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Raising Youth Voices with VOIHCE

Raising Youth Voices with VOIHCE

When it comes to youth sexual health education, it’s good to pause and remember that this work should always be grounded in youth experiences and youth insights. That’s why the work of Kids First Health Care - a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to improving the health and well-being of infants, children, and youth - is so impressive. Maria Zubia and Jordan Goto from Kids First are here to tell us more!

Meet Jill!

Meet Jill!

March 2, 2017

Colorado Youth Matter has a new Capacity Building Manager! With a passion for social justice, an incredible two years of service in Albania with the Peace Corps, and experience teaching the TOP curriculum in Illinois, Jill Conway is an exciting addition to CYM's team - and we wanted you to know a little more about her. That's why we sat down with Jill to learn more about her experiences, her opinions, and her passions.


A Season of Change

A Season of Change

By Andrea Miller, Executive Director
February 23, 2017

We’re only two months into 2017, but those two months have been a whirlwind of near-constant change. The transition from President Obama’s administration to President Trump’s has been a bit rocky, to say the least, and a shock to the country’s system. Politicians seem to have lost their sense of direction, more beholden to big money than to their constituents; meanwhile, leaks and political scandals have been relentless, hitting the media at a breakneck pace. This undefined noise has permeated all aspects of daily life, and has forced all of us - as individuals and as communities - to reassess priorities and to adapt to this new reality.

Teen Dating Violence: Raising Awareness

Teen Dating Violence: Raising Awareness

February 16, 2017

Did you know that one in three adolescents in the United States has experienced physical, sexual, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner? Or that nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year?

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and to shed light on this important issue we decided to ask an expert about it. Michelle Gagnon is a Domestic Violence Advocate with SafeHouse Denver. We sat down with Michelle and got her perspective on teen dating violence and the role sex ed and trusted adults can play.

Where Do We Go from Here?

Where Do We Go from Here?

Andrea Miller, Executive Director
January 26, 2017

On January 21st, 2017, over 200,000 peaceful protestors marched to Denver’s Civic Center Park. Cheers rolled over the crowd like waves, starting at the front and traveling whole city blocks as the women’s march moved through the city. An electric urgency and sense of purpose crackled throughout the day. Together with our children, neighbors, and partners, we marched for our freedoms, for our rights, and for our future.

No Competition

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Image credit: J. Higgins, Colorado Youth Matter

Decades of research show that when it comes to youth sexual health education, there’s no competition. 

Picking Apart Polls

Picking Apart Polls

By Blaire Ward, Evaluation Coordinator
January 12, 2017

Last week, the abstinence-only group Ascend released a report claiming that the majority of Americans oppose current sex education policy in the United States, and support “sexual risk avoidance” (abstinence-only) initiatives. Colorado Youth Matter immediately published a press release pointing out the flaws in Ascend’s conclusions, largely due to their sloppy and unethical methodology in conducting the survey.

2017: Choose Resistance

2017: Choose Resistance

By Andrea Miller, Executive Director
January 5, 2017

It’s a new year, which means it’s time for new year’s resolutions! On top of our resolutions to eat better or donate more, we can - and should - also make resolutions in regards to sexual health education.

Reflections on 2016

Reflections on 2016

By Andrea Miller, Executive Director
December 29, 2016

For Colorado Youth Matter, 2016 was a year of vision, determination, and accomplishment. As we prepare for 2017, I’d like to take some time to reflect on CYM's work over the past year, and the state of sexual health education in Colorado.

The Best of 2016

The Best of 2016

2016 was a year of growth, vision, and optimism in the field of youth sexual health education, and especially here at Colorado Youth Matter. As we enter the new year, it's important to reflect on lessons learned and carry them into the future - which is why we've compiled our top 5 blogs from 2016 that challenged the status quo and dug deep into some tricky topics. We hope revisiting these issues - including sexting, consent, and virginity - will keep you motivated and ready for the challenges and opportunities of 2017!

Sexual Dysfunction in Sex Ed

Sexual Dysfunction in Sex Ed

By Holly Ponton and Blaire Ward
December 14, 2016

In recent weeks we’ve discussed teaching pleasure in sex ed, how to frame that conversation with asexuality in mind, and we tackled difficulties with discussing pleasure in one of our recent TRUST blogs. But in doing some research, our evaluation coordinator, Blaire Ward, discovered that there’s yet another piece missing to this conversation: what about youth who are experiencing sexual dysfunction?

It's not like the movies

It's not like the movies

By Lorena Garcia, Director of Development
December 1, 2016

I laugh and sometimes cringe over how I see the social sector portrayed on TV or in the movies. The character from the social sector is usually a woman who is highly educated, who has memorized obscure philosophers she quotes on occasion. She is depicted as disheveled, often unorganized with frumpy clothing and an office that looks like a wind storm just blew through it. Her car? Most likely a pinto that requires her to kick the door three times and then say a magic word over the hood for it to start. The organization where she works is usually in a building that is about to be condemned because it doesn’t have any running water or heat.

Happy Thanksgiving from Colorado Youth Matter!

Happy Thanksgiving from Colorado Youth Matter!

By Andrea Miller, Executive Director
November 24, 2016

This year in particular, we find ourselves digging deep to reflect on what's important to our communities, our families, and to ourselves. With some of us still reeling from the impact of recent events, it's easy to become lost in the confusion and clutter of social media, the news and conversations around the water cooler. The need to give thanks seems more important than ever this Thanksgiving. It's important to take time to relax and enjoy each other's company during the holidays. Consider this Thanksgiving a reset for the soul.

I want to take a moment of your time to tell you just a few of the things we at Colorado Youth Matter are thankful for.

Coming Together for Homeless Youth

Coming Together for Homeless Youth

By Becca Bolden, Director of Grants Management
November 17, 2016

Last week, I had the privilege to represent Colorado Youth Matter at the Metro-Denver Forum on Homelessness Experienced by Youth, hosted by the Federal Regional Council on Homelessness for Region VIII. The day began with a forceful call to action considering that the election had occurred the night before; regardless of the election results, it didn’t change the fact that there were over 2,000 unaccompanied youth statewide and over 24,000 students lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate primary nighttime residence. Our work and collaboration is as important as ever before.

We Will Stand Together for Our Youth

We Will Stand Together for Our Youth

By Andrea Miller, Executive Director
November 10, 2016

Throughout the day yesterday I listened to the media, friends, and colleagues dissect and analyze what happened on Tuesday night. There was disbelief, shock, sadness, and anger. Morning traffic was lighter on Wednesday, as if people were staying home to mourn, regroup, or just keep the rest of the world out with the curtains closed. I don’t blame them. I, too, felt that sadness and disbelief. I thought I had woken up in an alternate universe. I was sure that we would find out there was some sort of computer glitch. Alas, this is our new reality. So what do we do now? Do we sit and mire in the grief over the next four years? Do we assume there’s nothing we can do, but wait for time to pass? Quite the contrary. This is a time for action, a time to move swiftly as advocates and supporters for the youth in our state.

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