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Simply Talented TOP 10 Selected

by Gordon Coombes

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On December 3rd and 4th something magical happened at the Sundance Steakhouse in Fort Collins.

Over the course of 2 nights, 15 youth from throughout Northern Colorado competed in the semifinals of Simply Talented, a talent competition celebrating talented youth in our community. When it was all said and done, the judges had a tough decision to make, because on 10 contestants could move on to the Simply Talented Finals.

The competition was tough and the talent was incredible and by the end of night two, ten finalist were chosen. These incredibly talented performers will have a chance to compete in the finals for a $1,000 grand prize, including other promotional and performance opportunities.

Over the next couple months, these contestants will receive mentor-ship and production assistance and other guidance in order to make the finale performance the best it can be. We are excited to have many leaders in the arts community coming together to support these young performers take their talent to the next level.

Simply Talented Semifinals Night 1-Full Performance. Macy Warner, Hannah Roller, Kid Carry, Sarah Kouns, Polina Zaytseva, Alexa Rodriguez, Bridge Between Show Choir.

Special thanks to Rythm EFX’s Zack Klassen, KRFC’s Gregg Adams, 94.3 The X’s Shelby and 99.9 The Point’s Madi Scruggs for judging the competition. We look forward to seeing them at the finals where them and the entire audience with select the winner of the first ever Simply Talented competition.

We will be releasing information on how to purchase tickets and tables for the Simply Talented Finale in the coming days! Stayed tuned for details and don’t miss out on this awesome celebration of the youth in our community.

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You Just Got Your Get Out Of Jail Card...Now What?

By Melissa Lovato


For the last 29 years, TEAM Wellness and Prevention has provided alcohol and drug prevention services to Northern Colorado communities with programs to assist youth, young adults and families advancing toward greatness. With that success, TEAM has pushed forward taking prevention to another level.

In March of 2017, TEAM Wellness and Prevention took the opportunity to expand on prevention and treatment, when introducing the community to Rebound by TEAM Wellness and Prevention. Rebound is a fully functioning facility and fully licensed by the Office of Behavioral Health (OBH #1837-00). With a developmental approach to addressing substance use disorder, Rebound incorporates the positive, uplifting philosophy that has made TEAM the premiere substance use disorder and prevention organization.

Rebound by TEAM Wellness and Prevention offers an array of treatment programs to assist the success of consumers. Coloradoan's are well aware that there are laws against driving while impaired and becoming at risk of losing the privilege to drive. If faced with a DUI/DWAI charge and conviction, Rebound has you covered offering Level I and Level II Education and Track A-D Therapy. Rebound strives to educate on the do's and don't's before choosing to drive while under the influence.

As an addition, Rebound addresses the needs of the community for its youth and young adults with Teen Rebound. Teen Rebound offers youth who have been in trouble with the courts or their school and is also a program for the concerned parent. Teen Rebound is designed as an outpatient program for those under age 21, as education and treatment to youth who are using, experimenting, abusing or dependency of substances. Youth involved in this program are facing consequences as a result of an alcohol or other drug-related violation, usually through an arrest, court or school referral. Teen Rebound is designed for individuals to learn strategies for taking personal responsibility, for making positive, long-lasting behavior changes while incorporating interactive journals that will lead to better choices in the future.

Rebound has big plans to assist the Northern Colorado community with additional programs. In January 2019, Rebound will be introducing Sober and Searching. A program for those looking for self-help to encourage sober living and a healthy lifestyle and Family Rebound where parents can receive information in a group setting, on adolescent substance use and ways to support their child. Rebound will also offer Interlock Enhancement Counseling (IEC) for those who are ordered to drive with an Interlock device as part of the DMV process to get your driving privileges back and Level II 4+ Treatment for those who have been convicted of 4 or more impaired driving offenses. This level of treatment is considered Track F by the DMV and the Office of Behavioral Health to address individuals with a more comprehensible treatment service.

Rebound is about moving forward and learning from the choices made as individuals by promoting healthy life changes, self-awareness and increase the awareness when among our peers. The Rebound staff and licensed counselors, work together with various probation departments throughout Colorado, establish partnerships with other community agencies, and with other states in which an individual may have committed an offense, to promote a formula for the consumer to satisfy their needs without jeopardizing their future.

