Thank you for your continued support of Colorado Youth for a Change (CYC). We just wanted to share the latest changes and events happening at CYC. Enjoy!
Sincerely, Sharla Williams Colorado Youth for a Change
Whitney- Colorado's Finest Alternative School
20 year old high school student, Whitney, had a wake-up call in August 2011. At this time, she was barely a high school senior at Colorado's Finest Alternative High School (CFAHS) in Englewood and was on the verge of being kicked out of school due to attendance issues. She admitted that her biggest barrier was ditching school just to hang out with her friends. Whitney states, "I thought I had better things to do [than go to school]." However, Whitney's attitude changed when her younger sister enrolled into CFAHS that same month. "My little sister was catching up to me. I thought, maybe it's time to get out of here."
Currently, Colorado Youth for a Change (CYC) has four volunteers who work with Educational Intervention Coordinator, Allison Hollander, at North High School in the after school tutoring program. These four young men-David Nguyen, Kevin Duong, Bryan Do, and Martin Rojo- are not only great tutors but they are also third year pharmacy students at Regis University. David reached out to CYC in the summer of 2011 expressing their interest in volunteering for their service learning project. He expressed that all four of them were interested in a tutoring/mentoring type program and that a fellow classmate mentioned CYC to them. They immediately began to research CYC and realized that this was the perfect opportunity for them.
Colorado Youth for a Change (CYC) currently employs three Educational Intervention Specialists (EIS) in Mapleton Public Schools, a district that is located in the north Denver and Thornton areas. The 2010-2011 dropout rate for Mapleton Public Schools was 14.6%, and the district is trying new and innovative strategies to reduce this percentage. One of CYC's Specialists, Kathryn Blankenberg, works at Global Learning Academy and has a caseload of 57 youth who are eighth, ninth, and tenth grade students that are failing at least one class (also known as CYC Intervention Cohort students). In addition, the majority of these students have parents who only speak Spanish. Global Learning Academy (GLA) is a kindergarten through 12th grade school where 91% of students receive free or reduced lunch. Kathryn wanted to do something to significantly impact the culture of not only her caseload but also the school as a whole and was given this opportunity in October 2011 thanks to the idea of a young student.