YouthZone's Column Corner, News Updates, Awards, and Accomplishments

Since its inception in 1976, YouthZone has been frequently recognized and honored for its innovative and exceptional youth initiatives. In addition, YouthZone has been privileged to spearhead numerous state and federal grant programs. Along with organizational recognition, the diligent efforts of the YouthZone staff and board members have not gone unnoticed. Time and again, they have been bestowed with a multitude of awards applauding their dedication and remarkable contribution to youth programs and community engagement. In a bid to share our developments and achievements, our dedicated team contributes monthly column articles to publications including the Post Independent and Aspen Times - click the link below to read the full articles and columns in our blog.


May Post Independent Column - "YouthZone Builds Brighter Futures in Partnership with Iron Mountain Hot Springs and Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park" by Ali Naaseh-Shahry

April 24, KMTS Connections Interview - Interview with Ali Naaseh-Shahry on YouthZone's SPring Gala

April Post Independent Column - "Gathering for Good: An Invitation to YouthZone’s Spring Gala" by Ali Naaseh-Shahry

March Post Independent Column - "YouthZone’s Restorative Justice Program: An Alternative Path to Conflict Resolution" by Chelsea Smith

February Post Independent Column - "Year in Review Celebration at YouthZone" by Jami Hayes

January 24, Aspen Times Article, by Lucy Peterson - "Roaring Fork Valley Youth Facing Compounding Mental Health Problems, YouthZone Says"

January 21, Post Independent Article by Katherine Tomanek - "Carbondale Therapist Offers ‘Soulful’ Help to Guide Others onto a Healing Path"

January 14, Aspen Times Article by Staff Reporter - "Aspen Community Foundation Donates $582,500 to nonprofits from Aspen to Parachute"

January 10, Post Independent Article by Katherine Tomanek - "YouthZone Offers Three Different Support Locations in Garfield County for LGBTQIA+ Youth" 


December 19, Denver Broncos Foundation Press Release - "Denver Broncos Foundation Announces 8 Grants to Nonprofits Through 2023 Inspire Change Outreach"

December Post Independent Article - "Investing in Juvenile Diversion: A Path Towards a Brighter Future" by Paula Johnson Hall

December 4,  KDNK Interview by Lily Jones - Colorado Gives Day, In Perspective of a Local Non-profit

December 4, Post Independent Article by Ali Naaseh-Shahry - Investing in Change: YouthZone’s Comprehensive Approach to Our Valleys’ Challenges

November Post Independent Column - Empowering the 9th District: YouthZone's Impact Through Diversion Programming by Ali Naaseh-Shahry

November 9, Aspen Times Article by Kimberly Nicolette - "Celebrating Your True Colors"

KMTS Connections Interview - KMTS Connections Interview: Oct. 26th, 2023

October 18 Sopris Sun Article by London Lyle "CMC’s Common Reader Program Inspires Understanding through Literature"

October 3, Post Independent Article by Cassandra Ballard "Good News and Bad News for Roaring Fork Valley Youth"

October Post Independent Column - Stronger Together: Community Education and the Power of Engagement at YouthZone by Sarai Quintana

September 19, Post Independent by Katherine Tomanek "Glenwood Springs City Council to address 27th Street project updates, YouthZone finances, Mind Springs and more"

September Post Independent Column - Hand-In-Hand towards Empowered Parenting and Thriving Youth this Back-to-School Season by Sarai Quintana

Denver Bronco's Foundation Grant - A Touchdown for Youth Justice: YouthZone Celebrates a $20,000 Grant from Denver Broncos Foundation

August Post Independent Column - A Fresh Perspective: My Experience as a Restorative Justice Intern at YouthZone by Caleb Thompson

April 20, Post Independent Article by Cassandra Ballard "The Buddy Program is coming to Glenwood Springs" 

July 19, Sopris Sun Article by Myki Hones "Being an Accountable Life Coach"

July Post Independent Column - Family-First Nonprofit YouthZone: Empowering Youth and Strengthening Communities in Western Colorado by Carol Wolff

Kiwanis Club $4,500 Donation - Generous Donation from Glenwood Springs Kiwanis Club Supports Critical Building Upgrade at YouthZone

June 21, Sopris Sun Article by Myki Jones "YouthZone Gives Back Through Restorative Justice"

June Post Independent Column - Understanding the Impact of Diversion Programs: Attorney General Weiser Visits by Jami Hayes

May Post Independent Column - YouthZone Recognizes National Mental Health Counseling Month by Jami Hayes

KDNK Mention - KDNK Shares Attorney General Weiser Praises of YouthZone

April Post Independent Column - Trauma-informed Care Clinic Supports Community Youth and Families by Brianda Cermantes

March Post Independent Column - Why Diversion Programs are Important by Airen Goodman

February Post Independent Column - YouthZone’s The Space – a LGBTQIA+ Youth Peer Support Group – Expands with a Grant from The Colorado Health Foundation by Travis Wilson

Post Independent's Your Letters, January - Collaborating for Buddies

Two Self-Care Grants - Thank You to The Colorado Health Foundation and Rocky Mountain Health Foundation

