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Simply awesome

by Jane Wilson, Engaging Family Specialist

If you ask TEAM staff what the best part of Simply Talented was, it was not the gourmet food, a captivating performance on stage, or the fact that this event raised over $40,000 for our organization. (These all (of course) rank high on the list!). The best moment came backstage after the last performer, Macy, walked off the stage. A few of the other contestants ran to her and congratulated her on her performance, and within seconds, all 12 Simply Talented acts formed a circle around each other, put their hands in the middle, and yelled “Simply Talented!” At that moment, they were bonded together from a powerful, shared experience.

This moment embodies why we created Simply Talented. It is a celebration of youth in our community. It is a celebration of the youth talent that is undiscovered. It is a celebration of youth rising up and choosing to live a life free of substance use. Our mission at TEAM is to empower youth to live healthy and vibrant lives, free from substance misuse and dependency. Simply Talented was so much more than an annual fundraiser; it allowed us to put our mission into action. We certainly could not have done this without our loyal sponsors, invested partners, and every single attendee who came to cheer our contestants on.


TEAM would like to congratulate and thank of of our contestants and the hard work each of you put in to get to the finale. We appreciate you and your talents and hope to see you next year!.

We can’t end this without congratulating our winners of Simply Talented 2019!

1st Place: Macy Warner

2nd Place: Bran Schneider

3rd Place: John Hebert

TEAM Wellness and Prevention look forward to 2020 Simply Talented, where we get to witness first hand a community coming together and our youth lifting each other up and celebrating one another.

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On how you can participate in Simply Talented 2020 please contact or by calling 970-224-9931 ext 710


Define Youth Partners: Team would like to recognize these organizations who have partnered with our Define Youth program to educate youth on a variety of healthy, alternative activities available to them within our community!

Programming for prevention


By Meg Rohde- Program Specialist

The Thompson Teens United group geared up for some face-to-face presentation time with middle schoolers in TSD.  In January these teens received training on the Thompson Teens United presentation in preparation for going into middle schools to speak directly with students about the science of addictions and how to live healthy, substance free lifestyles. 

Now, several months later, our Thompson Teens United group has reached just under five hundred TSD middle school youth through these presentations.  In addition to these presentations, the group’s 8’ x 8’ mural traveled with the group to Conrad Ball Middle school where it sat on display in the schools main common area. 

The purpose of these presentations is to get conversations started between these middle school youth and the Thompson Teens United high schoolers around substance use and the reality of teen use in our community.  When middle schoolers realized that most youth aren’t choosing to engage in substance use, they are more likely to decide to abstain as well!



team fashion


A Sneak Peak Into the Summer

by Melissa Lovato, Program Assistant

This summer program is offered to children who attend the Boys and Girls Clubs of Larimer County and developed though TEAM Wellness and Prevention in 2015.

TEAM Fashion is a program outside of sports or other academic ventures. As a free alternative activity for children of all ages and genders, this evidence-based program provides many benefits for children and young adults through the lens of fashion.

In a 10-week course called BrainWise, TEAM Fashion participants will benefit in these activities by building higher levels of self-confidence, develop social skills, discuss and form necessary tools to make healthy choices. The participants will be involved in open discussions about the consequences of actions, bullying, and friendships. TEAM Fashion includes engaging in activities to help promote positive body image, goal-setting and reaching those goals as well as long-term life skills while practicing for a fashion show at the end of the course.

TEAM Fashion is to help children become more aware of the problems that they face and how to handle those problems by embracing and practicing positive solutions.

For more information on how to be involved with TEAM Fashion, please contact Natasia Lovato, Youth Program Specialist by email at or by calling TEAM's office at 970-224-9931 ext 0 (zero)



Reaching your goals requires you to use all of the Wise Ways and apply awareness of them to not only yourself, but to those you interact with as well. Last month we learned that Setting Goals and Plans for Action helps connect our choices with the consequences of those choices.

Wise Way #10 is Communicating Effectively. This Wise Way completes the set of thinking skills needed to make wise decisions. Effective communication involves the simultaneous use of all the Wise Ways. Communicating is a complex task! BrainWise breaks it down into three parts:

Nonverbal Communication

  • This includes body messages such as eye contact, facing the speaker, and using appropriate facial expressions and hand gestures.

  • Good thinkers are aware of the messages they are sending through body language and recognize that nonverbal behavior can send both red flags and positive messages.

Verbal Communication

  • Ideally goes hand in hand with body language. Many people do not realize when their verbal and nonverbal messages do not align.

  • To help send clear messages, avoid Double Messages where you are saying one thing but your body messages are communicating something else.

  • Do use “I” Messages where the speaker takes responsibility for feelings rather than attacking the other person. “You” statements can be threatening and blame the other person. Instead of saying, “You never listen to me!” say, “I want to be heard and I feel like I’m not.”

