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Learn About Voyager

Revised July 1, 2020

Mission: Voyager Youth Program seeks to inspire Ouray County's youth to achieve healthy lives through prevention education programs and enrichment activities with a purpose.

Vision:  Youth realizing their full potential.

Values: Inspired by Dorothy Law Nolte 1972

Growth:  Children learn what they live. 

Connection:  If children live connected to their community, nature, and each other, they learn the world is a nice place to live.

Compassion:  If children experience acceptance and consideration, they learn to love.

Integrity:  If children take responsibility for their actions, they learn respect.

Resiliency:  If children are encouraged, they learn confidence and perseverance.

Fun: If children laugh often, they live with an open heart.

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!

Today, 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.

Goals

We work in partnership with schools and the community to create an environment in which youth will succeed. With a Positive Youth Development approach, we build youth’s strengths and provide opportunities that will help them achieve goals and transition to adulthood in a productive, healthy manner. Our primary goals are to:

1.  Implement experiential and leadership activities that develop physical and emotional wellness. 

Objective: To serve youth at an individual level: inspire a sense of personal well-being with positive staff role-models, outdoor play, adventures, healthy snacks and mindfulness activities.

Activities: After School and Summer Enrichment Programs, Adventure Wednesdays.

Outcomes: Number of students served in different programs, number of peer leaders (attendance records, participant and parent reflection surveys).

2.  Provide engaging prevention programs and a safe, inclusive space for youth.

Objective: To serve youth at a peer-to-peer and school level through engaging and relevant prevention programs with schools and local organizations and providing a safe and inclusive Teen Center.

Activities: Lunch groups, guest speakers, prevention curricula & programs, Basecamp: its resources & initiatives), LGBTQ community outreach and communication (TCHF grant), Communities that Care (reducing risk factors & increasing protective factors).

Outcomes: Number of students or community served in different programs, changes in behavior/norms (Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, Youth National Outcomes Measures Surveys).

3.  Build resiliency in youth by connecting them to their local community, nature, positive role models, and each other.

Objective: To connect youth to a larger community through service projects with local organizations, peer leadership, and statewide youth collaboration projects.

Activities: Statewide youth collaboration projects (youth to youth), youth-adult partnerships, youth advisory boards, mindfulness classes, guest speakers, Sources of Strength upstream prevention program), Communities that Care.

Outcomes: Number of students or community served in different programs, changes in behavior/norms (reflection surveys, Healthy Kids Colorado Survey).

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