Year in Review Celebration at YouthZone

By Jami Hayes

Read the Article on the Post Independent website HERE.


As we embark on another exciting year at YouthZone, we reflect on the incredible accomplishments we achieved together. From impactful programming to generous support, we’ve made significant strides in empowering youth and families in our community.

One of the highlights of 2023 was receiving a prestigious grant from the Denver Broncos Foundation. This generous contribution enabled us to expand our programming and reach even more youth and families in need. We are profoundly grateful for their unwavering support and dedication to making a positive impact in our valleys.

YouthZone is grateful for the incredible support received from numerous municipalities, foundations, businesses, and families. Major contributions from Alpine Bank Glenwood Springs, Aspen Community Foundation, Aspen Development Company, Chevron, Colorado Health Foundation, Mary and Mark Gould, Henry and Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, Susan and Larry Marx, Post Independent, RE1 School District, Rifle Community Foundation, Rocky Mountain Health Foundation, and many others have enabled us to sustain and expand our programs to meet the evolving needs of our community. These partners not only provide vital resources but also inspire a sense of community spirit and collective action.

At the heart of YouthZone’s work are our programs that aim to uplift and support both youth and families. In 2023, we had the privilege of serving 420 clients with 1,580 family members impacted. By providing them with counseling, substance use education, deferred sentencing, restorative justice, and other life-changing services numerous teachers, classmates, neighbors, business owners, and crime victims were positively impacted as well.

But behind those numbers are the stories and testimonials that highlight the transformative power of our programs. Countless parents have shared their gratitude for the guidance and support they received from our expert staff. One parent, who wishes to remain anonymous, shared, “YouthZone gave me hope when I felt hopeless. They showed me a path forward and helped me become a better parent for my child. I will forever be grateful for their support.”

At YouthZone, we firmly believe that supporting families as a whole is crucial to the success and well-being of our youth. That’s why our programming for parents encompasses a wide range of services, from counseling to substance use education, life coaching, and trauma identification. By addressing the unique challenges parents face, we empower them to create a nurturing and stable environment for their children.

For our youth, our programming is designed to foster personal growth, develop essential life skills, and provide a safe space for self-expression and support. From life coaching and counseling to LGBTQIA+ peer support groups, as well as restorative justice, substance use intervention and education, and community service opportunities, we offer a comprehensive suite of programs that address their diverse needs.

None of our achievements in 2023 would have been possible without the partnerships and collaboration of local and state organizations that share our mission. YouthZone is proud to work closely with the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser and District Attorney Jeff Cheney, the Colorado Youth Detention Continuum Planning Committee, and our local partners in governments, courts, and schools, from Aspen to Parachute. Key partnerships with the City of Glenwood Springs, City of Rifle, and RE1 School District allow us to offset our costs, making programs and services accessible to everyone regardless of their financial situation. Together, we amplify our impact and provide a continuum of care and support for our community.

In 2024, we are fueled by the community’s mirrored commitment to empowering youth and families. Our focus will continue to prioritize case management and advocacy through our CYDC program, alongside our dedication to restorative justice and mentoring. We’re building stronger partnerships with mental health providers to ensure tailored support for youth with diverse needs. We’re also investing more in substance use education, hired a Clinical Supervisor, and have three staff undergoing Certified Addiction Therapist training. Additionally, we welcomed our Parent and Community Education Coordinator to provide wraparound services for parents. The future is bright for the work we do at YouthZone. With your support, we are confident in our ability to create a brighter future for our community’s youth and families.


YouthZone is a nonprofit that prioritizes family support for parents, guardians, families, and adolescents. Our services, available from Aspen to Parachute, include parent counseling, education, family resources, and comprehensive assessment and advocacy to foster healthy relationships among youth, families, and communities. For more information and to access our support, call 970-945-9300.

Jami Hayes, as the Executive Director at YouthZone, brings over 20 years of hands-on working experience with youth and families. Her various roles in schools as kindergarten, first grade, special education, instructional coach, and leader provide a unique perspective into the needs of communities. Through the lens of social justice and equity, she truly understands that health and wellness begin at the heart of our communities with our youth and families. Jami believes that positive community engagement is the driving force in behavior and mindset change. All youth are worthy and capable of growth which leads to positive generational change for families and communities.