How did Jeffco Teens start?

During the initial COVID-19 shutdown in March of 2020, the Jeffco Communities That Care youth interns wanted a way to virtually connect with their peers. The goal was to promote specific actions youth can take to help themselves deal more positively with stressful situations and promote unwinding, physical health, connection, and calming anxiety as recommended by the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. As a result, the @jeffco_teens Instagram page was created (originally called @jeffco_ctc) to reach a youth audience and, shortly after, www.jeffcoteens.org as a landing page to house all created posts.

Goals for the initial 4-week Instagram challenge

  • Encouraging actions to enhance well-being

  • Social norming of those actions through sharing on social media

    • Coping- coping with siblings, coping with parents; Dealing with boredom

    • Grief, worry & loss-- things that they no longer can do; loss of traditions; things they can never "get back"; Ill family members and friends; death of family members and friends

    • Connecting and reaching out-- Maintaining social connections; Opportunities to help in everyday & safe ways

    • Needs: Ways to get support; resources; exercise

What kind of opportunities do we now promote?

On this website, and on Instagram @jeffco_teens, we post opportunities for youth in Jefferson County that follow the Social Development Strategy:

  • Free and/or paid. (No activities teens must pay for!)

  • Teens have opportunities to actually do things. (No listen-only activities.)

  • Teens are able to make a real contribution or learn a new skill.

  • Teens are recognized &/or rewarded for their contributions.

Note that we only post already scheduled activities!

How can I submit an opportunity?

What is the point of the data page?

Social norming!

What is social norming?

Social Norming is built on the concept that most students engage in and want to engage in positive, healthy behaviors, but they believe their peers engage in negative, unhealthy behaviors. As a result, many students do things they personally believe are wrong in order to gain acceptance by their peers. Social Norming works by using “positive peer pressure” to educate students about what positive, healthy behaviors are truly acceptable by their peers. These behaviors and beliefs about perceived norms of behavior among peers are determined through a school-wide survey conducted at the school. Our healthy relationship campaigns focus on the six types of abuse: physical, emotional, sexual, stalking, financial/economic, and digital. We also ask questions supporting protective factors such as,” I showed my partner respect and that I value them”, “it is each partner’s right to have friends outside of the relationship”, and “In the last year, have you spoken with an adult who encourages you?”.

Visit us at www.twelvetalks.com!

Using existing campaigns, and in consultation with our youth research interns, Jefferson County CTC created a repository of information, resources and conversation starters about topics selected by parents, teens and community experts. Then, in a non-judgmental style, we promote 1 topic per month that adults are encouraged to discuss with teens in their lives, leveraging pre-existing, evidence-based state or national campaigns, and including best practices for promoting productive dialogue with young people.

(Jeffco CTC)

Jefferson County Communities That Care is a coalition comprised of more than 100 stakeholders, community members, key leaders and youth. We use a structured, evidence-based community change process focused on preventing substance misuse, sexual/relationship violence and hopelessness/anxiety among youth in our community by reducing risk factors and improving protective factors.

Current funding includes:

  • $125,000 per year from the Federal Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant program, funding period ends Sept. 30, 2022, requires 100% match met by CTC funding. We recently applied for an additional 5 years of DFC funding, which will require 100% to 150% match, which comes from the grants listed below.

  • $300,000 per year from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Communities Organizing for Prevention (COPF) program, funding period ends June 30, 2026.

  • $250,000 for 15 months between April 1, 2022 and June 20, 2023 from Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment from the Health Disparities and Community Grant Program.

The coalition is continuously seeking and pursuing funding opportunities to sustain collaborative efforts and our work with local youth.

The Jeffco CTC coalition does not receive county or city funding and all safe salaries with fringe, technology costs, travel, coalition costs and contracting is paid though grant funds. Additionally, approximately 30% of the above funds are used for indirect, which is paid to Jefferson County Public Health.