Rebound strongly believes in paying it forward. Since TEAM Wellness and Prevention is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, proceeds from the Rebound Programs go toward the benefits of funding the various programs that are implemented by the TEAM's Youth Program Specialists in Northern Colorado's community, schools, and non-profit agencies.

To learn more about our Rebound programs, please visit or call 970-224-9931 x1 or x710 or email



Partnership for Healthy Youth- Making an impact

by Adam Musielewicz- Coalition Director


The power of a collective community voice is vital for system change. That has and continues to be one of the values of the Partnership for Health Youth (PHY). PHY, a collaborative of community organizations and agencies, dedicated to improving the health and wellness of youth in our community, collectively advocated for modifying the school start times in Poudre School District (PSD). From both a developmental and environmental lens, creating later start times in both high school and middle school can benefit the individual wellness of students, further leading to enhanced learning environments both within and outside of the classroom. In November, the PSD Board of Education agreed and voted to modify school start times. At Team we are thankful to have a committed community of partners in our community, actively working together to support young people in Northern Larimer County. 

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Holiday Wishes

By Sarah Allison- Evaluation Director

Happy Holidays! One thing that comes clearly into focus during the holiday season is everything in our lives for which we should give thanks. This year, I would like to take the opportunity to give thanks to our amazing community and all the ways in which they inform our work.

As an evaluator, understanding the lay of the land in our community is absolutely key to ensuring that we as an organization are doing our due diligence to address the most pressing issues facing Larimer County. This would be an absolutely impossible task without the support of all the local organizations, government agencies, and engaged citizens that we call our neighbors. Recently, in an effort to illicit community feedback on the findings of our community needs assessment for DUI issues, we send out a short video of the assessment results and a survey to collect local thoughts and opinions. The generous giving of time from Larimer County residents to complete that survey gives us key perspective and knowledge of gaps that need to be addressed as we move into the strategic planning phase of our DUI project.

Even the development of the assessment itself relied on collaboration and conversation with local organizations, law enforcement, and shared data from partners. Our regular program evaluation relies on honest feedback to our surveys, our coalition evaluations rely on members taking time out of their busy workday to share their thoughts, and the development of our upcoming projects rely on community feedback to our planned strategies. Every piece of our work depends on feedback from individuals in our community sharing their perspectives with us.

As I look into 2019, I see a year with stronger data sharing between TEAM and the community with even more opportunities for you to share your thoughts with us.

We wish you the happiest of holidays and look forward to hearing from you!


Programming for prevention

The impact of Vaping in our Local schools

By Meg Rohde- Program Specialist

I often guest speak at local middle and high schools about the risks of underage and illegal substance use.  My message in these presentations is that, in adolescence, our brains are still developing and that can put us at risk for developing substance use disorders when we use substances underage.  I close by showing these classes data from across the state showing teens perceptions of peer substance use and the reality of substance use for youth in Colorado.  This is usually the moment in my presentations when I get to say, “Hey! Look how great you guys are!  The majority of you don’t drink/smoke weed/abuse prescription pills!” 

But I’ve run into a problem with this approach. 

What do I say if we aren’t doing great? 

*Enter youth vaping use in Colorado*

Did you know that our youth are vaping at twice the national average?  Colorado youth lead the nation in highest rates of youth vaping use. 

In recent months I have noticed a drastic shift in how this vaping epidemic is shaping our schools.  At one high school I visit often, teachers now have to lock single-occupant bathrooms so students can’t vape between classes.   At another middle school a teacher was telling me that he now has to be hyper-aware of who is asking to use the bathroom and when, as he has realized that several students step out to vape in the middle of class.  Other teachers have mentioned that they notice a difference in students affects throughout the day, attributing it to the highs and lows of nicotine use.


I think that we are about to see a huge influx in education and policy surrounding youth vaping use in our communities.  I know that my message to youth in our community is changing.  I will always work to focus on the positive with youth in our community, but now that message is going to come with facts about the risks of vaping and the importance of saying no.  

To learn more about vaping and how to talk with your own kids visit these great resources provided by Larimer County!



