June, 2011 

Upcoming Events & Training Opportunities:


Training: Making the Most of Public Funding June 17, 10:00 - 4:30, Durango. Free. Participants will learn about appropriate use of TANF funds, blending and braiding funds, and partnering with your funders. For more information and to register, contact Center for Systems Integration   



Training: Essential Marketing and Media Relations June 22, 2:00-5:00, Durango. $35 for members of Colorado Nonprofit Association, $50 for non-members. This two-part training will cover communications essentials for your non-profit and working with the media. for more information or to register, go to Colorado Nonprofit Association 


Training: Board Development: Fundraising and Engagement July 13 in Dove Creek, July 14 in Telluride. Presented by JVA Consultants. Learn how to move your Board's engagement from rubber stamping to meaningful strategic engagement in advancing your mission.  No cost for RSAPP staff, AmeriCorps members, and Board Members. For registration information, contact: Cathy Cowles. 



Day of Service: Colorado Cares Day July 30. Join RSAPP AmeriCorps members and others in this 13th annual statewide day of service honoring Colorado's statehood on August 1, 1876. Volunteers are needed at the "RSAPP Rocks Medicine Horse" project  in Mancos, and others. For more information contact Bill Parsons or go to Serve Colorado





Many thanks to RSAPP's Generous Funders:


Serve Colorado (Governor's

 Commission on Community Service)


El Pomar Foundation 


Daniels Fund


Telluride Foundation


Anschutz Family Foundation


Quick Links:


Find us on Facebook
 Visit our blog
Join Our Mailing List

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: Catherine Goraj

Catherine Goraj
Catherine Goraj: RSAPP AmeriCorps member serving Montezuma County 


     Catherine Goraj is getting things done and making a difference for  youth in Montezuma County.

     Catherine brings a youthful presence and a fresh perspective to the RSAPP AmeriCorps team. As a recent college graduate and a transplant from South Dakota, she fits the AmeriCorps member steroetype. Catherine knew that she wanted to be an AmeriCorps member in order to serve her nation and be a part of something big. She chose Southwest Colorado not only so she could hike and bike in spectacular places, but also because she is interested in the societal challenges in this region. She loves the connections and networking that her position offers, and like most AmeriCorps members, finds it really difficult to make ends meet on an AmeriCorps Living Allowance. Her budgetting skills are getting a workout!

    During the school year, Catherine serves as a mentor in the Check and Connect program at Cortez Middle School. Check and Connect is an evidence-based program designed to keep kids in school. Catherine serves a caseload of students, reviewing their grades and attendence, helping them  problem-solve and being a supportive, caring adult presence in their lives. She also serves with the Positive Youth Advocates group at CMS, and has created an informal Girls Group.

     This summer Catherine is serving with the summer school program in Towaoc, which provides a fun and structured program for Ute Mountain Ute elementary school children. She also implements prevention activities with Southwest Conservation Corps' Community Crews, and will be contributing to Southwest Connect, a new regional information clearinghouse.

      With an undergraduate degree in Social Work, and a Master's degree on the horizon, Catherine is charting a deliberate course towards a career in Social Work. She loves Southwest Colorado, and we are very fortunate that she  plans to stick around and continue serving youth, families and communities in our region.

Environmental Strategies: Downtown Durango Events
Durango Events Letter
The letter which will be sent to downtown event organizers.

       Durango loves a street party, and there are more than 100 downtown events scheduled for 2011. The Celebrating Community Norms task force is working with the City of Durango to promote positive, supportive environments for youth and families at all of these downtown events.

       RSAPP AmeriCorps member Nicole Schnee has been coordinating with Amita Nathwani of Healthy Lifestyles La Plata to draft a letter that will be sent to all event coordinators. It encourages event coordinators to train staff and volunteers in preventing overconsumption of alcohol, checking identification before serving alcohol, and also promotes local healthy food, recycling and conservation. 

      Celebrating Community Norms is a project of the San Juan Basin Health Department. For more information, contact Nicole Schnee 

RSAPP's Founding Board of Directors
RSAPP's Founding Board

RSAPP's founding Board of Directors: President Mary Jo Rakowski. Treasurer Chuck McAfee, and

Vice President/Secretary Kay Daves.

Absent: Eileen Wasserbach. 


 Ever since the idea of RSAPP was cooked up on a bike ride in 2006, we have been growing and changing to meet the needs of substance abuse prevention organizations in Southwest Colorado. RSAPP is taking the next logical step in its organizational development, and forming an independant non-profit organization with 501(C)3 status. Four of RSAPP's Steering Committee members have committed to serve as the first four Directors on RSAPP's Board: Mary Jo Rakowski, Chuck McAfee, Kay Daves and Eileen Wasserbach. RSAPP is in good hands!

Anshutz Family Foundation Funds RSAPP
Anshutz Family Foundation Logo

We are excited to announce that Anschutz Family Foundationhas awarded RSAPP a $5,000 grant for general operations. RSAPP is perfectly posed to carry out the Anschutz Family Foundation's desire to strengthen families and communities and advance individuals to become productive and responsible citizens. RSAPP is honored to count the Anschutz Family Foundation amongst our funding partners, and sends a BIG thank you to Anschutz.

Alternative Activities: Summer Activities in Dove Creek Summer Activities 1

     Youth who have opportunities for pro-social involvement with their peers, family and community are less likely to abuse substances. Kristy Chadd, RSAPP's AmeriCorps member with STUD in Dove Creek, saw a need in her community, and has responded by creating some popular (and really fun!) programs.

     The new Summer Activities Program for Youth is a low-cost program that provides structured activities three afternoons per week, all summer long. Summer Activities 2Kristy has put together a full schedule, with community volunteers 

leading youth in outdoor adventures, cooking,  community service and more.  As many as 39 youth and 15 volunteers have shown up for Summer Activity fun. Kristy's collaboration with Dove Creek's Recreation Department has made this program possible.      

     Kristy and the STUD (Students Taking action against Underage Drinking) group responded to  a community survey that showed an overwhelming request for family-friendly, alcohol-free activities by creating monthly Family Fun nights. Approximately 60 people show up each month, and activities have included game night, bingo, and free outdoor movies. Thanks to Kristy and STUD, Dove Creek has got it going on! For more information, contact Kristy Chadd

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