March, 2011 

Upcoming Events & Training Opportunities:


Free Webinar: Strategic Alliances: March 15, 10:00 - 11:30. Presented by Colorado Nonprofit Association. Learn about the many types of alliances from collaborations to partnerships. To register, go to: Colorado Nonprofit Association



Evaluation Training w/ JVA Consultants: March 18, 9:00-4:00, Cahone, CO. Learn the basic terminology and concepts used in evaluation, desing an evaluation plan, and get started collecting and analysing data. No scost for RSAPP staff, AmeriCorps members, or Steering Committee members. For registration information, contact:


Free Webinar: Effective Evaluation: March 22, 10:00 - 11:30. Presented by Colorado Nonprofit Association. Learn the basics of creating an outcomes based evaluation plan for your program. To register, go to: Colorado Nonprofit Association 


Fund Development Planning w/ JVA Consultants: April 7, 9:00 - noon, Norwood, CO. A fund development plan drives a strategic, coordinated approach to raise more money. Learn how to create a plan and make it a success. No cost for RSAPP staff, AmeriCorps members, and Steering Committee Members. For registration information, contact:


4 Corners Positive community Norms Gathering: April 20, Farmington, NM. Full-day gathering with a brief review of Positive community Norms and Science of the Positive,

workshops on Pilot Testing and communications Plans, and presentations from PCN practitioners from throughout the 4 Corners Regiona. for more information, contact or 


AmeriCorps Week: May 14-21:

AmeriCorps Week is a recruitment and recognition event designed to bring more Americans into service, salute AmeriCorps members and alums for their powerful impact, and thank the community partners who make Americorps possible. For ideas and resources, go to:







Many thanks to RSAPP's Generous Funders:



 Commission on Community Service



El Pomar Foundation 


Daniels Fund


Telluride Foundation


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Welcome to RSAPP's Monthly e-Newsletter!

RSAPP, or Regional substance Abuse Prevention Partners, has the long-term goal of decreasing youth substance abuse in Southwest Colorado. RSAPP's vision is: engaged, thriving youth invested in strong communities throughout our region. With our e-Newsletter, we aim to keep you informed about substance abuse prevention happenings, issues, events, activities, trainings, gatherings, successes and challenges here in Southwest Colorado.

Many thanks to Maria's Bookshop in Durango, for nominating RSAPP as a recipient of Constant Contact's Cares4Kids program. Next time you're in Durango supporting your local bookstore, please say thank you to the good folks at Maria's!  

Maria's Logo 

RSAPP AmeriCorps Member of the Month: Bill Parsons

Bill Parsons

Bill Parsons serves as a Check & Connect Mentor at Mancos Middle and High Schools in Montezuma County. Bill busts the stereotype of 20-something AmeriCorps members wide open: he is a bona-fide baby boomer, and brings years of varied and valuable experience to his role. He loves working with kids, especially middle school students.

      Bill grew up in Missouri, and has always been into sports. He attended University of Missouri on a football scholarship, where one day he found himself sitting in a lecture hall listening to Sargent Shriver talk about service. It was out of his comfort zone at the time, but the seed of community service was planted. Bill enlisted in the Air Force during the Vietnam War, and was stationed at Lowry Air Force Base. It was a circuitous route back to Colorado, leading to a little cabin in the woods between Mancos and Dolores. When he's not at school or a community meeting, you can find him out on the trail hiking or riding his mountain bike. Bill's son is an apple that didn't fall far from the tree, and the two enjoy a good adventure together.  

           Bill's office is a comfortable place for kids, with cushy chairs and a jar of Jolly Ranchers. He works with 19 students identified as being at risk for dropping out, forming trusting relationships with them and monitoring their grades and attendance. He connects with students and their parents, and is most frustrated by negative parental attitudes. Bill's experience as a Special Ed teacher and sports coach have given him a bag full of tools for helping youth succeed. What does he love about being an AmeriCorps member? "It's a lot of fun!

Disability Inclusion Workshop

Sharon Mehesy.

















"People with disabilities experience substance abuse rates at 2-4 times that of the general population." (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Office on Disability, 2010)


 How inclusive is your prevention program?


