August 2017
In This Issue
Restorative Justice Helps Young People Learn and Grow From Their Mistakes
by Lisa Sobke, Restorative Justice Coordinator

This Spring, I got a call from the District Attorney's office asking me to explore doing a Restorative Justice meeting with a 19 year old from a nearby community. Mathew had driven drunk and rolled his truck, resulting in life-threatening injuries to himself and the other vehicle occupants who had all been ejected from the truck.  This had happened in the Spring of 2016 and, a year later, it is evident that the young driver had suffered life-altering consequences.  Matthew looks, to most who knew him before the accident, to be fully recovered.  However, after speaking with him briefly, it is apparent that the brain injury that he suffers from will most likely be with him for the rest of his life.  He can't remember anything that happened during or after the accident.  He has short-term memory issues that will make it difficult to hold the kind of job he formerly aspired to or to drive again, and he may never be able to live on his own.  The District Attorney, Steve Mallory, was looking for a way to hold Matthew*accountable for his actions, while saving him and his family from the prospect of going through a trial and the possibility of prison.  Punishing Mathew for an event he can't remember did not seem like the right thing to do.  The District Attorney looked to Restorative Justice as an alternative. 

Welcome New YouthZone Employees

YouthZone is pleased to announce two new employees have joined our organization this summer.
Nick Croissant  recently came on board as our new Assistant Director.  Nick is a native of Glenwood Springs and is excited to continue his career in the community he grew up in.  Nick holds both bachelor and masters degrees in Social Work (from Abilene Christian University and the University of Texas Arlington, respectively).
Originally, it was Nick's intent to major in business - but felt social work gave him a voice and could be a better use of his time, providing opportunities to help others.  After beginning his career in Dallas, he and his wife, Breanne (who he met in college), decided to return to Nick's hometown, where he began working as a guidance counselor at Glenwood Springs Middle School.
Despite the challenges of working in public education, Nick found the work rewarding and has enjoyed working with young people - both as a counselor and as a football and wrestling coach.
When the Assistant Director position opened up at YouthZone, Nick was intrigued by the administrative role, which would allow him to use both his business acumen and counseling experience.
During the weeks and months to come, Nick will immerse himself in understanding the depth of programming offered by YouthZone.  By understanding each program and its history, he hopes to expand upon new ideas and continue to develop strong relationships - both with YouthZone staff and partners in the community.
Also new to YouthZone this summer is Kenny Hamburg, a longtime resident (35 years) of the Roaring Fork Valley. Kenny is YouthZone's newest Substance Use Specialist and has more than ten years of experience working as a drug and alcohol counselor.
Kenny attended the Odyssey School for Addiction Counseling and is a Certified Addiction Counsellor II. He has a sincere commitment to providing quality counseling for young people who are struggling with drug and alcohol use.  In his prior work before joining YouthZone, Kenny helped clients, through group and individual therapy, understand a variety of issues related to their substance use, including anger management.  He's passionate about helping his clients, as he feels he can relate to them well.
On a personal level, Kenny loves everything about living in the Roaring Fork Valley, including hiking, fishing, and visiting the Hot Springs.
We are excited to have both Nick and Kenny join the YouthZone family and look forward to working with them more! 
A New Home for YouthZone

It is far from a "done deal" ... but we are in the process of claiming a new space for YouthZone's Glenwood Springs office - the old Library building downtown!  Thanks to our longtime supporters and cheerleaders, Ted and Ruth Edmonds, who recently purchased the building from the City of Glenwood Springs.  We will have more details to provide as we work through this process!
YouthZone Mural: 

If you haven't seen the latest YouthZone art mural in Rifle, Back in My Day, you're missing out!  This incredible mural, completed by local youth this summer, is a stunning display of talent!  Check out photos of the unveiling here, and below is a video with more information!

Rifle Art project
Save the Dates!

The YouthZone Ascent is almost here!  Our annual fundraiser includes five amazing teams - working for the community and YouthZone!

Stay tuned for details about the teams, their community projects, and the events surrounding the YouthZone Ascent you can participate in!
Upcoming 2017 YouthZone Substance Abuse Classes

Glenwood Springs - October 4, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Rifle - September 29, 8 a.m. to Noon
Aspen - November 29, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.