Define Youth

Define Youth

Due to youth’s stage in brain development, the perceived norm and excitement of abusing substances, Northern Colorado youth

Define Youth is a strengths-based group mentorship program for young adults (ages 12-18) on the brink of important life decisions regarding substance use. Based on a Positive Youth Development approach, Define Youth uses three main components to help empower each participant to invest in themselves and become the sole determining factor shaping their lives: education, volunteerism, and a culminating reflective project.


Using the evidence-informed curriculum BrainWise and research-informed activities, participants:

  • Acquire step-by-step critical thinking skills, called the 10 Wise Ways, for healthy decision making, emotional regulation, and meaningful goal setting.
  • Learn how to apply their inherent strengths and interests to better themselves and their communities.
  • Determine healthy role models in their lives who can support positive choices.


In small groups, participants complete volunteer activities that emphasize community contribution and application of participant strengths and interests.

Culminating Reflective Project

Each participant completes the Defining Moment Project, which through a medium of his/her choice allows the participant to showcase any realizations made, knowledge attained, or plans for living in wellness.

For more information, contact Aubrie Hartnell, Define Youth Youth Education Specialist: