Desirae Pearcey, director of Moffat County's Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, has an open door in her office at the Colorado Northwestern Community College Bell Tower. Pearcey is seeking participants in a teen council with the organization, which works to curb substance abuse among area youths.

Photo by Andy Bockelman

Desirae Pearcey, director of Moffat County's Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, has an open door in her office at the Colorado Northwestern Community College Bell Tower. Pearcey is seeking participants in a teen council with the organization, which works to curb substance abuse among area youths.

Grand Futures starting council for Moffat County teens

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If you go

What: Grand Futures Prevention Coalition teen council meeting

When: 4 p.m. Thursday

Where: Room 104 at the Colorado Northwestern Community College Bell Tower, 50 College Drive

For more information about getting involved with Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, its teen council or any of the organization’s other projects, contact Desirae Pearcey at 970-824-5752 or at desirae@grandfutures.org.

The youths of today often can feel like their concerns about life are not being heard, but for the young adults of Moffat County, there is a way to express their thoughts.

Grand Futures Prevention Coalition is seeking participants in Northwest Colorado for a teen council. The only qualification to join the group is to be between the ages of 13 and 19, whether your education is at the middle school or high school levels or slightly older.

Whatever the matters of this age group, Grand Futures Moffat County Director Desirae Pearcey wants to hear about them.

“The purpose of it is to provide a voice to teens within the community because I know a lot of our teens feel like they don’t have a voice or have a say in how our community runs,” she said. “It’s been something Grand Futures has tried in the past, but it’s been difficult to sustain it continuously.”

The idea to re-energize the group came up as a suggestion during Rural Philanthropy Days, and it’s one Pearcey has been attempting to get off the ground for the past few months. She already has spoken to members of the Moffat County High School Student Council who were interested in the project, but the timing of a planned informational meeting before winter break didn’t work out.

Among the topics Pearcey would like potential council members to address are problems within schools and the level of interest in bringing a community center to town that would fill the needs of their specific age group.

“We could also talk about community improvement, like having a skate park or something like that that would provide alternatives to risky behaviors,” she said.

But she’s also hoping to learn if there are issues she hasn’t even thought of yet.

Besides getting kids who have a history of community involvement, Pearcey said she would like to hear from teens from other walks of life, such as those who are home-schooled, about their perspectives on life in the region.

“I want to be able to encompass all the teens in Moffat County,” she said.

Beyond just gathering a cross-section of youths in the area, Pearcey also seeks to let the people of Northwest Colorado know Grand Futures still is active in its mission to keep kids of all ages away from the path of substance abuse. She took on the job of Moffat County director four months ago after working with the Moffat County Sheriff’s Office.

“I saw a lot of substance abuse issues in incoming individuals, and seeing juveniles like that really struck me,” she said. “I wanted to help the community, and I thought this would be a great avenue for me to have an impact.”

Marci Marumoto, chair of the Grand Futures advisory board, said Pearcey has been an excellent fit for the job since she began as director. Her hopes for the coming year are that the organization only gets bigger.

“I hope Grand Futures grows by leaps and bounds and that the word gets out about our mission and what we’re trying to do in the community,” Marumoto said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

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