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Our Vision

The Chaffee County Youth Alliance serves our community by creating opportunities, removing barriers and allocating resources to cultivate positive relationships and promote youth and family well-being.

The Chaffee County Youth Alliance (CCYA) is our local coalition that uses an evidence-based framework known as Communities that Care (CTC). CTC is a collaborative, research-based process that helps communities promote positive youth development and prevent unhealthy behaviors. Click here to learn more about CTC.

The CCYA is in Phase 5, the final yet ongoing phase of this community change process. Our coalition identified priority areas based on local data, mapped out current resources and determined areas of growth. They selected tested & effective strategies to address our community’s risk factors, developed action plans for those strategies, and officially began implementation in September 2019. Since then, we have already seen progress in several domains and strengthened community partnerships across the county.

This work is only possible because of our numerous community partners and supporters who set aside time to attend meetings and move the process forward. We are also grateful for the following youth councils who inform our efforts. The Extraordinary Youth Council, made up of passionate Salida High School students, is committed to making our community a place where all youth can thrive. We also partner with the Buena Vista Boys and Girls Club’s Torch Club to empower local youth, and they have been passionately involved in local policy. Starting in the 2019/20 school year, we began a successful partnership with Buena Vista High School and Young Life to help youth organize pro social, substance-free gatherings following home sporting events.

Priority risk factors based on local data:

 

#1 – Availability of substances:

The more available alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs are in a community, the higher the risk for alcohol and other drug use and violence. Perceived availability of drugs is also associated with increased risk. In communities where children think that drugs are more available, a higher rate of drug use occurs. When laws, tax rates, and community standards are favorable toward alcohol and other drug use—or even when they are just unclear—young people are at higher risk.                    

 

#2 – Early initiation of substance use:

The earlier that young people use drugs, commit crimes, or first drop out of school… the greater their chances of having chronic problems with the respective behavior.  Research shows that young people who start drug use before age 15 have twice the risk of drug problems than those who start after age 19.  

 

#3 – Parental attitudes and involvement in substance use:

Parents’ attitudes and behavior toward drugs, crime, and violence influence the attitudes and behavior of their children.