Mission and History
The mission of Colorado Youth for a Change (CYC) is to solve Colorado’s dropout crisis. CYC was established in 2005 in response to over 18,000 students dropping out of Colorado schools each year, and the lack of capacity of school systems to prevent youth from dropping out and reenroll those who had. Since that time, CYC has significantly contributed to a 50% reduction in the state’s dropout rate through its prevention and reengagement programs that span from PreK through age 21.
Our programs at Colorado Youth for a Change address early warning signs of dropping out (lack of reading proficiency, chronic absenteeism, and course failure) and reengage disconnected and out-of-school youth, getting them back on a path to graduation and postsecondary opportunities. Through these programs, CYC works every day to close opportunity gaps for vulnerable students who face complex barriers to success.
To minimize the impact of COVID-19 and ongoing school disruptions, CYC launched the K-12 Student Engagement Corps project in partnership with the Governor’s office and Serve Colorado in the fall of 2020. This program serves a critical role during a time when students are increasingly at risk of falling behind and disengaging from school permanently, and school districts are facing substantial resource gaps. CYC utilizes AmeriCorps members to conduct outreach and reengagement support for students and families who have become disengaged from school during the pandemic. The program serves students who need individualized support to successfully engage in school, navigate remote and hybrid learning environments, and connect to basic needs. District partners span from El Paso to Weld County and many more in between.