ON THE COVER
Director FROM THE
Preslie just completed 8th grade at CR Anderson where she has maintained a 4.0 throughout her time in junior high. She is excited to start at Helena Capital and is interested in pursuing a career in dermatology. Preslie has a passion for travel, highlighted by her recent trip to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. She will be competing next season as a Level 6 gymnast at H.A.C. having just completed the competition season with multiple 1st place all-around and event finishes. She enjoys time with her friends and family, snowboarding, boating and fishing, all while enjoying the Montana outdoors.
ABOUT YOUTH CONNECTIONS Youth Connections is a coalition of over 1100 community members representing parents, educators, churches, youthserving organizations, businesses, and more who want to make Helena a healthy and supportive place for kids and families. Youth Connections recognizes the need to reduce negative behaviors including substance use and violence while also working to increase positive opportunities and mental wellness for all our local kids. So how do we do that? We know there is no silver bullet to making communities great, and so we do LOTS of things that we know make communities better. We support agencies and businesses who offer youth activities because we know kids who are involved in positive activities aren’t involved in negative ones. We support student mentoring relationships because research shows it helps kids stay in school and be successful. We also know that when kids know better, they do better, so we support classroom education in the areas of bullying prevention and substance use prevention. Youth Connections also understands we must support the adults in kids’ lives and therefore we provide training, education, networks, and collaborative opportunities for parents and professionals to connect with others who care about kids. Youth Connections is well known for its quarterly publication, YC Magazine, a resource for parents and the entire community. These are just some of the projects we’re working on to serve our mission of engaging our community to create environments where youth thrive and succeed. For a comprehensive list of activities, services, and ways you can get involved, please visit our website at www.youthconnectionscoalition.org.
t’s hard to believe that another school year has already passed. As a parent, the last day of school was always my least favorite, but probably not for the reasons you’re thinking. I hated that another year of my kids’ lives were gone, never to have them back again. I love Dr. Nolen’s article about letting kids be kids…within reason. They need our help to navigate the COLEEN difficult times of being a teenager. I SMITH remember talking to a therapist one time when she explained that when you ask kids, “Why did you do that,” and they answer, “I don’t know,” that they truly don’t. Like my mother always used to say, “At the time it seemed like the thing to do.” Teens truly celebrate and live life with that mantra; unfortunately they don’t always consider the circumstances. The magazine committee chose to focus on Constructive Use of Time as the topic in this issue’s 40 Development Assets. During the summer, kids need to be kept busy with constructive activities in addition to being able to be a kid. It’s hard as a single parent, or having two working parents in the household, to keep track of kids every minute of every day, let alone make sure they’re making good decisions. We know that kids who are active in positive things are less likely to be involved in negative ones. Summer is a time that is especially important. Lastly, knowing where they are, what they’re doing, and who they’re with is key in being supportive, as well as helping direct their decisions. Research shows that parental influence truly does have a role in whether kids get involved in drugs, alcohol, and risky behaviors. I know it seems like they’re totally tuning us out, but all this research can’t be wrong! Our summers are so short. Take advantage of every minute you can spend with your child(ren). It will definitely pay off in dividends. CAN’T GET ENOUGH GREAT RESOURCES? FOLLOW US: Twitter: @Youthconx Facebook (for parents): Youth Connections Facebook (for kids): Find Your Spot
COLEEN SMITH, YC DIRECTOR Phone: (406) 324-1032 email@example.com