Public Health

The FuN Group, a collaborative collection of Public Health departments, has welcomed youth to the table inviting their input in genuine and surprising ways. A group member who also represents the local suicide prevention coalition through Public Health connected with attending interns and invited them to review and provide feedback on a presentation he was working on for high school sophomores. PREP gets excited when youth voice gets a place to shine and truly have a positive impact on behalf of other youth!

By a coincidental stroke of luck, PREP overheard a conversation where library staff were saying they needed judges for a Cooking Class that the CSU Extension was offering for children at four local library branches. PREP interns rose to the challenge! What teen doesn’t love the chance to eat free food? But wait! Did you say children were doing the cooking? Our teens braved the unknown and provided constructive and positive feedback on taste and presentation to ALL the groups that participated. They even got a little positive feedback themselves.

I just wanted to thank you for offering to send judges to our Cooking Science class last week. [The Garfield County PREP interns] were here promptly, they were highly engaged in the whole event and their feedback was not only thoughtful, but also very considerate of all of the participants. They really did an excellent job. If there are any more instances that we can collaborate with you, please don’t hesitate to call us.

Thanks again

Christy NilssonGarfield County Libraries

Garfield Healthy Communities Coalition

Along with the Garfield Healthy Communities Coalition, PREP values collaboration by finding ways to engage our summer interns in activities, programs and community initiatives. Formerly known as LiveWell, PREP has been participating in large coalition meetings and smaller task force groups that have garnered partnerships that are helping in PREP’s mission to prepare teens for adulthood in ways that are fun, educational and empowering.

Opportunities to engage youth in efforts to glean fresh and local produce to provide for those who struggle to get healthy food into their children’s hands, mouths and stomachs are being developed. One intern has helped to connect the representative from UpRoot with his high school agriculture class. At another high school, an intern is inviting her cheerleading squad to get involved, as well. Interns have also enjoyed making and selling fresh lemonade at the Rifle Farmer’s Market where they were able to demonstrate their outgoing personalities and ability to make healthy decisions.

What great opportunities abound for teens in the Roaring Fork Valley to become engaged in their communities and connected with local agencies like Public Health. Connecting teens to trusted adults and services while having fun instead of during a state of crisis builds relationships that can help now and throughout their lives. Teens CAN make healthy decisions. Just ask them how!