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Illuminate Colorado has been busy working with families, organizations, and communities to ensure all children grow up to be healthy and thriving. Join us as we hear from Coloradans who have been positively impacted by some of the work Illuminate is doing across the state, including YouthThrive, the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families, and Family Connects Colorado.
“It was powerful, it was humbling, and it was extremely validating.“
Lisa works with the Colorado Partnership for Thriving Families (The Partnership) and the Colorado Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems: Health Integration Prenatal-to-three Project (CO-ECCS) as a lived experience expert, transforming systems and preventing families from falling through the cracks.
Lisa was first introduced to Illuminate Colorado through our child sexual abuse prevention trainings. Throughout her 20 year career in supporting youth and families, she was alarmed by the amount of child sexual abuse she saw in her community.
After taking the Stewards of Children, Lines in the Sand, and What to Expect When Talking the “Talk” trainings, she saw that child sexual abuse is preventable when all community members have access to the information they need to help keep kids safe. Lisa describes the trainings as places of acknowledgment, support, and validity, and became passionate about the power of prevention in building strong communities.
Ever since, Lisa has been a force in multiple coalitions and networks supported by Illuminate. As a lived experience expert, Lisa brings valuable insight to The Partnership and CO-ECCS, two initiatives working to build systems and communities that help families thrive.
The families Lisa works with often feel as though they have been left behind, never receiving the resources and supports they need. Through her work with The Partnership and CO-ECCS, Lisa has seen the tangible impacts of her efforts. Families mention to Lisa the changes they are seeing in their own communities and the systems they interact with, expressing that they are receiving more support than ever. To hear how her work is changing lives across the state is “powerful, humbling, and extremely validating,” and solidifies her passion for “putting her time into forward movement.”
Embark on your own prevention journey– register for a child sexual abuse prevention training today.
“[The kids] were so much brighter and confident about how to move through community after the training.”
As a middle school counselor, Shana worked to implement the YouthThrive Framework into her community, teaching and empowering kids to build the protective factors into their own lives.
YouthThrive is a framework and training that aims to build long-term well-being for youth by giving them the tools to implement the protective factors into their lives. It starts with youth leaders receiving the YouthThrive for Youth training, who then work with their peers to ensure everyone has the skills to navigate their personal long-term well-being. As a middle school counselor, Shana was able to see first-hand the positive impacts that this framework has on a community.
Throughout the implementation of YouthThrive in her middle school, Shana saw increased confidence, decreased depression, and a growth in knowledge of youth development in students. Before her eyes, Shana saw youth learning to use the Framework as a tool in their lives. YouthThrive teaches students that they have the power to improve their own well-being, and that their community is depending on them to be a positive force.
Even the teachers benefitted– Shana noticed that the educators who were previously struggling were learning how to identify concrete supports to lean on in tough times. YouthThrive also helped teachers and students to find the thread that keeps different generations bonded, decreasing biases and strengthening lines of meaningful communication.
“I watched kids who were hopeless find hope after YouthThrive,” says Shana “they were so much brighter and confident about how to move through community after the training.” Shana explained that every single YouthThrive student is an expert in the protective factors, knows how to utilize them, and are confident in their ability to maintain them in their lives into the future.
Shana’s passion for family strengthening recently brought her to the Illuminate Colorado team as our Circle of Parents Specialty Program Manager. In her role, she will continue to support caregivers in building protective factors in their families and communities.
“I didn’t feel visited by a nurse but by a friend at a time when I needed it.“
Claudia, mom of three, gave birth to baby Rolando earlier this year. When Rolando was three weeks old, they received a visit from Lora, a nurse with Family Connects Colorado.
Family Connects Colorado provides families with home visits from highly-trained, registered nurses three weeks after birth, where they receive the care and connection to community resources they may need.
Hear from Claudia about her expereince with Family Connects Colorado:
A pesar de que yo ya tenía dos hijos antes de mi bebé, me empecé a sentir muy sola con mi tercer bebé. La visita de la enfermera me ayudó a sentirme mejor, me dió información que no sabía, me dio información de recursos en la comunidad y me confirmó que yo estaba haciendo un buen trabajo como madre. “No me sentí visitada por una enfermera sino por una amiga en un momento que lo necesitaba”
Even though I already had two children before my baby, I started to feel very alone after having my third baby. The nurse’s visit helped me feel better, she gave me information that I didn’t know, she gave me information about resources in the community and confirmed that I was doing a good job as a mother. “I didn’t feel visited by a nurse but by a friend at a time when I needed it”
A veces cuando tenemos un hijo muchas mamás no sabemos lo que necesitamos y no sabemos cómo pedir ayuda hasta que alguien viene y nos ofrece su ayuda en casa como Family Connects. Por medio de la visita de Family Connects pude confirmar que es normal sentirse sola o triste y me orientó acerca de cómo pedir ayuda y en donde encontrarla.
Sometimes when we have a child, many mothers don’t know what we need and we don’t know how to ask for help until someone comes and offers us help at home like Family Connects. Through the Family Connects visit I was able to confirm that it is normal to feel alone or sad and they guided me on how to ask for help and where to find it.
Muchas mamás no van a su cita después del parto con el doctor a no ser que el niño esté enfermo o la mama no se siente bien. La visita de Family Connects ayuda a entender la importancia de ir al Doctor y confirmar que el bebe está bien.
Many mothers do not go to their postpartum doctor’s appointment unless the child is sick or the mother is not feeling well. The Family Connects visit helps you understand the importance of going to the doctor and confirming that the baby is fine.
*Note: Photos shown were taken several months after the initial visit, which occurred when Rolando was six weeks old. Nurse Angélica is pictured in the photos, while Nurse Lora conducted the original visit.
This year Illuminate has grown by leaps and bounds. Join us as we welcome our new team members and explore how they are helping us to strengthen families across the spectrum of prevention.
One of the most effective strategies for cultivating long-term wellbeing for youth is through educating both youth and the agencies who serve them on how to build positive youth development. Youth Thrive, a program developed by the Center for the Study of Social Policy and offered by Illuminate, employs this strategy with amazing results…
Illuminate Colorado is seeking Information Technology (IT) support for organizational technology based in individual staff residences, organizational office and storage, and software / systems utilized internally and shared externally with community partners.