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LPYS youth enrolled in our Radical Possibilities Mentoring Program (RP) will now have the opportunity to gain wilderness skills and mindfulness skills through a life-changing summer program. LifeWays is a program that evolved out of a community-wide need to provide structured outdoor adventures for La Plata youth who may not have access to these types of experiences.
For five months this year, Lifeways is partnering with LPYS to provide free weekly individual therapeutic mentorship for male-identifying youth ages 14-18 within the great outdoors. These youth will also have the opportunity to spend 5 nights and 6 days with their mentors and trained guides backpacking in the San Juan National Forest where there will hike, learn wilderness skills, connect with their peers, and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
"We hope that our students will walk away from this experience feeling empowered, connected, and confident. We trust that all students will gain impactful life skills. All of this will happen while safely exploring their backyard," said Chris Brown, Founder of Lifeways.
This year's program is being supported by United Way of Southwest Colorado through a Team UP La Plata scholarship program that provides funding for youth in need to engage in summer activities. The long-term goal is to make this program sustainable for youth enrolled in the LPYS RP Program and to expand the program to other ages and genders.
The founder of Lifeways, Chris Brown, is a certified Wilderness First Responder, has more than eight years of professional guiding experience, is currently pursuing his Masters in Social Work at CSU, is a certified Single Pitch Instructor through the AMGA, and has worked in youth mental health for the last seven years. Brown deeply believes in the mentorship model for supporting youth development. He is excited about reducing barriers to outdoor spaces while empowering youth across La Plata County.
Lifeways is still recruiting students who fit the criteria for RP mentorship and who are eager to be a part of this summer outdoor mentorship program. Interested families can fill out this application to be considered for this unique program!
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