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NorthWest CO Center for Independence
08 04, 2017 Giving By NorthWest CO Center for Independence

NorthWest CO Center for Independence

The Youth in Transition started in the fall of 2014 under the experience leadership of Lisa Atencio, Special Education PARA of Middle Park High School in partnership with Mary Housley, Independent LIving Coordinator of NorthWest CO Center for Independence. Both persons being new in their positions. The original objectives were to establish the program, invite all student with IEP to learn about the program and to choose to participate in the programs offerings.

The fall of 2015 began our second year of the program. Parents and families were then learning of opportunities for their MPHS students. This developing Youth in Transition served 10 students and their families in gaining meaningful employment and/or volunteer work experiences. Lisa provided approximately 20 different class offerings geared towards reaching the Individualized Educational Plan goals of each actively participating YT Students. Such programming engages students to guide and direct their individualized plans based upon their needs and interests. Planned activities were then created to engage students academically, socially/emotionally, job and life experiences fostering healthy adult independent living skills. 8 of the 10 participants are now actively employed, furthering their education or volunteering in the community gaining valuable work and life experiences.

Grand Foundation Emergency Grant

Thanks to an emergency grant from the Grand Foundation NorthWest CO Center for Independence(NWCCI) in partnership with Middle Park Medical Center (MPMC) hosted the 6 week Diabetes Management Class In the fall of 2015, facilitated by Dietitian, Jean Anderson and nurse, Jan Carusco. 3 active participants graduated from the class. This was the first time a class was hosted for persons at or below the poverty threshold in Grand County. Such classes are usually attended by the affluent families who can afford the out of pocket expense. This class instructed on foods to eat, the macronutrients and when to eat them, especially carbohydrates, serving sizes, myPlate recommendations and other physiological conditions related to diabetes to watch for. Participants received incentives for their weekly participation.

This class bridged a relationship between the MPMC Dietitian and persons living in poverty who otherwise would not be able to attend without scholarship assistance. It was observed that persons with diabetes dependent upon monthly food bank had a very difficult time finding foods low in sugar and carbohydrates, especially fresh fruits and vegetables.

Six months after the completion of the class, one participant has reduced their A1C from 9.1 to 7.4, the second participant (64year old) had passed away from long term health issues. The third participant has now lost over 65 pounds and is reducing his risk for diabetes.


  • NorthWest CO Center for Independence
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