YouthServices's blog

Equine Therapy at Platte Valley

Horse 3 (1) (1).jpg

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

PVYSC Lunch Photo 1.jpg

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.

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

Street Art Article 2.jpg

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.

Platte Valley Culinary Catering Graduation


Platte Valley YSC celebrated the graduation of two incredibly talented youth for their culinary catering program this month. For their final showcase of what they have learned throughout the program, the two youth each created three dishes: a soup, main entree, and dessert. Natalie Chrastil, Associate Director for DYS, was able to share in the celebration and presented the coveted chef’s jackets to these new graduates.



College Career Fair for 4 GMYSC youth


On January 26, 2019 Grand Mesa Youth Services Center took 2 staff and 4 Female youth to Colorado Mesa University for a Women’s Career Fair. These females have consistently gone above and beyond in the facility. They have shown leadership on the unit as well as in school and other areas. These young women have either graduated or are currently working on getting their high school diplomas and are eager to move forward to higher education.