Parenting Partnerships

Your Life on BrainWise: Part 9

By Jane Wilson- Parent Engagement Specialist

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When faced with an opportunity to make a decision, the first step is to Identify Your Choices – last month we learned that people who tend to rely on their Lizard Brain often act as if they have only one option. People who use thinking skills realize they have many choices. When you learn to identify all your choices, you send signals to your Wizard Brain for analysis, and it uses the banks of information it has stored.

Understanding and accepting responsibility of our decisions requires that we also Consider the Consequences of our choices. When examining our choices, we must consider consequences now, consequences later, and consequences affecting others.

The first seven Wise Ways have laid the groundwork for this success. We often tell children to consider the consequences of their actions but we do not teach them how to do this. It is an advanced level of thinking for children. Through learning about consequences, kids will understand that a choice that may not seem as good now can look better later. As an adult, we certainly know this life lesson. Sometimes the tougher choice is the best choice and it does not necessarily feel good until sometime in the future.

Only when we pause from impulsive behavior, a complex process that involves the previous Wise Ways, can we consider the consequences of our choices and the impact that our choices have on others. With tools that help us STOP and THINK, we can consider that what may seem like a good choice now, might not be in our best interest later.

To help young people discover that they are responsible for their choices, we should not tell them, “That’s a bad choice,” but instead we teach them how to assess the consequences and decide for themselves whether a choice will bring a good result. We do this because when kids recognize that they have more than one choice, it sets in motion a series of thinking processes in their brain. It takes into consideration the present as well as the future and the impact their choices have on other people. Kids think in the here and now – they rarely consider the consequences of the future.

It is important to emphasize the immediate and long-term consequences of actions. The part of the brain responsible for future thinking (the Wizard Brain) is still developing. If you talk about how your child’s actions influence both the present and the future, you can help the healthy development of your child’s prefrontal cortex.

For more information on Engaging Families and the BrainWise program, email

RAR News

Responsible Holidays

By Nathan Dewey- RAR Program Specialist

The holiday season is upon us once again! It is the time of year when we find ourselves out on the town, or at a private party or work party, with family and friends enjoying all that is good in our lives, the past year we have had and more, all the while partaking in some delicious beverages or other fine assortment of legal goodies in our community. TEAM and RAR definitely want you to be merry, celebrate and have a lot of fun during this holiday season, but one of the main missions of RAR is to make sure, that if you are out there having such fun, that you have an opportunity to get home safely as well. This not only protects you, but it also helps protect the business owners and their staff, so that they may keep providing a safe place for serving libations for such festive times.

RAR helps provide and facilitate several different ways to make sure you do get that ride home safely when the party is over. One of the things we have been using, for a few years now and are continually updating, is our self-developed “Safe Ways Home” cards. The Safe Ways Home card provides several different ways for a person to find a safe ride home in our community. Simply call one of the numbers on the back, or use the QR code on the front of the card to pull it up on your phone or smart device.


We also have a very close and special relationship with Z-Trip / Yellow Cab. Through our close relationship with them, we have been able to give all of our member’s access to a RAR only code that provides $10 off any ride you take on Z-Trip/Yellow Cab. This code can be used once per person, per month, as in accordance to Z Trip/Yellow Cab. All you need to do is simply download the Z-Trip App and enter the code. The $10 off donation is automatically put towards your ride home. This has been a great and very effective donation that Z-Trip has made to TEAM/RAR and the community-at-large.


We also have a close relationship with RamRide, which is a student run Colorado State University transportation program that provides rides for the students and even non-students in our community. Through the use of the hotline, people can call them for a ride to anywhere in Ft. Collins area free of charge.

Another one of our partners, Transfort, provides public transportation, for either free or for a buck or two, throughout the community and specifically caters to the student population, as well they are continually updating hours and areas of service to better serve the community.

Finally, I think it is good to take notice that we no longer live in a community where 20 years ago you had only a few options to get home, like wait 3 hours for a cab, walk or drive drunk. Through services such as Uber or Lyft, or any number of the options offered in this article, there is absolutely no reason why anyone should ever be drinking and driving in our community. If you would like further information on any of these safe rides home or you would like to become a member of our RAR association, please contact us and we would be more than happy to help. Have a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and New Year from all of us here at TEAM and RAR.