Assertive Communication

  • Detects other’s faulty thinking and carefully gauges how to handle problems. This takes practice and the ability to understand another person’s point of view.

  • Wizard Brain thinkers use assertive communication by assessing a situation before making a statement and matching their body language with their verbal communication. They make their position clear but without intimidation. Their statements are confident, intelligent and fair.

What gets in the way of effective communication? When we see an iceberg, the portion that is visible above water is, in reality, only a small piece of a much larger whole. This visualization is a powerful tool in understanding people with empathy and compassion.

Above the surface is our words, actions and reactions. Below the surface is our values, attitudes, feelings and beliefs about our self and others. Our traditions, culture, and trauma we may have experienced in our lives.  The important part of us that no one sees. It is important to keep this in mind as you interact with your children and others.



Parenting Partnerships

Your Life on BrainWise: Part 11

By Jane Wilson- Parent Engagement Specialist


With all 10 Wise Ways, you now have the tools to help make a lifetime of wise decisions. Remember that it takes practice and consistency to make Wise Ways a habit.

10 Wise Ways in Review

Wise Way 1: Wizard Brain over Lizard Brain

Wise Way 2: Constellation of Support

Wise Way 3: Recognizing Red Flags

Wise Way 4: Exiting the Emotions Elevator

Wise Way 5: Separating Fact from Opinion

Wise Way 6: Asking Questions and Gathering Information

Wise Way 7: Identify Your Choices

Wise Way 8: Consider Consequences

Wise Way 9: Setting Goals and Plans for Action

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

RAR News

rar’ing into boulder

By Nathan Dewey- RAR Program Specialist


It has been some time coming, and much hard work involved, we are delighted to announce that the Boulder and Boulder County Communities are officially a part of RAR! In cooperation with the City of Boulder, Boulder County, and TEAM Wellness & Prevention, the Responsible Association of Retailers (RAR) formally introduced Boulder and Boulder County communities.

We are thrilled to be taking the next big step for the RAR program and into another large university community, where we feel our history and experience will come into play, helping to make Boulder and the Boulder County communities a safer place. Boulder already had a tremendous responsible retailer program, called the Responsible Hospitality Group of Boulder (RHG), which is presently being absorbed into the RAR Chapter of Boulder. After visiting with many of the retailers, from the RHG, we can see that they have been working hard in their establishments, and we are looking forward to helping and continuing their efforts. The RHG will be joining with RAR and take their members, and the community to the next level of responsibility.

For those of you who may not understand what RAR is, I would invite you to join in on one of our meetings, events or training. Here is a little taste of what RAR is among the regular events and training we hold, and a few things included in the membership:


Every other month, we hold meetings exclusively for our RAR Members. These meetings are a time for the members to come together and learn or discuss something specific to their area of alcohol or marijuana service and sales. It is also an excellent time for the members to come together, outside of their competitive barriers, and discuss issues or topics, which might be affecting everyone in our community.

These meetings are very productive including a time that brings us closer together as an association. Each Chapter attends 6 to 8 meetings a year, 2 of which include all the members, known as our ALL RAR meeting.


TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures) is the global leader in education and training for the responsible service, sale, and consumption of alcohol. TIPS is a skills-based training program that is designed to prevent intoxication, underage drinking, and drunk driving. RAR provides TIPS training for all facets of the alcohol industry including On Premise, Off Premise, University, Concessions and more. RAR provides monthly scheduled training for all of these, and often there are extra expected training throughout the year to adequately train every participating community.


Our newest social event to promote and highlight the relationship between a RAR member, programs in the organization, and combined efforts in providing and creating a safer community. RAR BAR is a way we can have some adult fun, while we give back to the RAR member for their support of what we are doing at TEAM Wellness & Prevention. RAR Bar events are going to feature a RAR member who has been in full support of TEAM Wellness and Prevention or are new and eager to help



Approximately every month, a RAR member may receive an ID Compliance "check" to practice the interaction of ID’ing patrons wholly and responsibly. The participants are of legal age, between 21 and 26 yrs old, and are sent into a participating members business to be ID’ed if buying cannabis, alcohol or order an alcoholic beverage in a restaurant/bar environment. If properly ID'd by the establishment receives a green card which serves as a passing grade

If the participant sent into the place is NOT properly ID’ed, the establishment receives a red card, which is a violation. Either the participant was not ID’ed at all, or ID’ed improperly. Red or green carded brings an excellent opportunity for discussion on the topic and provides a more responsible atmosphere.


