversified revenue stream.
In 2002, TEENS, Inc., in collaboration with Boulder Valley School District, established Chinook West in response to the #1 need identified in the community. Since its inception, Chinook West has served 147+ area disadvantaged youth who have dropped out or are at risk for doing so. Recently receiving a unanimous 5-year accreditation from AdvancEd, Chinook West has the highest graduation rate of any alternative high school in Boulder County.
In 2015 we entered in to a contract with the State of Colorado for an education program modeled on Chinook West to serve 140 incarcerated youth, ages 14-20 at the Lookout Mountain Youth Services facility in Golden, Colorado.
In 2019, 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 are excited to have begun this new endeavor and commit to serving Nederland's youngest learners. For over 20 years, TEENS, Inc. has historically responded with programming to fill youth and family needs within the Nederland community. As with all our programs, we will serve all families and no one will be turned away for inability to pay.