YouthServices's blog

Grand Mesa Youth Visit Ridgeline Fitness

IMG-7689.JPGSix Ridge youth and a few staff from Grand Mesa Youth Services Center had the opportunity to take a community pass to Ridgeline Fitness. This gym specializes in Olympic style lifting and strength training for outdoor activities. They had a coach instruct them on deadlifts and back squats, showing them proper technique and form. These skills and personalized instruction are true benefits that the youth can take with them in the future, if they choose to continue doing this type of activity. Not only did they have a chance to lift weights but they also were able to try flipping tires, doing a sled push, and playing around on the monkey bars. Many of the youth expressed gratitude for the opportunity to have a true gym experience, want to pursue what they learned, and incorporate heathy habits into their lifestyle


Platte Valley Caters a Free Our Girls Fundraiser

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The youth at Platte Valley Youth Services Center had the opportunity to cater a fundraising event for Free Our Girls, an organization dedicated to preventing, responding, and raising awareness of human trafficking throughout Colorado. The woman in their “Taking Flight” program organized a book sale fundraiser for the organization, as a part of their development and rehabilitation process.
The youth participating spent Friday and Saturday afternoon catering the fundraiser luncheons, which consisted of preparing and serving 30-40 people each day. Each youth involved in the program were able to hear about the work being done by Free Our Girls and see how their contributions played a role in contributing to the amazing work being done by that organization. Additional information about Free Our Girls and their mission and services can be found here.

Easter at Mount View Youth Service Center

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The youth at Mount View Youth Service Center had a few extra special treats for Easter this year! As part of their cooking education class on Friday (led by Michael Winston and Todd Paige), the youth were able to participate in some traditional Easter festivities by decorating 100 cookies and using food coloring to dye 100 hard boiled eggs.

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On Easter day, the youth were treated to a morning surprise of cinnamon rolls, rolled and iced by Todd and Paula. For Easter dinner, the youth were treated to a Greek family meal prepared by Dina, Kirk, and Julie. This delicious meal consisted of gyros, greek salad, fruit, chocolate milk, and for an extra special treat, baklava!


It was a wonderful day of celebrating and enjoying a few Easter festivities.

LMYSC Serve Youth at Urban Peaks

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On March 28th, seven youth from the Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center’s (LMYSC) barbering class went to Urban Peaks to give haircuts to the students there. Urban Peaks is a non-profit organization that provides services for youth experiencing or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. The barber program is run at LMYSC through the education program by Augustine Ediebor and Eagles Specialist, Rod Tyma
One of the youth involved in the program wrote about the experience and what the barber program means to them and other youth at LMYSC. Read their letter here. And to learn more about Urban Peaks and the mission and services they provide to Denver youth on their website.

Equine Therapy at Platte Valley

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Several of the youth at Platte Valley Youth Services Center had an incredible opportunity to be a part of a newly developed equine therapy program last week. The youth involved were able to interact closely with the horses and spend the afternoon learning about boundaries and spacial respect. One of the youths commented that “I learned patience with stubborn horses. I feel at peace with my life when petting the thick coat of the horses. I also learned that you have to observe and use boundaries with the horses.”



PVYSC Caters for Weld County Judges

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The honorable judges at Weld County Judicial District 6 were treated to a lunch prepared by the youth in the culinary catering program at Platte Valley Youth Services Center last week. The youth were able to apply what they learned through the programs grocery store and budgeting curriculum to feed approximately 20 people for 80 dollars. After creating a shopping list for the event, the youth learned how to cost out the plates per person. The project was facilitated by Dustin Tallman, who introduced the youth to budget and plate costing; giving them a basis of knowledge to build from in their futures, either in the restaurant business or providing and feeding a family meal in their homes.

Hats Off to Grand Mesa YSC Graduates


They say it takes a village, and that couldn’t be more true. Last week, the staff and students at Grand Mesa Youth Services Center in Grand Junction celebrated the graduation of six students who earned their high school diploma (one was discharged after the graduation so we only have five students shown in the photo). Through their dedication, hard work, and the support of their teachers and staff, the youth achieved something they never thought possible. There are now 15 youth at Grand Mesa who will walk with their high school graduating class in May.

Restorative Justice Program Helps Youth Rebuild


When a young person commits a crime, it can start a life-altering cycle of confinement, conflict and destruction — against themselves and the community. Lookout Mountain Youth Services Center in Golden is working to change that through an innovative restorative community justice program. Eight young men attended the April 5 State Board of Human Services meeting and shared how the program has helped them change their lives.

As members of Lookout Mountain’s Eagles program, the young men have volunteered to complete a series of tasks and projects based on restorative justice principles. They also serve as a role model for the center’s other youth. “If you don’t have time for them, someone less positive will,” one young man said. Only 16 out of the hundreds of youths at Lookout Mountain are Eagles. “You’ve got to step up and show what you’ve got to be an Eagle,” said one young man. 

Street Artist Bimmer Torres Connects Youth and Art

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Local street artist Bimmer Torres, whose works can be seen all around Denver, shares his talents and vision with the youth of DYS through collaborative design and production of murals. Organized and overseen by Martin Friedman, a client manager and parole officer with a love for restorative community justice, the youth involved are able to be a part of the process from beginning to end.