January Post Independent Column - YouthZone Announces Free Bilingual Restorative Justice Training Opportunity by Mary Bess Bolling

Post Independent's Wednesday Letters, January 25 - Buddies coming, thank a school board member, facts, wolves, growth, term limits

January 17, Post Independent Article by Cassandra Ballard "YouthZone offers a space of safety and understanding throughout the community"


December Post Independent Column - Anderson Ranch and YouthZone Partner in Visual Storytelling by Jami Hayes

November Post Independent Column - Opportunity for Planned Giving: Join the YouthZone Legacy Club by Carol Wolff and the YouthZone Development Team

September Post Independent Column - YouthZone Understands the Value of a Living Wage by Jami Hayes

Sept. 21, Sopris Sun Article - YouthZone Film Festival Takes Students to New Heights

August Post Independent Column - YouthZone Brings Award Winning Filmmakers to 2022 Ascent Youth Film Festival by Carol Wolff

July Post Independent Column - Youth Substance Use and Mental Health is a Community Issue by Michelle Lopez and Carmen Iancion

May Post Independent Column - Parenting is Difficult and You are Not Alone by Tina Olson

April Post Independent Column - YouthZone Offering Teen Life Coaching as New Service by Keith Berglund

February 6, Post Independent Article by Ike Fredregill "Glenwood Springs allocates funding for mental health staffing at Roaring Fork schools"


December Post Independent Column - Students sought for new YouthZone advisory council by Maggie Palomares

December 14, Post Independent Article by John Stroud "YouthZone receives $300,000 United Health grant to support teen mental health services"

December Post Independent Column - Colorado Gives Day provides year-end opportunity to support local nonprofits by Carol Wolff

November 18, Post Independent Article by Tamara Tormohlen "Guest column: Help on way for struggling students from New Castle to Rifle"

November 10, Post Independent Article by Ray K. Erku "Referrals to Rifle’s Youth Zone increase, official says"

October Post Independent Column - Local collaboration key to providing a network of youth support by Steganie Maurice

September Post Independent Column - Youth Film Fest highlights annual YZ Ascent fundraiser by Carol Wolff

August Post Independent Column - Quality time builds trusting relationship with your teens by Sharlene Salinas

June Post Independent Column - Teens’ emotional health impacted by COVID-19 restrictions by Keith Berglund

June 21, Post Independent Article by John Stroud "Mental health concerns linger coming out of the pandemic; area agencies build coalition for prevention, treatment"

May Post Independent Column -Collaboration between partners needed during heightened mental crisis by Jami Hayes

April Post Independent Column - Tools to handle stress through mindfulness by  Katie Westcott

April 5, Post Independent Article by John Stroud "YouthZone names new executive director, Jami Hayes"

March Post Independent Column - Embracing change opens doors to a positive future by Lori Mueller

February Post Independent Column - YouthZone’s new commitment to equity reshapes conversations by Claire Hemme

February 27, Post Independent Article by Keya Williams "State-backed program enables YouthZone to provide support to teens facing detention"

February 10, Post Independent Article by Ellen Fike "Glenwood Springs City Council approves $150K for youth mental health services"

January Post Independent Column - Changes in youth behavior could signal psychological trauma by Courtney Dunn

Post Independent's Community Profile, January 11- Lori Mueller reflects on 30-plus years working to better the lives of area youth


December Post Independent Column - Restorative Justice across cultures repairs harm and creates community by Rami El Gharib

November Post Independent Column - Mountain West Gives allows our community nonprofits to grow together by Carol Wolff

October Post Independent Column - Youth find restoration through the art of conflict resolution by Airen Goodman

September Post Independent Column - YouthZone’s annual fundraiser to share local youth films by Carol Wolff

September 17, Post Independent Article by Jeff Bear "Youth filmmakers dive into passion projects" 

August Post Independent Column -YouthZone helps parents address racism with their kids by Lori Mueller

July Post Independent Column - Youth embrace self-identity when building their value system by Tina Olson

July 13, Post Independent Article by John Stroud "Grateful for Glenwood nomination campaign paying it forward to boost morale, and help businesses emerging from pandemic shutdowns"

June Post Independent Column - Youth Learn to Connect with Nature to Reduce Stress by Katie Westcott

June 3, Post Independent Article by Ike Fredregill "Roaring Fork Valley Organization Seeks to Train Leaders Needed to Get Through Pandemic Crisis"

May Post Independent Column - Youth Participation, Leadership Part of YouthZone's Powerful Interaction by Lor Mueller

May 15, Post Independent Article by Mathew Bennett "YouthZone Pulled from Glenwood's Grant Recipient List After Councilor Comments Raise Potential Conflict of Interest"

April Post Independent Column - Parent’s PEACE Offering Best Way to Connect During Isolation by Tina Olson

March Post Independent Column - Roaring Fork Leadership Team Surveys Community by Lori Mueller

March 12, Post Independent Article by Staff Reporter "YouthZone Adjusts its Operations to Limit Personal Contact in Response to COVID-19 Concerns"

