WHAT WE DO MATTERS By Meg Rohde- Program Specialist

Through my role at Team I’ve been working with youth in our community on substance use prevention for over 2.5 years.  The main point I try to drive home in any of my programs or presentation is the following:

What we do matters. 

What we do matters for our future.  Our choices, actions, and consequences impact who we are tomorrow.  For worse or for better.

What we do matters for the development of our brains.  The majority of addictions begin in adolescence because our brains are still developing during this time.  Everything we learn, master, and do shape how our brains will be. For. Life. (…for the most part.)

What we do shapes who we are. 

And then it hit me.  For the last 2 years I was preaching that what we do matters and I wasn’t giving the youth I worked with much opportunity to do.  Why? Because it’s hard to get creative with a lesson plan in the confines of a class room and 45 minutes.  Because we work in the world of non-profits and underfunded schools.  And because, as it turns out, I was just waiting for an opportunity to come around the corner.

This fall, opportunity came.  And ironically, it came through the work I do providing our Define program to students at an alternative school at Poudre High School called Opportunities Unlimited.  I have worked with this program in the past and absolutely love what it provides to the students who attend. 

Opportunities Unlimited works with students who just didn’t make it in traditional school for one reason or another.  The program helps these students complete their high school diplomas while introducing them to a variety of career options and eventually, enrolling them at Front Range Community College free of charge.   

So, with the chance for me to provide the Define program again this semester, I decided I could finally practice what I preach.  That what we DO matters. 

This fall, in addition to the Define program curriculum, I finally got the opportunity to introduce this group to healthy meaningful activities that they might be interested in taking up as hobbies.  Because what we DO matters.  So far we have explored parkour, DJing, boxing, yoga, disc golf, and roller derby.  And let me tell you, it is so cool to see these young people exploring a new activity for the first time and it feels great to final practice what you preach! 

Melissa Lovato