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On Thursday, Chaffee County Youth Alliance (CCYA), a community-based prevention program promoting positive youth development, announced its sixth annual mini-grant application for community organizations working with youth across Chaffee County.

CCYA plans to distribute a total of $7,500, ranging from $1,000-$2,500 per grant award to support projects and programs focused on positive youth development (PYD) in Chaffee County. Grant applications are now open and may be requested by email by contacting Dibby Olson at, or accessing the application form at

Grant parameters:

  • Application deadline: 5:00 p.m. MST March 31, 2023
  • Decision date by committee: April 6, 2023
  • Award notifications: April 8, 2023
  • Award expenditure deadline: June 30, 2023
  • Projects must demonstrate that they are created, designed, and led by youth in Chaffee County
  • End-of-project report required

If the grant application is for an existing program, the proposed project/program must demonstrate a component authentically created and led by youth. Organizations that received mini-grants previously can be considered again as long as the proposed project/program meets grant requirements. Grant awards will be equally considered between Buena Vista and Salida.

Positive Youth Development is: “an intentional, prosocial approach that engages youth… in a manner that is productive and constructive; recognizes, utilizes, and enhances young people’s strengths; and promotes positive outcomes for young people by providing opportunities, fostering positive relationships, and furnishing the support needed to build on their leadership strengths.”

FYI has provided this example of a previously funded project created and led by youth:

The Salida Circus was awarded funds in 2022 to engage 15 local youth aged 10-16 as circus apprentices to assist with planning and running a week-long summer Circus Camp. The youth leaders helped create a camp theme and marketing plan, designed a daily schedule, and selected the trainings for activities; trapeze, acrobatics, juggling, and unicycling.

The youth also served as tutors during the camp itself under the supervision of the Salida Circus mentor team. Mini-grant funds were used to provide a small stipend to the youth apprentices for their leadership and involvement in all facets of the circus camp program.

CCYA, the local Communities that Care (CTC) coalition, is a collaborative program of Chaffee County Family & Youth Initiatives (FYI) and Chaffee County Public Health. CTC is an evidence-based prevention approach aimed at helping communities prevent youth risk problem behaviors before they develop, including alcohol, tobacco, and other substances.  These efforts are funded through the Colorado Department of Public Health, with the state marijuana tax cash fund.