Stronger Together: Community Education and the Power of Engagement at YouthZone

By Sarai Quintana

Read article on the Post Independent’s website.


As we turn to chillier winter breezes, I’m eager to talk about how YouthZone is recharging the community through engagement, education, and an extraordinary, upcoming, free event.

At YouthZone, we know that driving change begins at home. This can be as straightforward as a family dinner conversation or as elaborate as community gatherings. Empowering youth and their families is at the heart of what we do – which is why we are committed to offering comprehensive community engagement and education events throughout the year.

They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I’m inclined to agree. It’s through these collective efforts that our children, the leaders and innovators of tomorrow, grow into well-rounded individuals. Community education programs are critical to this growth. By providing resources and platforms for learning, we facilitate opportunities for parents, youth, and families to navigate the varied challenges and triumphs that adolescence has to offer.

As November unfolds, we’re planning an exciting event – True Colors: A Free Community Engagement Event. Happening on November 11th, 2023, this event is an emblem of what we stand for at YouthZone. This immersive experience is in partnership with The Arts Center At Willits, Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Soul Water Rising, Tom Karrel Coaching, and the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. As we watch the autumnal leaves reveal their true colors, we welcome you to join us in a vibrant celebration of our community’s diversity, resilience, and unerring hope.

True Colors will be an enlightening opportunity to learn, connect, and grow. We look forward to hosting opportunities for community interactions, lively entertainment, and dialogues designed to foster connection and understanding. Our keynote speaker is Dr. Jaiya John, an internationally recognized freedom worker, author, and poet. Jaiya is the founder of Soul Water Rising, a global rehumanizing mission to eradicate oppression. Tom Karrel from Tom Karrel Coaching will facilitate two dynamic panel discussions featuring Naomi Peña, Betty Lucas, Brianda Cervantes, and Claudia Flores-Cruz that will focus on trauma-informed approaches to meet the needs of our youth and effect positive change. Additionally, you’ll be treated to Folkloric performances by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. The guitarist and professional musician Rodrigo Arreguin will be performing during the event. A youth art exhibition, featuring work from the talented artists of Anderson Ranch Arts Center’s 2023 Teen Summer Workshops will be located in the TACAW lobby as well. And the best part? It’s entirely free of charge because we believe that knowledge, just like love, should be costless and openly shared.

Conforming to the spirit of community and free knowledge-sharing, True Colors is the perfect opportunity to understand more about YouthZone’s variety of resources available to you. We invite you to navigate our dedicated website – – to familiarize yourself with the event’s details, RSVP, and learn how we, at YouthZone, work towards nurturing youth, supporting parents, and consolidating communities.

In essence, YouthZone is more than just a nonprofit organization – we are a vibrant network of individuals committed to shaping a brighter, more empowered future. By nurturing collaborative, educational spaces like our upcoming True Colors event, we create the perfect environment to help families grow stronger, youth to dream bigger, and communities to hold firmer.

So, as the season paints a rich tapestry of colors around us, let’s form our own unique palette – a mixed, merging, vibrant palette of communities working together to make a difference. We hope to see you there!

True Colors is made possible by the generous sponsorship of local businesses and community members like you. Thank you, Alpine Bank, TACAW, Aspen Dev Co, Chevron, First Bank, Holy Cross Energy, Post Independent, First Western Trust – Dr. Ava Shamban, Glenwood Ford, Mueller Construction, Umbrella Roofing, American National Bank (ANB), Balanced Book Keeping, Bank of Colorado, Columbine Ford, DWC CPAs and Advisors, FCI Construction, Glenwood Insurance, SGM, Stifel – Slifer Nicolas, Timberline Bank, and Wade Ash LLC for believing in and supporting our community.


YouthZone is a family-first nonprofit that supports parents and guardians, families, and adolescents. From Aspen to Parachute, we offer parent counseling and education services, family resources, and comprehensive assessment and advocacy to inspire healthy relationships between youth, families, and communities. To learn more about how YouthZone can help, please call us at 970-945-9300.

Sarai Quintana was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, raised in Dallas, Texas, and moved to the Roaring Fork Valley in 2014. For the last 9 years, she has worked closely with youth and their parents in her communities. Some of Sarai’s background and skills include Prevention Work Models, Motivational Interviewing, Trauma Informed Care, Case management, and adopting a multi-generational approach when working with families. Sarai is also bilingual and bicultural; and understands the different cultural views within the Latino Community. In her spare time, Sarai enjoys practicing her photography skills, hiking, and trying out new restaurants.