April, 2011 

Upcoming Events & Training Opportunities:



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 


RSAPP Americorps Member Training/Meeting #3: May 9, Pagosa Springs Youth Center, Pagosa, CO. Attendence is required for all RSAPP AmeriCorps members. Plan for a fun, interactive day of learning small group prevention activities, practice leading discussions, and preparing for our summer Prevention Project with SCC. For more information, contact RSAPP Program Coordinator Cathy Cowles 


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.

RSAPP AmeriCorps Member of the Month:

Nicole Schnee

Nicole Schnee


         Nicole Schnee is the RSAPP AmeriCorps member serving in La Plata County, and she wears a lot of hats. She is based at San Juan Basin Health Department and spends much of her time working with the Celebrating Community Norms (CCN) project, one of the Lasso Tobacco Coalition's big projects. The CCN project aims to increase assets in La Plata County youth, which is proven to decrease substance use and abuse and other risky behaviors. Nicole organizes coalition meetings, develops prevention policy, contributes to a media campaign and generally keeps the project on task.

       In a classic La Plata County collaboration, Nicole also serves at Fort Lewis College, with Student Wellness Initiatives. They are working towards a tobacco-free campus, and Nicole is involved in education and awareness events. She works on tobacco issues with a Public Health Class, and also meets weekly with the Uniting Students through Wellness Club.

       Nicole graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2009, and as a biology major she is surprised to find herself creating posters! She brings her "nerdy science skills' to the RSAPP team - if you need some research, Nicole is on it. When she's not working to create positive change, you'll probably find Nicole out skiing or biking. In her spare time (what spare time?) Nicole coaches kids in the Devo mountain biking program. Nicole is a Colorado native who grew up in an awesome, large Irish-Catholic family in Colorado Springs. Rumor has it she makes a mean corned beef and cabbage.

       What keeps her going in this complicated position? "I love being a part of the prevention community in Durango, and seeing how many people care."

Youth Leadership Council: Think for Yourself 

Hospital Board Presentation.




















YLC "Investigators" Present to the Southwest Memorial Hospital Board


       Youth Leadership Council is a group of 8 Seniors, Juniors, and Freshmen from Cortez and Dolores High Schools who want to change things. The YLC group meets every week with RSAPP AmeriCorps member Cindy Houston, and their biggest current project is an investigation into Big Tobacco's marketing strategies. They have uncovered tobacco industry tactics that target youth aged 9-14.       

      Youth Leadership Council research has shown that the success of the Clean Indoor Air Act has forced the tobacco industry to get creative in developing smokeless tobacco products.  Since 8 out of 10 smokers say they started before the age of 14, products are designed to appeal to youth and promote early-onset nicotine addiction. Examples include Pina Colada flavored nicotine strips, strawberry flavored spitless tobacco, and Orbs, a product that looks like Tic Tack candy, but each "candy" contains 3 times as much nicotine as a regular cigarette.

      YLC investigators have found some staggering facts about tobacco-related spending, and put them in perspective with a local twist: "The tobacco industry spends $170 million per year on advertising in Colorado - more money than it would cost to send every Montezuma County high school student to college for four years."  And "Colorado spends $1.3 billion per year on health care costs related to smoking - enough to buy every person in Cortez (including children) a modest three bedroom house." Think for Yourself Ad

      The team of investigators from Youth Leadership Council is getting busy, fighting Big Tobacco's hold on the City of Cortez. Working with local media and design professionals, they have developed a media campaign encouraging youth to [think for yourself] instead of letting Big Tobacco fill your head. They have developed innovative, interactive presentations to present their findings to stakeholder groups and encourage community members to get involved. A board member recently commented that the YLC tobacco presentation was "the most exciting presentation we had." YLC is working to change local policy around licensing those who sell nicotine products. YLC is getting their community to listen to youth!

      For more information about Youth Leadership council, contact Cindy Houston.

RSAPP's Newest Site Supervisor: Roseann Kutzleb
     In Mid-March, Roseann Kutzleb took over the helm of the Lasso Tobacco Coalition and the Celebrating Community Norms programs at San Juan Basin Health Department, in Durango, Colorado. Roseann brings years of experience as the Director of Alternative Horizons. RSAPP sends a big welcome to Roseann Kutzleb!
Building Capacity            Telluride Foundation Logo                          
       Since May of 2010, RSAPP has been actively engaged in a capacity-building project that will increase organizational effectiveness and sustainability, allowing us to serve our region even more effectively. Funded in part by by Telluride Foundation's Paradox Strengthening Communities Fund, RSAPP has improved its financial systems, increased staff and AmeriCorps member training, purchased durable equipment, and launched a marketing and branding campaign. RSAPP's Steering Committee and Program Coordinator are currently working on pulling together all the pieces necessary to form a 501(c)3 corporation, and will soon be recruiting a board of directors. This project includes significant Training and Technical Assistance provided by JVA consultants, and RSAPP staff, AmeriCorps members and Steering Committee members have participated in more than 100 hours of individual and group TTA.                                               The Telluride Foundation recently announced that additional Project Expansion Funds were available to qualified grantees, and RSAPP was awarded additional funding. Many thanks to the Telluride Foundation for putting together this amazing opportunity. The timing could not have been better!                                                                 


Family Leadership Training Institute Graduation

FLTI Class of 2011

Two RSAPP AmeriCorps members, Jeni Tadra and Kristy Chadd, were amongst the 2011 graduating class of the Montelores Family Leadership Training Institute (FLTI.) This 20 week-program is designed to build community leaders.

The curriculum integrates personal and child development, leadership

training, civic literacy and civic participation skills. Each participant spearheads a community project: Jeni has been working to update the inventory of the Dolores Middle School & High School Libraries, and Kristy has been working to create summer programs for Dove Creek's youth. Congratulations, Jeni, Kristy and all the FLTI graduates!

         For more information about this program, visit FLTI's website.

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