Over the past 12 months, we've shared with you many of the milestones that YouthZone has reached throughout the past 40 years. We hope that you've found our reflection on the past four decades to be entertaining and informative. As we close out 2016, we couldn't be prouder of our accomplishments and of the efforts of our current and past staff members as they helped young people from Aspen to Parachute reach their fullest potential.
So where do we go from here and what do the next 40 years at YouthZone look like? On a daily basis, we will continue to be the advocate for youth, helping them find their way in the world through support, guidance, counseling, and caring. Many of the young people who find their way to YouthZone come to us because of an arrest or an incident that ultimately leads to an assessment. These assessments sometimes find a history of past trauma, depression, or an underlying issue that led to the young person "getting into trouble" in the first place. For many of these kids, they consider themselves lucky that they were arrested or that a teacher, parent, or peer referred them to YouthZone, because they are finally able to get the help and support they need.
But what about the kids who don't get arrested? Or who don't display any behavior problems at school or at home? Unfortunately, there are far too many young people who have experienced trauma, are using drugs or alcohol quietly under the radar, or are struggling with depression that goes unnoticed. It is our hope at YouthZone that every child has the access to the support they need. Ultimately, we desire the funding and staffing to provide every young person in the counties we serve an assessment to ensure they are emotionally healthy and have guidance and counseling if they require help.
We are incredibly excited to announce that in 2017, we will be developing a program that will provide assessments to every student at Bridges High School. Perhaps, in time, we'll be able to provide assessments to all students in the area, ensuring that no child is left struggling and unnoticed.
To our wonderful supporters, we thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter each month, for caring about youth, and for helping us help kids!
We wish you a safe and happy holiday season!