Blue text that reads "Pueblo: Communities that Care" with orange dandelion seed pod

Our Vision: The Pueblo community strives, through collaborative efforts, to empower youth with opportunities to become healthy, educated, and responsible citizens.

Our Goal: To prevent youth substance use, delinquency, and violence. We do this by minimizing negative things in the environment (risk factors) and increasing positive things in a young person’s life (protective factors).


High Schooler PSA: Stop Teen Substance Abuse

Check out this video created by and for our local Pueblo youth, centered around alcohol and drug prevention.

Communities That Care Youth Adviser Position

The Youth Adviser should be willing to work with the Pueblo community through Communities That Care, a program of the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Communities That Care is dedicated to preventing youth substance use and having youth voice in prevention efforts. The Youth Adviser is needed to share their experiences as a youth, and to work with us to guide the work of our Community Board.


What are the Benefits of CTC?

  • CTC has been proven to work! The process of CTC has been implemented in communities around the world for decades. Research on these communities has shown that the process of CTC positively changes youth behavior.
  • CTC saves the communities money! For every dollar invested in CTC, $5.31 is returned in lower criminal justice system expenses, decreased health care costs, and increased earnings and tax revenues for the community.
  • Overall, CTC results in healthier communities that help children grow up with more hope, opportunity, and better outcomes.

Youth living in CTC communities are: 33% less likely to start smoking cigarettes, 32% less likely to start drinking, and 24% less likely to start engaging in delinquency.


How CTC Works:

Through a series of phases over the course of several years, CTC addresses risks in the community with the goal of preventing and lowering youth substance use. CTC promotes positive youth development by providing young people with new opportunities and skills while recognizing their strengths.

This process would not be successful without help from community members serving on a Community Board. The board includes over 30 local community organizations, businesses and non-profits, and parents and youth that come together to plan and implement strategies targeted to lower youth substance use. See below for a list of our Pueblo partners.

Based on data from Pueblo County, CTC’s Community Board will:

  1. Increase academic success in elementary school;
  2. Support more and better opportunities for youth to be involved in their community;
  3. Decrease parents or guardians modeling substance use behaviors to their children.
CTC steps: 1 get started, 2 Get organized, 3 develop community profile, 4 create a plan, 5 implement and evaluate.

What we are doing:

After choosing what we are going to address, we looked at what is happening in Pueblo to identify what is already successfully working in the community, and what could be improved. From there, we chose these strategies:

  1. To increase academic success in elementary school, we are planning to build community support for quality childcare early in life.  Quality childcare allows kids to experience optimal positive development and prepares them for academic success in the future. Ideas include working with family, friends, or neighbor childcare providers to ensure they are offering safe and healthy childcare environments, and working on policies that support low-income families using quality childcare options.
    • For more information about childcare options here in Pueblo, check out Children First’s website that provides resources about childcare information in Southern Colorado.
  2. To increase the opportunities for youth to become involved in their community, we are going to build public support for creating community spaces for youth (for example, making our public parks safer). We are also going to include youth as part of CTC’s coalition to make sure we hear their voice.
    • Check out Pueblo’s Parks and Recreation to see what prosocial programs and activities are currently being offered for youth.
    • If you’d like more information about Positive Youth Development, check out Colorado 9to25 which has resources for youth, adults, and organizations about how you can empower the youth in your life.
  3. To decrease parents modeling substance use behaviors to their children, we are going to use statewide media campaigns created to target youth regarding substance use like Speak Now Colorado, or Responsiblity Grows Here media campaigns.

Currently, the Community Board is in the process of writing an action plan to put these strategies into place and outline what the goals of these strategies look like for Pueblo.  Follow the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment on Facebook to see CTC’s updates every Wednesday.