     On March 2, RSAPP's AmeriCorps team spent the day in a Disability Inclusion Workshop. They learned about different types of disabilities, got ideas on working with youth with disabilities, and were introduced to community resources. After the workshop, one member said: "I'm already looking for ways to work in students with disabilities into our leadership program recruiting for next year."

Reading ASA Brochure      RSAPP owns several copies of the award-winning documentary, "Including Samuel," which depicts the hopes and struggles of five individuals with disabilities and their families. RSAPP has purchased a copy of "Including Samuel" that is licensed for educational, instructional and institutional use: please contact Cathy Cowles if you are interested in sharing this film with a youth or community group.

     Many thanks to the Governor's Commission on Community Service for providing the funding and impetus for RSAPP's Disability Inclusion Workshop through a Disability Mini-Grant.

Newest RSAPPer: Daniel Gregory Fisher


On February 24, Pioneer RSAPP AmeriCorps member Amber Fisher welcomed her new son, Daniel into the world. Mother, baby, father and big brother are all doing well in Dove Creek. Welcome, Daniel and congratulations Amber! 
Steering RSAPP's Future

RSAPP Steering Committee

















       RSAPP's Steering Committee is made up of prevention professionals and stakeholders from each of the six communities RSAPP serves. They work hard to keep the big picture in mind, and keep RSAPP working towards its vision of "engaged, thriving youth invested in strong communities throughout our region."

       In December, 2010, RSAPP's Steering Committee completed a full-day strategic planning session with Lorna Naegele  of JVA Associates, using Real-time Strategic Planning®.  This approach, created by David LaPiana, moves away from a static end product and toward a dynamic process of continual strategy  formation.  We created a "Strategy Screen," a tool developed to help us make strategic decisions. When RSAPP is considering implementing a new program, project, or activity, we see if it passes through the 13 questions of RSAPP's Strategy Screen: "Is this strategy aligned with our mission?" "Is this proposal fair and equitable to all partners?" "Does it strengthen our relationships?" etc. If we can answer yes to all questions, then we can create an action plan.

          The Steering Committee recently voted to incorporate RSAPP as a 501(c)3 organization, so that we can better serve our partners. We are currently working to build a Board of Directors made up of passionate, talented, pro-prevention individuals who represent our diverse region.

         Current RSAPP Steering Committee members include: Chuck McAfee (Montezuma County,) Danielle Brafford (Montezuma County,) Eileen Wasserbach (La Plata County,) Joanne Irons (Archuleta County,) Kay Daves (Dolores County,) Keri Metzler (San Juan County,) Kristen D'Aquisto (Fort Lewis College,) and Mary Jo Rakowski (La Plata County.) Thanks for keeping us on track! 

AmeriCorps Funding Update

AmeriCorps Logo

     The federal governement is currently operating under a Continuing resolution while congress and the president works towards agreeing on a budget.

      The House of Representatives passed HR1, a version of the budget which cut all funding for AmeriCorps. This budget was not passed by the Senate, nor was a Democratic budget with (relatively) minimal spending cuts that continued funding for Americorps. The Senate is currently working on a budget, and this is a very important time to stand up for AmeriCorps. If you feel that the jobs and services provided by AmeriCorps are valuable, please contact your Senators and urge them to continue funding at current levels for the Corporation for National and Community Service, which funds AmeriCorps. In Colorado, call Senator Mark Udall: (202) 224-5941 and Senator Michael Bennet: (202) 224-5852. For more information and talking points, check out the AmeriCorps Alumns website.

Teen Maze Postponed
    The 2011 Teen Maze will be held in the Fall, exact date to be announced. Teen Maze is a life-sized game board where teenagers are the pawns and life's choices are the dice. It is designed to help teens understand potential outcomes to life's decisions concerning substance abuse, sex, and vocational/educational issues. Stay tuned right here for more information on this exciting and effective regional prevention event.

Thank you for being a partner in RSAPP! If you have any submissions for next month's newsletter, please send them to me.



Cathy Cowles

RSAPP Program Coordinator