by Bill Knowles
WALSENBURG—The Huerfano County Youth Services is now doing business as the Sangre de Cristo Center for Youth and even though it’s still in the same location they are looking for new digs — something a bit bigger. With a newly designed website on the way and new programs in the making the SCCY hopes it will be able to help the youth of Huerfano County become leaders in the community.
“We hope to help our youth develop the personal strength they will need to change the fabric of their community,” SCCY Executive Director Debbie Shronce explained. “And with a $20,000 grant from Bright Mountain Foundation, we are going to launch some capacity building.”
That means that SCCY will be able to start building a volunteer data base and hire a Volunteer Manager. They also hope to acquire more computers, and develop new procedures and programs for organizational and program sustainability. And with a possible $75,000 El Pomar Foundation grant the Sangre de Cristo Center for Youth is looking to put together a young men’s program that will be similar to the “Crew”, a young women’s program.
“We are calling it Young Men Empowered Now, or YMEN. And with the program we are going to incorporate life skills into the lives of our young male population in Huerfano County,” Shronce said. A list of those skills will include conflict skills, anger management and bully prevention skills.
“The community has a vested interest in the YMEN program,” Joe Camacho, a member of the board of directors said. “With the right mentoring the YMEN can bring needed change to the community through initiative, self discipline, compassion and a sense of community.”
“The activities we look to involve our young people with will get them out of trouble spots. We will be purchasing sets of weights. Physical activities are good because our youth are undergoing a real body change and with proper activities and diet we can help each other through image issues,” Reggie Bevsek, a facilitator said.
New programs such as weight training and diet will fit well with other activities such as the already existing partnership between the SCCY and the Colorado City Recreation program’s youth soccer and basketball. They are also working with Michael Vigil’s youth baseball program. And another new offering on the board will be an outdoor wilderness group.
A computer lab is also in the making. The youth services would like to see a total of 15 computers in a computer lab. They currently have six they’ve received from the Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center and they have five other computers on site that need software updates before they are ready to go.
SCCY also hopes to develop a performing arts group that will involve itself with theater and band as well as creative writing and fine arts. However, Shronce noted, that many of these activities are still in the planning stage. Other future plans include a youth mentorship program.
Until the new website is up anyone interested in more information can go to www.huerfanoyouthservices.net or call 719-738-1573.