Event aims to offer teens role models

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— Grand Futures Prevention Coalition is teaming with the Steamboat Springs Parks and Recreation Department to host a picnic Saturday with the goal of building bridges between teens and adults.

Colleen Lyon, Routt County director for Grand Futures, said a survey of Steamboat Springs High School students revealed teens don't feel the community values them and that they lack role models.

"Our long-term goal is to develop a youth council for Routt County," she said. "One of our short-term goals is that youth were really lacking places to go. So, we decided to do one big event at the end of the summer to provide a common ground for teens and adults."

Saturday's event, which is from noon to 3 p.m., will feature free food, volleyball, badminton and music from JACK FM.

"There's no schedule of events - just a good time," Lyon said. "Information on how to promote teen building block assets will be there as well."

Lyon said the asset concept is simple and based on the principle that young people need positive external supports and internal strengths to succeed in life. She said there are 40 assets - 20 internal and 20 external - that must be nourished to contribute to a healthy community for everybody.

"Assets are things such as whether the youth are valued by the community, whether youth have positive role models and how they feel about their community and family," she said. "Getting teens and adults together is what asset building is all about."

Lyon added that any parent or adult can be a role model to kids. Sometimes it's as easy as saying "hi."

"I hope that out of the event we kick-start healthy relationships between teens and adults," she said.

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