Young Adults for Positive Action invites you join with us in celebrating the Far Northeast GROWTH Initiative!

The Far Northeast GROWTH Initiative was designed to ensure that high quality education and career opportunities are available to students and families in Far Northeast Denver and surrounding communities. Utilizing recommendations and trends from the Operation: Moving Forward’s recommendations report on the status of Far Northeast Denver schools and their needs, the GROWTH Initiative will create Generous and Rigorous Opportunities with Tenacious Help!

As opportunities are expanding for students and families in the Far Northeast community, so too will the Far Northeast GROWTH Initiative Zone. The GROWTH Zone has boundaries of Havana St to the west, Sixth Ave to the south, E-470 to the east, and Pena Blvd and 56th St to the North. This encompasses Far Northeast Denver, DIA, and parts of Northwest Aurora. This area is home to over 15,000 students, the majority of whom qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch in schools. Despite the fact that this is one of the fastest growing communities—with the expansion of Anschutz Medical Campus, the inter-government agreement between Adams’ County and Denver County for additional development, the building of Aerotropolis, and the DIA Expansion—almost every student in this region is underserved and under-resourced, relative to the Denver Metro area. There is great opportunity for students and families in the GROWTH Zone. However, there remains a lack of focus on how to meet this diverse group’s needs.

Over the coming months, Young Adults for Positive Action (YAPA) will ensure that the vision of Operation: Moving Forward’s findings becomes reality. YAPA and other community partners will meet with Denver Public Schools’ board members and administrators to help determine the best metrics of measurement for success in Denver Plan 2020. Having clearly laid out metrics that underscore a unified focus for community groups is a vital step in ensuring real change in the Far Northeast. These meetings with Denver Public Schools will continue on a regular basis.

Young Adults for Positive Action will begin communication with nonprofits, businesses, stakeholders and other service organizations to determine what services they currently offer in the region, how best they can be supported, and how to help increase the effect their services have in the region. YAPA will work as a link between these service providers and schools, helping ensure they are not only welcomed into schools, but provided with the resources necessary to succeed at the school.

Specifically, YAPA will work with schools to determine their individual needs and take steps to ensure they are partnered with organizations that match their culture and needs. Creating this link between service providers and schools has proven difficult for both sides and YAPA will act as a unifying force.

Once Young Adults for Positive Action has met with nonprofits, businesses, stakeholders, and service providers in the region, YAPA will expand upon the existing Z Place Network in order to inventory and refine the existing asset mapping work in the GROWTH Initiative Zone. Working closely with partners, YAPA will create a sustainable system which showcases which organizations are active in the area, what supports they provide, and their current and potential capacities to serve the region. This is a vital step in determining needs of the community.

Utilizing this system, which will be housed out of the Z Place Network building, YAPA will reach out to corporations and businesses that plan to relocate to the region to help create connections between those businesses and the community. In the future, these relationships can be leveraged for many opportunities for both students and the community. YAPA will also reach out to service providers across Denver who could help meet needs of the community. YAPA will work closely with these organizations to ensure they have every chance to provide services to the community, and that they are welcomed with open arms.

To accomplish these goals, YAPA will act as a backbone organization in an effort to truly create a collective impact in the community. Drawing inspiration from similar movements across the country, YAPA will help manage effective, real change in the community. This will be accomplished through constant tracking of shared measurements that will be developed in with DPS and community stakeholders.

With the transition to a backbone organization, Young Adults for Positive Action has already begun meeting with stakeholders in areas of need. YAPA will convene stakeholders for regular meetings surrounding the areas of focus from the Operation Moving Forward report. These meetings will have various goals, but at the core of each meeting will be how to help students, families and the community meet needs in vital areas. Early meetings will include discussions surrounding metrics, successful practices, and needs to succeed in the Far Northeast GROWTH Initiative Zone. Later meetings will discuss progress, improvements, and expansion of initial findings.

Join Young Adults for Positive Action in the next step in creating a community that stands tall and is successful. Please contact Cassandra Ernst, Executive Director of YAPA for ways you can support our efforts. Only together can we create real change in our communities.