May, 2011 

Upcoming Events & Training Opportunities:


Free Webinar: How to Translate your AmeriCorps Experience into Future Leadership Opportunities: May 18, 10:00 - 11:00. Presented by NTL Institute in conjunction with National AmeriCorps Week. To register or learn more about this opportunity, click here. 



Asset-Based community Development "ABCD in Action": May 26, 9:00-3:00, Sky Ute Casino, Ignacio, CO. This interactive learning event will focus on applying ABCD principles towards mobilizing people, communities, and organizations. Southwest Center for Independence is sponsoring this event, which features Mike  Green from ABCD. Registration is $60, including lunch. For more information or to register, contact Martha Mason. 



Webinar: How to Build and Sustain Strategic Partnerships: June 7, 12:00 - 1:30. Presented by JVA Consultants. Learn how to assess your collaborative opportunities and discover tactics to make strategic partnerships run well. No cost for RSAPP staff, AmeriCorps members, and Steering Committee Members. For registration information, contact: Cathy Cowles. 


Making the Most of Public Funding: June 17, 10:00-4:30 Durango, CO. Participants will learn about the range of appropriate services and eligible populations under TANF funding. For more information and to register, contact Center for Systems Integration   




Many thanks to RSAPP's Generous Funders:


Serve Colorado (Governor's

 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: Jo Ferko

Jo Ferko

Jo Ferko: RSAPP AmeriCorps member serving at the Pagosa Springs Youth Center. 

     Jo Ferko is one of two fabulous RSAPP AmeriCorps members serving in Archuleta County. On virtually every weekday afternoon, you will find Jo at the Pagosa Springs Youth Center (PSYC) hanging out with "her kids." When asked if she has any children, Jo answers, "yes, hundreds of them."

     Jo has faced many challenges in her lifetime, including losing her mother at a young age. Signing up for an AmeriCorps Term of Service at PSYC was another challenge for Jo, since she had very little experience working with kids before she took this position. She has risen to the challenge, and is now forming relationships with the hundreds of Pagosa Springs youth who regularly attend the Youth Center. She has been instrumental in starting a basketball team for youth of all abilities, and successfully wrote a grant to fund the team. Jo has also spent many hours systematizing PSYC's data collection, and now has a good handle on just how many youth patronize this growing facility.

       While many AmeriCorps members take a break from non-AmeriCorps community service during their Term, Jo hasn't slowed down because volunteering feeds her soul. She regularly volunteers with her church and the Humane Society, and has been known to "volunteer" her husband, too.  

      Jo is an important part of a small and diverse team that runs the PSYC - creating a safe, ATOD-free space where Pagosa Springs Youth can hang out, get a bite to eat, and have fun. She realizes the value of being part of a regional program, and says "it's awesome getting together with the regional team, and knowing I have that support system."

     Jo Ferko - thank you for your service!

Prevention Activities for Summertime Fun
The Web

Anna Royer, Danielle Brafford and Cindy Houston use "The Web" to illustrate consequences.
























       On May 9, RSAPP's team of Community Prevention Organizers gathered in Pagosa Springs for a full day of training, meeting and catching up. Anna Royer, the School/Community Prevention Coordinator for Archuleta School District, led the team through a series of participatory small group prevention activities. These activities are designed to get youth thinking and talking about topics such as trust, consequences, responsibility, values, and refusal skills.


       The group started with a "Trust Circle" activity, which got everyone talking about when they feel supported, how they support others, and how support is realted to trust. The "Red Light - Green Light" activity gave the group an opportunity to ponder their values. An enactment of a scenario where a teen decides not to get in a car with her drunk friends led to structed discussion around refusal skills, conflict and values. All of these

Reading Scenarios
Catherine Goraj, Soledad Leo, Kristy Chadd and Cindy Houston enact a scenario. 

actitivies are in RSAPP's Prevention Activity Guide,

which was developed by Cathy cowles and Anna Royer.


       Many of RSAPP's Community Prevention Organizers have summer plans that involve working with small groups of youth. Group prevention activities are another tool they can use to get their groups thining and talking, while having appropriate summertime fun.

      To learn more or to get a copy of RSAPP's Prevention Activity Guide,  contact Cathy Cowles.

Information Dissemination in San Juan County
9 Health Fair Logo


RSAPP AmeriCorps member Julie Danjou recruited 5 Silverton youth to set up and staff a Prevention Information table at Silverton's 9 Health Fair last month. They distributed brochures on smoking cessation, ATOD facts, and resources for where to get help. How cool is that - youth from one of RSAPP's small communities actively involved in information dissemination! We all know that information dissemination is one of the six research-based strategies for reducing substance abuse, as identified by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.

National AmeriCorps Week: May 14-21, 2011

NAW Logo













It's National AmeriCorps Week - time to tell your Americorps story. This annual recognition and recruitment event is an opportunity for AmeriCorps members, alums, Site Supervisors and friends to shout out to the world about AmeriCorps' impact on our communities.

      How will you spread the word? Ideas include: mentioning AmeriCorps at every meeting or event you attend this week; recognizing and appreciating an Americorps member or alum (with RSAPP or any other AmeriCorps program) by sending a note, taking her to lunch, or simply saying a heartfelt "thank you." Do you know someone who's 18 or older and interested in serving his country, but not in the milatary sense? How about checking out together to look at some options.

     Over 706,000 people have served as AmeriCorps members since 1994. Let's get out there and tell our stories!

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