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Answers from YouthZone

I can’t get my kid to do homework. My parent never listens to me. My 12-year old wants a cell phone, should I buy it for her? Why should I have a curfew ” I’m 16 years old? I found cigarettes in my son’s room: Should I say anything? How can I fit in if I’m not allowed to go to parties with my peers?

Concerned, worried, frustrated, exhausted parents looking for answers. Kids looking for answers to help them deal with peer pressure, social norms and parental conflict.

You have the questions. Get your Answers From YouthZone.



YouthZone was begun in 1976 by a small group of parents concerned about drug use among high school students. The original focus of the agency was to provide recreational activities, along with drug information and education to 14- to 17-year-olds.

In its first year, YouthZone saw 400 young people.



Today, YouthZone services are tailored to youth ages 6-18 years and include prevention, intervention and advocacy work.

YouthZone has offices in Glenwood Springs, Rifle, Aspen, Basalt and Carbondale. The agency’s services are available in Garfield, Pitkin, Rio Blanco and Eagle counties.

Each year YouthZone helps over 1,400 young people, and in 28 years more than 22,000 young people and families have found answers at YouthZone.

YouthZone’s philosophy is that each child is a multifaceted, complex human being with many needs, desires, interests and motivations. To assist a child means to take a comprehensive, individualized approach to programming. YouthZone does just this.

YouthZone’s staff is highly trained, caring and nonjudgmental. At YouthZone we set high expectations for ourselves and for those with whom we work, and we get results. A three-year independent evaluation shows that YouthZone programs are making statistically significant improvement in the following areas of young lives: 1. Decreased delinquent behavior, 2. decreased use of illegal drugs, 3. increased self-perception, 4. increased positive decision making, and 5. increased positive social skills.

Overall, YouthZone has programming in five major focus areas: counseling, life skills education, mentoring, juvenile justice intervention and community outreach. Within these areas, the agency offers 35 different programs.

A relatively new program at YouthZone is the Parent Consultation. This is a one-time 50-minute session with a YouthZone counselor. In the session the counselor listens to a family’s concerns and focuses on options and resources to help the family. It’s a great way to bring your questions to YouthZone and let us help.

We would also enjoy hearing from you. Send your question to YouthZone and we’ll answer it in our bi-weekly column, share your comments about our columns, or call us and schedule a time to talk with us about your specific need. Direct your questions or comments to our marketing coordinator Mary Jean Carnevale at mjcarnevale@youthzone.com or call YouthZone at 945-9300.

YouthZone is in the business of helping communities raise their kids which benefits the health, wealth and safety of all. Let us Help. Get your Answers From YouthZone.

Debbie Wilde, executive director of YouthZone, has been with the organization for 22 years and has served as director for 15 years.

E-mail YouthZone at mjcarnevale@youthzone.com.


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