HRC Column: Partners for Youth supports community through youth engagement

Mackenzie Mixon
Youth Development Coordinator

Partners for Youth’s Moffat County Youth Action Council is a youth empowerment program that encourages middle and high school aged youth to make a difference in their community.

We aim to give youth a voice in our communities and take an approach that focuses on the strengths of each young individual. Since August, the Moffat County Youth Action Council has doubled in size, meets weekly at the Craig Chamber, and has chosen to focus on some inspiring topics that they truly care about.

The Youth Action Council’s main focus this fall has been the most recent wave of the opioid epidemic, fueled by fentanyl. The youth have brought in members of local law enforcement and the Foundry Steamboat as guest speakers to learn more about the issue and how it’s affecting our community. The youth then partnered with Moffat County Communities that Care and the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention to host a Narcan Training for local middle and high school aged youth earlier this month.

Eighty-three percent of youth attendees reported feeling an increased ability to recognize the symptoms of an opioid overdose and to administer Narcan — an opioid overdose reversal medication — to another individual. The Youth Action Council hopes to continue raising awareness on this concerning issue by providing additional education in the community.

Moffat County Youth Action Council has also recognized a need for additional fun, sober, and free activities for middle and high school youth to attend. To address this, Partners for Youth and our Moffat County Youth Action Council is working to provide all Middle School and High School students with a free activity every month through “Winter Thrills” events.

Our first Winter Thrills event will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4, with a Movie Night at West Twin Cinema. This event will invite Middle and High School aged youth to enjoy a free movie along with a free bag of popcorn and a drink. Winter Thrills events will continue in February, with a sledding party.

In addition to Winter Thrills events, Partners for Youth is partnering with Young Life and Communities That Care to host 5th Quarter events for youth this winter. 5th Quarter events are primarily for High School students following home basketball games and some wrestling matches, but some events that will be for both High School and Middle School students. 5th Quarter events will be posted in the schools, online, and throughout the community. The Moffat County Youth Action Council hopes to continue to grow and support positive change for youth and our community.

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