Over the course of a year, our circle of supportive Influencers set goals together, foster accountability, and implement a plan to create lasting change with youth aging out of foster care in Colorado.
“I turned 18 a month before I graduated from high school. The day after graduation, I was kicked out of my foster home, where I had been living for two years. I was 18, a high school graduate on my way to college in the fall, and I was homeless.” — Nicole, former foster youth | Youth Stories
Without positive Influencers to navigate next steps, many foster youth find themselves homeless, drug addicted, pregnant and/or in jail. The Colorado Teen Project takes one year to create significant life changes for youth who are ready to be an equal partner as they plan for the next stage in life.
After three years, we recognize that a peer group of 4-6 Influencers, or a “circle of support”, in the areas of education, vocation planning, housing, mindfulness training, and health and wellness are critical to creating long-term positive outcomes for the youth we serve.
At the core of Project:SELF-START we offer sustainable mentoring relationships by partnering youth with goal-oriented, supportive mentors. Workshops, career assessments, skills training and assistance surrounding stability and career exploration support a journey toward opportunity and self-discovery while building a positive growth mindset.
Project:GROW empowers underserved youth through garden-based education. CTP works with youth in transition to become gardeners, harvesters and potential team leaders for Colorado-based community gardens and farms — reinforcing sustainable organic gardening, healthy business practices and responsible leadership.
Through guided mindfulness practices with area practitioners, youth learn how to settle a busy mind, direct and sustain attention, explore limiting thoughts, build a positive growth mindset and culivate compassion with their peers. Research shows that practicing mindfulness benefits the body and mind.