In recognition of National Mentoring month, Aurora Youth Options sponsored a mentor Friendraiser Thursday January 21, 2016. The venue was Bar Louie in the Northfield shopping area, and AYO had a great turn out! Guests were treated to delicious food and appetizers, current mentor/mentee matches presented their stories, and guests were also treated to the “Sky is the Limit” song by local rap artist Tyrone Crawford.
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On Tuesday December 8th, AYO hosted their second collaborative holiday party with other organizations in the Hoffman building, inviting all of the Aurroa community, as well as our homework help and tutoring program, mentors, mentees, and their families. With over 200 people in attendance, we gave away some awesome raffle prizes, were provided with lots of yummy food for the potluck, and watched as families got the opportunity to take a holiday picture from our photo booth and make crafts for their loved ones. What a great success!
On Saturday, October 3rd, many of AYO's mentors and mentees participated in our annual Extended Event- A Ropes Course Challenge by Choice. Both youth and adults stepped up to the challenges inherent in a high and low ropes course at West Pines Training Center in Wheat Ridge. Everyone had a role to play, whether it was cheerleading, belaying, or climbing, and matches were able to overcome some of their fears, working together to complete different obstacles throughout the day. Everyone left feeling rejuvenated in their relationships with each other, trust built, and confidence lifted.
AYO participated in Aurora's 1st Annual Peace March that was dedicated to promoting peace and community all over the city. Over 15 agencies and community members walked from Aurora Central High School, to Spencer Garrett Park to show their support for the community. The rest of the day was spent at the park where a resource fair was held for families, games were played between youth and members of the Aurora Police Department, and a new level of community was reached with the surrounding neighborhood.
AYO partnered with Health Consciousness LLC and the University of Colorado Anschutz and Wellness Center to provide 22 youth the Health Consciousness Ambassador Program. Youth attended a full day camp for four Thursdays in July learning about health and wellness and how to be leaders in their community. The program curriculum including: nutrition, cooking classes, fitness, mindfulness, stress prevention/management techniques, meditation, yoga, personality types, leadership, health careers and community resources. The youth graduated on July 27th with 40 people in attendance!
AYO set up a focus group for the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA). They ae working on calibrating an awareness campaign and curriculum, Friends Do Make A Difference, which is currently targeted to college students of Asian and Pacific Island decent to be used with a diverse population of High School students. To learn more about the campaign go to the NAAPIMHA website: http://naapimha.org/friends-do-make-a-difference/.
Congratulations to an AYO Mentor Program match! Israel, an AYO mentee was on the first place team at the Junior Achievement's Business Week. Ed Cleaver, his mentor, helped him prepare for the week.
Aurora Youth Options had the opportunity on May 11th to provide one of our families involved in the mentor program with some great new pairs of shoes thanks to a donation through Aurora Mental Health Center at one of our local Payless Shoe Stores! Thank you Payless from AYO and our families!
May 1, 2015 Aurora Mental Health held the 11th annual Spring Luncheon, Living Life to the Fullest. It was an amazing event honoring the stories of several AYO participants, enjoying lunch and all topped off with the comedy routines of The Second City.
Billie Jo Roach was recognized on April 14th as the Volunteer of the Year by the Colorado Child and Adolescent Mental Health Coalition. Billie Jo received this recognition based on her volunteer experience as a mentor with the AYO Mentor Program. She has been matched with her mentee for one year and during this time has employed several creative ways of building a relationship with and challenging her mentee.