Meeting focuses on helping teenagers

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— Raising a teenager isn't always easy, which is why local nonprofit organizations banded together to create a program aimed at helping parents and others foster healthy choices among teens.

A Youth Wellness Initiative working meeting is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. today at Yampa Valley Medical Center. The meeting is intended to gauge what Routt County parents are interested in learning to help their teens make smart decisions.

Colleen Lyon, Routt County director for Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, is hoping parents and community members will attend the meeting to provide input.

"Our main goal is to build a collaborative effort between parents, the schools and the community to help foster healthy lifestyles among local youth," she said. "There seems to be a gap there."

Two Steamboat Springs High School counselors will be at the meeting, she said.

Lyon said the meeting will focus on developing long-term goals as well as developing an active, dedicated parent task force to create a monthly parent speaker series.

"We're really looking for parents who are passionate about the issue and want to do something about it," she said. "There's a lot of talk about what should be done about our kids but we need people to get behind some of those ideas."

Nancy Mucklow, a mother of two Steamboat Springs High School students and chairwoman of the Parent Information Committee, said it's important for parents to attend the meeting, even if their teens don't want them to.

"It takes a village to raise our children," she said. "If we don't have interested parents, we're missing an integral part of the puzzle."

The Yampa Valley Com-munity Foundation, North-west Colorado Visiting Nurse Association and The Colorado Trust also are involved in the initiative. Tonight's meeting is a follow-up meeting to one that was held about two months ago, Lyon said.

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