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Youth Roots program brings leadership, philanthropic skills to Montezuma County teens

The School Community Youth Collaborative recently launched its newest program: Youth Roots. Here, SCYC is pictured in 2019 hosting the teen health fair, which included more than a dozen community partners.
Students will work to address community issues they’re passionate about

The School Community Youth Collaborative has launched a local extension of the national Youth Roots program, which encourages high school students to institute change in their communities.

Angela Adams, high school programs coordinator for School Community Youth Collaborative, is excited about bringing the endeavor to Montezuma County. While she’ll be facilitating it, the program is largely youth-led, she said.

Any student from ninth through 12th grades who resides in the county may participate.

The program will help highlight students’ natural leadership ability and will endow them with team-building experience, she said.

“These young people are going to be able to make a change and be a help in our community,” she said.

In the program, students will identify issues that affect young people and that they feel passionate about addressing. Then, they’ll embark on fundraising efforts and will solicit donors to help support their chosen causes.

After building a financial backing, the students will disburse grants to local nonprofits to be used to back their causes.

Students who take part will receive $200 from SCYC, which the organization hopes will encourage teens to engage with the program.

“This is going to be a lot of work, and they're going to need to be committed and to come to 80% of Youth Roots meetings through the end of the school year — and the end of this process — in order to receive that stipend,” Adams said. “It's also like a reward for their hard work.“

Youth Roots meetings will take place on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month from 6 to 8:30 p.m. and will be held at the Cortez Cultural Center.

The first meeting was Thursday.

The program will be embedded in SCYC’s Youth Leadership Council, which has been around for about 15 years, Adams said.

“It’s not like we're going to end world hunger, but even if we're making a change in a small group of people's lives, we're impacting our community in beautiful way,” Adams said.