TenderWise is the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED), and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) certified Responsible Vendor Training. The Responsible Association of Retailers wrote and developed this program, under the guidance of the MED and CDPHE. This class provides cannabis industry budtenders, managers, and owners with education on Colorado marijuana laws, policies, procedures, and responsibility. This class is designed to help responsibly sell cannabis, and cannabis-infused products in our Colorado legalized and regulated environment. Particular attention is to prevent youth access, reducing at-risk activities and other harms that bring negative attention to the industry. We want to help partner with the cannabis industry for responsible use and sale. RAR provides regular scheduled monthly training for this program, and often extra training offered throughout the year to make sure every community is covered





by Adam Musielewicz- Coalition Director


Openness and discussion are important components of any group effort. It is the same with No DUI Larimer, a Team Wellness & Prevention project focused on ended impaired driving in our community. One of the most valuable assets of this project is the expertise, commitment, and collaboration of the No DUI Larimer Steering Committee. The multi-disciplinary group, a broad cross-section of professional and personal backgrounds, have been instrumental in guiding the goals of the project. In February the group came together to begin the process of prioritizing strategies that might be a "fit" for our community. With thorough discussion and feedback, steering committee members helped prioritized strategies focused on supporting local law enforcement, educating the public the risks of impaired driving, and advocating on the state level for changes to funding to support impaired driving enforcement. As always, broader community feedback is and will be essential. In the next few months, Team and the Steering Committee will be soliciting additional feedback regarding strategies recommendations and in doing so, help address impaired driving in Larimer County  

Survey Sarah

New Research: Cannabis-Use linked to Premature Brain Aging

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By Sarah Allison- Evaluation Director

In the coming months, we are going to utilize the TEAM Times to share out new and innovative findings and research around substance abuse and prevention. Here at TEAM Wellness & Prevention, we frequently work with the industry to ensure that legal access to alcohol and marijuana is done safely and youth are not engaging in use. We also strive to stay informed of the latest trends and information coming out at a local and global level regarding the effects of substances on the human body.

The science around the long-term impacts of marijuana use is still developing. Since its legalization in the United States, scientists have been conducting large scale studies to determine the true impact the substance may have on those who over-consume. In a recent study, 62,454 brain scans from more than 30,000 individuals were evaluated by scientists from Amen Clinics, Google, John’s Hopkins University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Francisco. The scans were taken from individuals from 9 months old to 105 years old to investigate factors which accelerate brain aging. This was the largest known brain imaging study in history.

The findings show that both alcohol and marijuana impact premature brain aging with cannabis use showing 2.8 years of accelerated aging and alcohol use showing 0.6 years of accelerated aging. It’s important to note that these findings are correlated to individuals with substance abuse disorders and not casual or occasional consumers.

The full study is referenced here: Daniel G. Amen, Sachit Egan, Somayeh Meysami, Cyrus A. Raji, Noble George. Patterns of Regional Cerebral Blood Flow as a Function of Age Throughout the LifespanJournal of Alzheimer's Disease, 2018; 1 DOI: 10.3233/JAD-180598


All This Talk about Walls

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Walls, walls, walls… It seems like these days everyone is talking about walls. I even mentioned walls in one of our headline articles. The most controversial wall these days happens to be the one proposed for our Southern border and, unless you have been living under a rock on the dark side of the moon for the last few years, you know that it is a hot topic in the United States today. It is a subject that ignites tempers for those on both sides of the argument. A subject that fuels the fire of political discord throughout the country and has literally shut down a government. One that has seriously divided us as a nation. A subject that has no easy solution. Right about now, you are probably wondering a couple things. “Is he for the wall or against it?” or “Is he really about to wade into this explosive topic?” Not a chance! While I may or may not have my own personal opinion on the subject, that is not what this EDitorial endeavoring to explore.

Having spent the largest portion of my professional life dealing with the life-shattering impact of substance use disorder, I have gained a great understanding of the supply chains that feed America’s appetite for illegal drugs. The United States is one of the largest consumers of illegal drugs in the world and according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the United States is ranked number 3 on their list of countries by prevalence of opiates use.

Some would argue that a wall or barrier of some sort will stop or at least slow the flow of some illegal drugs into the United States. While that may be argued, I would suggest that as long as there is a demand, there will be someone willing to supply that demand. That is a simple business concept that is as true as the sky is blue and grass is green. I would also propose that, at least as it relates to drug trafficking, a wall is an overly simple answer to an extremely complex question.

In our culture, we often find it easy to place blame on others for our shortcomings. Unfortunately, in this instance, there is no one else to blame. We have created the demand. Until we stop pointing fingers at others and start looking inward at our appetite for drugs, we will not stop the illegal drug trade. We will also not be able to stop those who look to profit from our addiction. Changing the tide of addiction begins with an investment in treatment and prevention. I have said it before and I will repeat it over and over. We will never stop drug trafficking and all of the violence and crime that accompanies it until will reduce the demand for drugs.