Reaching Every Kid - it isn't just lip service

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Bear River Young Life Area Director David Pressgrove and potential leader Willy Rios (both in the bottom right) pose with the rest of the Rocky Mountain West Region's Latino Summit in Vail, Colorado in February. - Photo courtesy of Ben Dodds.

For eight years the Rocky Mountain West Region has had three main initiatives for growth: small towns, Utah and the Latino community. Bear River Young Life has been a part of the small town initiative by starting ministry in Hayden and reaching out to Baggs, Wyo., Rangely and Meeker. We have also been a part of meetings with several church leaders in Vernal, Utah. The third part, the Latino/Hispanic youth of our valley, had been the least focused part of the vision. We have had Hispanic youth participate in clubs and go to camp, but it was typically second or third generation youth who had assimilated into the American culture. 

In February we took a step closer to being more intentional with reaching Hispanic youth. We participated in the inaugural Latino summit in Vail, Colorado. Area Director David Pressgrove and potential volunteer leader, Willy Rios, attended the summit. It was a time full of great conversation and community regarding reaching Latino and HIspanic youth. Young Life's National Latino Initiative Director, Angel Ruiz and former Latino Initiative Director Orbi Gonzalez navigated our time and were very informative and helpful. 

Included in the summit were Hispanic pastors and youth ministers as well as several Hispanic Young Life staff associates. We didn't enter or leave the summit thinking we needed to reinvent the wheel, but we did leave with an awareness that if we truly want to reach "every kid, everywhere for eternity" that we can't ignore the second-largest population in the high school and that it will be important in the future to consider unique ways to reach out to the Latino youth population.

Address

Young Life Bear River | PO Box 1345 Craig, CO 81626-1345

Phone: (970) 629-9600

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