September, 2011 

Upcoming Events & Training Opportunities:


 TRAINING:  Bullying Prevention Institute September 21, 8:30-3:30 Montrose CO. No cost for Colorado participants. Learn about best practices in bullying prevention, on-the-spot interventions, and techniques for creating a positive school climate. Go to COTRAIN  for more information and to register.


CELEBRATION: RSAPP AmeriCorps Graduation! September 26, 3:00-4:30, Durango Recreation Center. Contact Cathy Cowles to RSVP.  


EVENT: RSAPP's (first!) Annual Meeting, September 29, 5:30-7:00, Durango Public Library. Contact Mary Jo Rakowski or Cathy Cowles for more information or to RSVP.  


TRAINING: RSAPP's new and returning AmeriCorps members will gather October 2-4 for Pre-Service Orientation and Training at Sophia Peace Center, in Dolores, CO. For more information, contact Cathy Cowles  



CONFERENCE: Serve Colorado hosts the annual State Service Conference October 9-11 in Buena Vista, CO. AmeriCorps*State members and program staff are encouraged to attend. For more information and to register, click HERE. 


MEETING: See it. Stop it. Community Rising: the Campaign to Stop Violence Against People with Disabilities and Elders. October 4, 11:30-1:00, and the 1st Tuesday of each month, at South West Center for Independence. Join a series of dialogue sessions with area violence intervention service providers, advocating for and helping people with disabilities and elders who experience violence in their relationships.  On Tuesday, 10/04, meet Darlene Clayton from Alternative Horizons. Light Lunch provided.  For more information call 247-2935 or 279-1672.




Many thanks to RSAPP's Generous Funders:


Serve Colorado


 Commission on Community Service)


El Pomar Foundation 


Daniels Fund


Telluride Foundation


Anschutz Family 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: Jenifer Tadra 

Jeni Tadra
Jeni Tadra: RSAPP AmeriCorps member serving Dolores Middle and High School


     Jenifer Tadra is an RSAPP AmeriCorps member serving as a mentor with the evidence-based Check & Connect Program at Dolores Middle and High Schools. She provides support and guidance to students who have been identified as at risk for dropping out of school. Jeni approaches each of her students with an open and compassionate heart, building trusting relationships while checking on their grades, attendance and behavior.      

      Jeni is a Colorado native who grew up in Denver, and has lived in the Dolores area for 12 years. She has 3 kids, ages 10 to 20, and a menagerie of animals. The whole family's life revolves around football - everyone either plays or cheers. Jeni and her family even put together a free football camp for elementary school aged children in Cortez this summer, "Montezuma Kids at Play."    

     During her year as an AmeriCorps member, Jeni has not limited herself to the school-based Check & Connect program. She participated in the 20-week Family Leadership Training Institute, and organized projects with the Teddy Bear Pre-school and the Dolores Public Library. Jeni advocates for her Check & Connect students in and out of school. She loves working in the community, and has been very well received.

     As her AmeriCorps term of service comes to an end, Jeni is struggling with saying goodbye to the students she has grown so close to. While it has been difficult for her to see the challenges and issues these kids face every day, she also acknowledges that the connection goes both ways. Jeni does not hesitate to say that she receives as much from her students as she has given.

RSAPP's (first!) Annual Meeting

      It's been a year of growth for RSAPP, and we want to share our story with you! Please join RSAPP's Board of Directors for our (first!) Annual Meeting, Thursday, September 29, from 5:30-7:00 at the Durango Public Library. We'll start with mocktails and appetizers, and follow with presentations so you can learn more about the Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Partners, meet the Board, staff and AmeriCorps members, and learn how you can get involved with RSAPP. For more information, or to RSVP, contact Cathy Cowles or Mary Jo Rakowski. We hope to see you there. 

Promoting Healthy Choices at the Fort,
and Searching for a New SWI Coordinator

      Two different groups of students at Fort Lewis College have joined together to become one bigger campus-wide initiative aimed at pWelPAC Imageromoting healthy choices.   The former student organization "Uniting Students thru Wellness" and a cohort of students trained in Motivational Interviewing are now part of the Wellness Peer Advisory Council or "WellPAC." WellPAC provides programming to students campus wide through educational events, social norms media campaigns and presentations.  The organization also provides one-on-one peer consultations with students about alcohol, tobacco or other substances using a counseling technique called Motivational Interviewing. Members of the organization receive training and supervision from the Department of Student Wellness Initiatives and through Psychology faculty member  Brian Burke, PhD.  

Information Dissemination at FLC
Buddy the Squirrel distributes information about tobacco

      The Wellness Peer Advisory Council  allows a variety of students to participate in programs and services on campus that truly change and build amore healthy and safe campus community. It's a great way to get involved, make new friends, travel to national and regional conferences and learn effective communication and counseling skills. Members are eligible for training and certification with the The BACCHUS Network as a Certified Peer Educator, and have opportunities to  serve on the leadership team where students can earn credit through the Psychology Department.  To learn more about WellPAC, join the   WellPAC Facebook Page.         AND - the Student Wellness Initiatives Coordinator, Kristen D'Acquisto will be moving on to other opportunities, so Fort Lewis college is searching for qualified applicants to fill her shoes. For more information about this exciting employment opportunity, go to Fort Lewis College's Human Resource Page and search employment opportunities for "Student Wellness Initiatives Coordinator."   


      Come celebrate the completion of an amazing, memorable, and impactful year of service: RSAPP's AmeriCorps members will be celebrating their graduation on Monday, September 26, from 3:00-4:30 p.m. at the Durango Recreation Center. All are welcome! For more information, or to RSVP, contact Cathy Cowles. 

Silverton Kids on a Couch
SYC Movie Night

     There's always something going on at the Silverton Youth Center! A group of 20 elementary school aged youth gathered last Thursday for Movie Night, squeezing onto the couch to watch "Little Rascals." The Silverton Youth Center  is a year-round safe haven for youth, and provides a variety of enrichment and recreational activities to boot.  

RSAPP Receives AmeriCorps Grant
Serve Colorado Logo

     RSAPP was recently awarded more than $153,000 to support 11 full-time-equivalent AmeriCorps members during the 2011-2012 program year. RSAPP is an AmeriCorps*State Program, and is a sub-grantee of Serve Colorado. This generous grant will enable RSAPP to place 12 AmeriCorps members with community organizations throughout Southwest Colorado, where they will serve as Community Prevention Organizers.  

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



Cathy Cowles

RSAPP Program Coordinator