By Gordon Coombes- Executive Director


This brings me to the last part of this series and one of the most important. One of greatest challenges that I have faced over the last 4 ½ years as the Executive Director of a substance use disorder prevention organization is changing the community paradigm of what prevention programming looks like. The challenge is that most funders and donors are focused on our individual programming or what we call individual-level strategies.

These individual-level prevention approaches focus on helping people, mostly youth, to develop knowledge, attitudes and skills that they need to change their behavior. Most often this level of programming include classes or presentations on healthy behaviors and lifestyles. In 2009, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report on preventable mental, emotional and behavioral problems in young people and found that effective classroom-based programs:

·         Focus on life and social skills

·         Focus on direct and indirect (social) influences on substance use

·         Involve interactions among participants

·         Emphasize norms for, and a social commitment to, not using drugs

·         Include community components

·         Are delivered primarily by peer leaders

·         Emphasize the benefit of building life skills and social resistance

While TEAM does do quite a bit of this type of work, the impact of that is relatively low. The volume of young people that we can impact is limited by our staff resources and access to youth in need of services.

Therefore, TEAM also incorporates broader environmental strategies in an effort to prevent substance use disorder in our community. Prevention professionals use environmental strategies to change the conditions within a community, including physical, social, or cultural factors that may lead to substance use. For example, prevention planners may decide to target laws or norms that are favorable towards alcohol misuse or illegal substance use. Environmental strategies are most effective when implemented as part of a comprehensive approach.

Environmental strategies include communication and education strategies, which seek to influence community norms by raising awareness and creating community support for prevention. Environmental strategies may also use enforcement and policy methods to deter people and organizations from illegal substance use.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), communication and education strategies are messages communicated through media to influence how the public thinks and behaves.  Communications strategies—public education, social marketing, media advocacy, and media literacy—can be used to influence community norms, increase public awareness, and attract community support for a variety of prevention issues.

Enforcement and policy methods are closely connected. Policy implementation without enforcement can often be unsuccessful. Effective enforcement requires visibility. People need to see that substance use prevention is a community priority and that violating related laws and regulations will result in consequences.

SAMHSA’s examples of enforcement strategies include but are not limited to:

Enforcement strategies may include:

·         Surveillance. May include the use of compliance checks and other efforts to determine if people are complying with existing laws. Examples of surveillance environmental strategies to address underage drinking include prohibiting sales to minors (link is external) and compliance checks (covert underage buyer programs) (link is external).

·         Penalties, fines, and detention. These strategies create consequences for people or institutions that don’t comply with an existing policy.

·         Community policing. Encourages citizens and community members to participate in prevention efforts. This could include neighborhood watches, efforts to remove sources of alcohol or drugs, or partnering with law enforcement to discourage underage drinking and substance use.

·         Incentives. Incentives offer rewards that reinforce healthy behaviors, such as drug education programs for children that include stickers and other small prizes.


Using this multi-level approach allows TEAM to have a much greater impact on substance use disorder in our community and thus help more youth to navigate the pitfalls that come with the misuse and abuse of substances. The best way to understand the broader impact that environmental strategies have versus individual strategies is to simply look at the numbers of youth served by TEAM, directly versus indirectly. Last year TEAM directly served, using individual-level strategies, over 740 youth with 5 staff members. This is truly impressive and we are very proud of our individual programs as we know they are effective and make lasting impacts on the youth who we served. However, last year, using environmental strategies, TEAM indirectly served over 41,000 youth with essentially two staff members and community collaborators.

As I said before, funders and donors like to fund individual strategies however, I have come to understand that environmental strategies have the greatest impact for the dollar. The challenge is getting many funders and donors to shift their paradigm with us in the prevention world.



Upcoming TEAM Events

Keep up to date on what events are happening at TEAM Wellness & Prevention. This section provides information about events and programs that are open to the general population and afford the community a chance to get involve with all things TEAM.  


RAR Hopping and Geeks WHo Drink Trivia

Join TEAM and Geeks Who Drink for Trivia on December 27, 2018. Support our Responsible Retailers and play trivia with a all your friends!

#rarhopping #RAR #teamwellnessandprevention #responsibility