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.
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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.
AYO's volunteers have allowed us to serve 6,000 youth in the past six years offering each youth individualized support. Volunteers meet one-on-one with youth serving as mentors and tutors, as well as helping in the office with program development and connecting with our clients. On Wednesday April 1st, in honor of National Volunteer Recognition Month, we celebrated the accomplishments and impacts our volunteers have on the Aurora community. Thirty-five volunteers and friends were in attendance at Joe's Crab Shack to hear several volunteers share what they do for AYO and the successes th
Thanks to Payless' annual shopping day for Aurora Mental Health Center, 11 youth got some new footwear. AYO youth and their siblings were invited to select a shoe of their choice. Most selected sneakers and one little sister got some golden sandals. AYO supports middle and high school aged youth, helping them overcome life's challenges. The Payless' shopping day stretches family budgets and enriches their children's lives by this opportunity. Thank you, Payless, from AYO families!