Grant allows Eagle River Youth Coalition to grow |

Grant allows Eagle River Youth Coalition to grow

The Eagle River Youth Coalition recently received a grant from the Denver-based Daniels Foundation. The grant will help the Youth Coalition expand its programs for local teens and their parents.

EAGLE COUNTY — The Eagle River Youth Coalition will be expanding its services, collaboration and outreach thanks to a substantial grant from the Daniels Fund, a private charitable foundation committed to improving lives. Dedicated to keeping youth a priority, the Daniels Fund will help the organization expand its reach.

“We are honored and thrilled to have received this grant from the Daniels Fund,” Michelle Stecher, Eagle River Youth Coalition’s Executive Director, said. “The grant will impact many facets of youth and parents in Eagle County.”

everyone wins

The Eagle River Youth Coalition is already known for its impactful parenting programs, its commitment to youth through various initiatives, its seminars for business and nonprofit community members and its overall dedication to community collaboration. With additional resources earmarked from the grant, everyone wins.

The Youth Coalition will increase collaboration and collective efforts by leading creation of a community-wide youth master plan that aligns all strategies and resources to have one collective vision for the future of our youth throughout the county. Stakeholders from across the community will help to identify needs and goals to address so that young people can grow in as healthy and positive an environment possible.

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The Youth Coalition will expand its youth substance use prevention program across the entire community. Results will include an increase in the number of young people receiving prevention education, starting in elementary school, as well as sharing information with youth transitioning or starting college.

“We already work with over 650 middle and high schoolers through in-school substance abuse prevention programs. Evidence shows that we need to start prevention discussions earlier. We look forward to kicking off the 2017-18 school year by bringing an age-appropriate curriculum to elementary school-aged children,” Mikayla Curtis, manager of strategic impact, said.

kids aren’t the only benefits

For youth who show early signs of substance use, Eagle River Youth Coalition will work with local partners to develop an early intervention strategy, encouraging healthy decision making while addressing motivational reasons behind substance use.

Young people aren’t the only ones who will benefit from the funding. Eagle River Youth Coalition aims to expand parent efforts to add a youth education component that will occur simultaneously with the parent curriculum, so the entire family can learn similar strategies to work on together at home, creating a more positive home environment.

Additionally, the group will expand its reach for youth development professionals by increasing training offered to them to prevent substance use disorders. Expanded efforts to educate employers and improve workplace policies that promote healthy and safe behaviors, geared toward younger employees are also on the to-do list. For example, instead of happy hour for team building, perhaps a team can take a ski day or participate in a neighborhood clean-up.

“We have already started working on an action plan. The community will benefit from our efforts,” Stecher said. “We’re so grateful for this opportunity and excited to create change with a collaborative approach.”

The Daniels Fund, established by cable television pioneer Bill Daniels, is a private charitable foundation dedicated to making life better for the people of Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming through its grants program, scholarship program and ethics initiative. Go to to learn more.

To learn more about the Eagle River Youth Coalition’s mission, programs and outreach, go to

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