2019 Think Big Conference

September 5, 2019 - The 2019 Think Big Conference took place August 27-29 in Vail, Colo. Around 250 young adults and young adult service providers were in attendance to participate in workshops and hear from experts about youth services and education and career development. 

One of the highlights of the event was the participation of around 50 young people who received sponsorships to attend the conference. Young leaders from groups such as the Colorado State Youth Council (SYC), Opportunity Youth United, Young Invincibles, and Colorado Youth Congress presented throughout the event to share their perspectives on how to encourage and leverage youth voice to inform positive change in the state. Another main theme that ran throughout these presentations and the larger conference was highlighting how mental health services can be improved and prioritized to better support young people in Colorado.

Young leaders from the State Youth Council, Young Invincibles, and Colorado Youth Congress speak during a general session at Think Big.

Other presentations during Think Big featured a variety of youth-focused topics such as utilizing data to assist youth and understanding incentives and stipends for WIOA youth programs. Recipients of the SYC Innovation Grants shared information about their projects, and CWDC Consultant Thomas Hartman presented on career development tools and resources that young people can use to develop a personalized career pathway.

The diverse array of presenters and topics at Think Big allowed attendees to gain new ideas and perspectives about how to better serve youth in Colorado and ensure that young people have a voice in shaping decisions about education, workforce, and other systems designed to support them. The CWDC was a proud sponsor of Think Big and is grateful for all our partners who made this event possible.

CDLE Executive Director Joe Barela offers opening remarks at Think Big.