Member of the Month - Red Ribbon Project

Posted on August 01, 2017

Eagle River Youth Coalition A Small but Powerful Nonprofit Team

The Red Ribbon Project (RRP) sprung, as many small nonprofits do, from a group of community-minded individuals. Back in 1996, when twenty or so people met in the Avon Library, an HIV+ diagnosis also meant a death sentence. From this meeting, a few activists created RRP, an organization that then addressed HIV awareness, education and support.

Being the small valley that it is, the concept of a support group didn't take off as the group thought it would. Luckily, small nonprofits are also very nimble organizations. The original goal was to build HIV/AIDS awareness in our community which has since evolved to focus on youth risk prevention strategies. Recognizing the inter-relatedness between HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and teen pregnancy the RRP enhanced and expanded the mission in 2010. The RRP mission statement is to "promote healthier lives by empowering the community to reduce teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections".

For 21 years the RRP has provided Youth Skills Building classes, pregnancy prevention, free HIV testing, and educational resources to the Eagle County community. In addition, RRP has provided connections to financial, medical, and emotional resources for those affected by HIV. In 2011 the implementation of an eight hour, culturally appropriate teenage pregnancy prevention program began and is currently delivered within all health classes in the public high schools. In 2007 there were 67 teen births in Eagle County. This past year, there were just 30 teen births in Eagle County.

As the school year gets underway, Denise Kipp, executive director of the RRP, will also be working as the Prevention Manager for the Eagle River Youth Coalition. Denise will help to identify and expand programs based on community needs and ensure that as a team we are delivering programs that meet the relevant needs identified by each individual school, without duplication.

RRP and ERYC have a long history together and it continues today. By teaming up with ERYC, both organizations will be able to efficiently handle the school requests for youth risk behavior prevention programs. We look forward to strengthening our collaboration through strategic collaboration. Both organizations are confident that this new partnership will allow for greater impact with youth in our community.

Want to learn more about the Red Ribbon Project? Stop by the Dusty Boot in Eagle on August 26 for the 2nd Annual Eagle Music Festival. Free music, an awesome silent auction, various door prizes and a chance to support Red Ribbon Project.

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Eagle River Youth Coalition - Making Youth a Community Priority
Physical Address: 34520 US Highway 6, C10 | Edwards, CO 81632
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4613 | Edwards, CO 81632
Phone: 970.949.9250 | info@eagleyouth.org
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