Our Mission: Voyager Youth Program seeks to inspire Ouray County's youth to achieve healthy lives through our prevention education programs and enrichment activities with a purpose. We work in partnership with local schools and the larger community to create an environment in which youth will thrive.
Our History: In 1997, a group of local parents saw that there was little for kids to do in the hours and days when school was not in session. They collaborated to fill the gap with a small summer day camp. The community response was strong, and they learned that enrichment programs like their camp do much more than keep kids busy: they are a critical factor in preventing a wide range of behaviors that keep kids from fulfilling their healthiest and best potentials.
A group of volunteers quickly evolved into a 501(C)3 nonprofit dedicated to developing a wide range of enrichment and prevention educations programs that help youth to achieve healthy lives. The organization's title described the scope and approach to prevention work: the Ouray County Schools Community Resource Consortium. You can probably guess, with an official name like that, why we do business as Voyager!
A couple decades later, all our enrichment and prevention education programs remain focused on the same vision while aligning with the newest research. We make sure to do only what has proven to work in helping kids avoid risk behaviors. Our emphasis on substance-abuse prevention comes out of more than a decade of strong data. Every two years, Voyager administers Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, a state version of the Center for Disease Control's national risk-behavior assessment tool. We know that youth in Ouray County live healthy lives in many ways, but for complex reasons, continue to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs at high levels. Voyager's efforts are aimed squarely at these behaviors. Through a combination of grants and private donations, we manage to keep our program costs minimal to schools and families.
Our Strategic Goals: Voyager's Board of Directors have identified these three strategic goals to guide our ongoing program development.
- Voyager programs will encourage and increase a youth culture that values physical and emotional wellness.
- Voyager programs will improve a feeling of connection and belonging to the larger community among local youth.
- Voyager programs will increase social norms among local youth of maintaining clear personal values and goals for adulthood, and of avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.