Welcome to the New Team Fort Collins!

The New Team

 

Why “The New” Team Fort Collins?

Wow! Can you believe that Team Fort Collins has been in existence for 26 years!? It was started WAY back in 1988.  The top movie back then Capturewas “Rain Man” starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise and the Cosby Show was the hit sitcom on T.V.  President George H. W. Bush was declaring “Read my lips, no new taxes” in his bid to be elected as the 41st President of the United States of America. Nike was telling us all to “Just do it”  and the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, had just released his Bad album and told us all that to make a change we need to start with “The Man in The Mirror”.  In the drug prevention world, D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) programs were on the rise as the War On Drugs was in full swing and even escalated as a result of the 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances that created treaties and laws aimed at impacting a rising global drug problem.

In Fort Collins, Colorado, Anheuser Busch opened its brewery in 1988 which was followed a year later by Odell Brewing Company. New Belgium Brewing Company came along shortly after that. They were the pioneers in what has since become the celebrated  Fort Collins beer culture and they continue be responsible stewards to the Fort Collins Community. Also in 1988, a small group of thoughtful and forward thinking individuals came together to start an organization that was based on the idea that it takes a TEAM of community members, including parents, the business community and law enforcement, to prevent youth substance abuse.

Over the years, substance abuse prevention strategy and theory has evolved and changed as a result of the ever changing and evolving trends in substance use and abuse in American culture and in our very own community. That evolution can be rewarding, challenging and controversial to a community and/or organization. Not unlike other organizations in the United States, Team Fort Collins has also adapted to evolving substance abuse trends. At the heart of our evolution as an organization has been the health and wellness of the youth in our community. As is often the case, the process to achieving a goal can be as important as the goal itself.

The past year at Team Fort Collins has had more changes than any other time period in the history of the organization. The changes have been prescription_drugsboth external and internal and have included philosophy changes much larger than any individual or organization. Externally, evolving substance use and abuse trends have completely changed the prevention landscape. Colorado and Fort Collins have experienced the fruition of the voter passed decriminalization of recreational marijuana. Marijuana legalization has created a number of challenges to law enforcement, regulators and prevention experts. It has included tough questions about how we talk to our youth about substances. Aside from marijuana, prescription medication abuse and misuse among youth continues to rise, resulting in often fatal consequences. These two types of substances combined with alcohol and tobacco are starting to be lumped into a new group of substances that many are referring to as “the legals.”  All these changes have made it more important than ever before that Team focus on its mission of promoting healthy lifestyles through substance abuse prevention in our youth. To accomplish our mission Team must celebrate those young people who make healthy choices about substance abuse and arm them with information and knowledge to help them make healthy choices.

Internally, Team Fort Collins has experienced a host of changes. New staff. New board members. New programs. New Events. New partners. In April, Team welcomed a new Program Director, Laurel Carter, and in August Team brought on a new Executive Director, Gordon Coombes. These two changes to Team’s leadership have brought new ideas, programs and events to the organization.  We have also been fortunate to have two graduate students, Aubrie Hartnell and Audrey Baird from the Colorado School of Public Health work with Team to bring many of our new programs to the Fort Collins community. These new programs include Empowered Parents, Define, and Strengthening Families as well as several others that are in the developing stages. In addition, existing Team Fort Collins programs such Transitions and Reality Check have been improved and enhanced with updated content and formatting. Finally, our signature program, Actuality, is about to undergo a massive makeover to be rolled out in the summer of 2015.  Our new events include Gallery Walk, changes to Simply Red and a HUGE announcement coming very soon about a major annual event that will be exclusive to Team Fort Collins for the Fort Collins area.

All of these changes have brought about a renaissance of sorts to Team Fort Collins. However, we have not lost our roots, we have been fortunate to hold on to a few of our long time staff members in, Dawn Nannini, Diane Atwood and Natasia Lovato in order to stay connected with Team’s foundation.. To exemplify that, we have incorporated a simple, little change to our logo by adding the words “The New” to our existing logo. We will be celebrating The New Team Fort Collins over the next year at every opportunity we have. Come celebrate with us and any of the programs, events and fundraisers we host. We hope to see you there.

 

Mission Statement: Team Fort Collins is dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles through the prevention of substance abuse.

Team Fort Collins provides prevention education to middle and high school students, makes presentations for parents on topics related to youth substance use, convenes community groups, provides opportunities for youth activities in safe, substance-free environments, and is available as a community partner.

We favor a developmental approach for addressing youth substance use. In doing so, we recognize the importance of adolescents’ inclination toward taking risks and we promote a formula of prevention that provides opportunities for youth to satisfy needs without compromising their future.

It is Team Fort Collins’ philosophy that prevention is the job of the entire community and we enjoy the responsibility for coordinating these efforts. To the extent that parents, schools, businesses, law enforcement, community leaders, and religious organizations are consistent in the message for health and in providing a safe environment to nurture youth, Fort Collins’ youth are more likely to claim a future of well being.

 

 

 

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