Caring for Colorado is working together with The Denver Foundation and the Colorado Education Initiative to strengthen the capacity of schools to respond to and promote social, emotional and mental well-being for middle and high school students, particularly those who experience the greatest barriers to feeling connected, supported and engaged.

For the latest updates on Youth Connections, please visit our implementation partner Colorado Education Initiative’s Youth Connections web page.

Many students experience social and emotional hurdles that interfere with their ability to learn and engage in their education. Educators, students, families, and community stakeholders all play a role in building an environment that sustains individual well-being, school unity and inclusion of diverse experience, a vibrant culture, and a safety net of responsive intervention for students who need it.

Caring for Colorado, together with funding partner, The Denver Foundation, is investing almost $8 million to support public middle and high schools in fostering a culture and climate that meets students’ social, emotional and academic needs. Thirteen Colorado school districts are working with implementation partner Colorado Education Initiative to:

  • Create school environments that are physically and emotionally safe, filled with trust, relationship rich, and focused on building social and emotional skills.
  • Build multi-tiered supports and stronger connections with community resources so that students and staff with behavioral health needs can receive services.
  • Engage youth to take an active role in climate and culture change within their schools and strengthen partnerships with teachers and staff to realize this change.
  • Actively engage families and community members in the design and implementation of an inclusive school culture.

Participating schools are selected through an invitation-only process.