March 12, Post Independent Article by John Stroud "YouthZone Develops Partnership to Provide Vocational Path in Effort to Keep Teens on Track"

February Post Independent Column - YZ is Not a Punishment — It’s an Opportunity by Jennifer Hawks

January Post Independent Column - Teens benefit from caring adult relationships beyond family boundaries by Keith Berglund


December Post Independent Column - YZ provides tools to teens to restrain substance use by Bailey Allison

December 8, Post Independent Article by Matthew Bennett "New Castle awards thousands in grant dollars to local nonprofits"

November 27, Post Independent Article by Staff Reporter "YouthZone’s Karen Barbee receives state-level appointment"

November Post Independent Column - Supporting nonprofits with year-end giving elevates communities by Robin Tolan

October Post Independent Column - Restorative justice offers growth, healing through tiered system by Karen Barbee

October 31, Post Independent Article by Staff Reporter "YouthZone speaker to address drug culture, concealment trends"

September Post Independent Column - Youth-driven Ascent fundraiser supports YouthZone by Robin Tolan

September 28, Post Independent Article by John Stroud "Glenwood Springs youth help support peers for YouthZone Ascent fundraiser"

August Post Independent Column - Healthy families lead to capable kids by YouthZone

August 21, Post Independent Article by John Stroud "YouthZone therapist: Teen, parent coping mechanisms not substantially different"

August 21, Post Independent Article by John Stroud "Longevity Part 2: Positive mental wellness through teen years key to healthy life later on"

July Post Independent Column - Set clear family policies to deter youth substance abuse by Lori Mueller

July 1, Post Independent Article by Staff Reporter "YouthZone hires trauma, substance abuse specialist"

June Post Independent Column - Summer YouthZone programs provide opportunities for growth and connection by Airen Goodman

June 30, Post Independent Article by Matthew Bennett "Sunday profile: Local nonprofit icon Debbie Wilde is pretty wild about helping her community"

June 20, Post Independent Article by Alex Zorn "Youth support program moving office to Parachute"

May Post Independent Column - Case managers are first step to reconciliation, redemption by Lori Mueller

April Post Independent Column - Resilient youth find success through YouthZone’s community-based efforts by Lori Mueller

April 12, Post Independent Article by Alex Zorn "A new place for youth to get back on track"

April 10, Post Independent Article by Staff Reporter "Grand opening slated for YouthZone’s new Glenwood digs"

February 28, Post Independent Article by Staff Reporter "YouthZone has new logo to add to new Glenwood Springs building"

January 28, Post Independent Article by Staff Reporter "Garfield County grants $350,000 to YouthZone"


El Pomar Foundation Awards for Excellence  


“Best Program” awarded by the State of Co. for keeping youth out of juvenile detention 


Locals Choice Award – Gold winner for Best Non-Profit 


Locals Choice Award – Bronze winner for Best Non-Profit 


Locals Choice Award – Gold winner for Best Non-Profit 


Colorado Mountain College Foundation – Jim Calaway Award 

Locals Choice Award – Silver winner for Best Non-Profit 


Locals Choice Award – Gold winner for Best Non-Profit 


Locals Choice Award – Gold winner for Best Non-Profit 

Chosen by Colorado Juvenile Justice Committee to represent Colorado in a nationwide study highlighting youth organizations that provide positive youth development. 


El Pomar Foundation Awards for Excellence, finalist in the youth category. 


Published in the book Information Gold Mine – Innovative Uses of Evaluation. YouthZone was chosen from 40 organizations to be the featured organization demonstrating the use of evaluation to further an agency’s work in a variety of ways. 

Recognized by the community as the Locals Choice Non-Profit. 


Recognized by the community as the Locals Choice Non-Profit. 


El Pomar Foundation Awards for Excellence, finalist in the youth category. 


Published in the book Building Supportive Communities for At-Risk Adolescents, It Takes More Than Services (chapter 13). This was national recognition as a rural youth agency that exemplifies some of the strategies determined necessary to develop effective and comprehensive services for youth. The only rural program chosen in the United States. 


National recognition at the Drug Free Schools and Communities Prevention and Technology conference in New Orleans as 1 of 10 noteworthy programs. 


Recognized by the Colorado Governors Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Council as one of the three exemplary juvenile justice projects in Colorado. 


Aspen Foundation recognition for excellence in programming particular to fundraising challenges, cost-effective management and resourcefulness in developing new funding sources. 


Teen Pal program chosen by the Prevention Information Center as 1 of 10 outstanding prevention efforts in rural Colorado. 


Lt. Governor’s award for excellence in prevention. 


Prevention Center recognition as an award winning prevention program in Colorado. 


Recognition by the National Youth Resource Center as one of 30 model youth programs in the nation. 


Twice featured in Youth Today national publication.

Featured in the Aspen Philanthropist Magazine. 

Featured in Roaring Fork Lifestyles Magazine. 


YouthZone In The News

YouthZone is grateful to local media who give us the exposure we need so we can provide the best community service. Below are recent articles, including our monthly exposure through the Glenwood Post Independent.