Letter from New LPYS Executive Director

September 2023
LPYS 2022-2023 Annual Report

July 2023
LPYS Planning a Re-launch of Youth Diversion Program

June 2023
Students from The Hub learn photography from local artist

May 2023
LifeWays Brings Wilderness Mentorship Program to LPYS

February 2023
9th Annual Unchain My Heart-That's a Wrap!

January 2023
Students of The Hub Featured in Recent Durango Herald Article

December 2022
Tackling Youth Homelessness in Durango

November 2022
Panel Discusses Solutions to Youth Mental Health Crisis

October 2022
Let's Talk About Cyberbullying

September 2022
New Members Bring Youth Voices and New Expertise to the LPYS Board

August 2022
Steps to Help Youth Cope With Back-to-School Anxiety

July 2022
How to Celebrate National Grilling Month

June 2022
Letter from New LPYS Executive Director

May 2022
New LPYS Board President Has Long History with LPYS

March 2022
Former LPYS Executive Director Shares Her Thoughts on the Meaning of Women's History Month

February 2022
Annual Youth Art Exhibition Showcases Talent and Builds Self-Esteem

January 2022
New Video About Restorative Justice at LPYS


I am honored to serve as the next Executive Director of La Plata Youth Services. For over 20 years, I have devoted my professional life to supporting young individuals and I believe strongly in the work, values, and mission of LPYS. I began my journey working in residential settings in my early 20s, developing a greater awareness of the institutionalization of youth, that continues to provide a foundational lens in my work today. My background in youth development covers many realms, including clinical, community practice, program planning and development, theory, and research. My work has occurred at local, state, national, and international levels, including presenting and speaking at conferences, authoring articles, as a professor in academic settings, and more recently, as a founding member and director at the Hub Therapeutic Program in Durango. I intend to bring these diverse experiences into the Executive Director role with La Plata Youth Services, building upon the tremendous work already occurring, and providing intentional leadership into the future.

As with any transition, change is inevitable, and while transformation is gradual, I have several goals as the Executive Director to further meet the needs of youth, our staff, and the community. Our underserved and minimally-resourced rural community is dependent on strategic partnerships, and I am committed to developing, maintaining, and strengthening current and future relationships. I want to continue the agency's dedication to the wellness of our staff, identifying ways to recruit, hire, and retain a diverse array of individuals to provide the important work of LPYS. Additionally, one of my passions is focusing on harnessing the voices of young individuals, and providing a platform for advocacy and action, and I would like to begin incorporating these tenets in the near future. Lastly, I intend to increase LPYS' exposure within the community, solidifying the agency's reputation as a leader within the youth development sector.

We as an agency, as a community, have witnessed the post-pandemic impact on the wellness of youth, and LPYS is positioned to responsively serve young individuals in a fuller capacity. Through the guidance of our most recent strategic plan, and in conjunction with our commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusivity, La Plata Youth Services will continue to strive to meet the needs of youth through robust programming and our collaborative partnerships. Working with youth throughout the last two decades has taught me many things, among those, is that young individuals inherently need two things to succeed... access and opportunity. As a result, we will strive to deconstruct the multitude of barriers encountered by countless children, youth, and families in La Plata County.

It takes a community to holistically support children, youth, and families, and we all have a responsibility to engage in this work. This level of support can occur in many ways - through volunteerism, Board participation, or financially. If you are able to contribute financially, our end-of-year giving campaign is going on now through June 30th.

As more and more struggle to meet their basic needs within our community, please join me in actively supporting young individuals, and consequently, making La Plata County thrive. I am grateful for this remarkable opportunity and look forward to this rewarding experience.

Jason St. Mary, PhD, MSW

Return To Blog