Our work is a direct response to the needs of each community we serve. Not only do we live, work, and play in New Mexico communities, but we work closely with elected leaders, community organizations, government agencies, families, and schools to identify the needs and priorities within each community so RMYC can respond as quickly as possible.
In many cases, community leaders approach RMYC to form partnerships, identify financial resources, and put youth to work on a variety of community service projects. In other cases, RMYC staff will identify an opportunity based on research and in full collaboration with project partners. We also have a standing committee of RMYC staff who brainstorm possible project ideas so we can diversity our programs and respond directly to the unique needs of each community.
As a result of our efforts, RMYC offers a variety of programs to serve the specific needs of each community. Here are a few examples of the programs we offer.
RMYC offers Conservation-based crews in both our Upper and Middle Rio Grande offices in partnership with federal, state, tribal and local land managing agencies. Crews offer support in various projects such as trails, recreation infrastructure, erosion control, invasive species control, forest restoration and fire prevention activities. Through project completion, members receive a job-specific trainings and other personal and professional development opportunities. Depending on project specifics crews work on a ‘spike schedule’ or on a daily work schedule.
During the summer RMYC is able to offer crews in a variety of small communities throughout our region. These crews run between June and August in order to provide employment opportunities for young adults interested in a summer work experience. Projects are diverse and typically centered around environmental stewardship, public park enhancements, and land restoration.
Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (RMYC) operates the Learning Lab program as an integral part of the juvenile justice and mental health services in Taos County. In partnership with area schools, we provide temporary educational alternatives for youth who have been referred to the juvenile justice probation office or who are at high risk of such a referral due to fighting, truancy, substance abuse or other disruptive behaviors. The Learning Lab serves up to 16 youth per year, ages 12-16 years old, providing an alternative educational placement and asset-based positive youth development. No more than 8 spots are available in the Learning Lab each semester, allowing for intensive one-on-one academic and social/emotional support.
With the support of a grant through NM Department of Health’s Office of Substance Abuse Prevention (OSAP), Rocky Mountain Youth Corps’ Prevention Program is working to reduce underage drinking, driving while intoxicated, and alcohol outlet density in Taos, NM. Using environmental strategies such as radio and print PSAs; Responsible Beverage Service training for bartenders and waitstaff; and working with local law enforcement officials on saturation patrols and DWI checkpoints, RMYC strengthens the community’s perception of risk and consequence for harmful substance use. Additionally, RMYC staff administer two statewide community surveys per year for Taos, one that measures the general population’s perception of risk and consequence, the other that measures local middle school and high school youth risk and resiliency factors. Data from these surveys is shared nation-wide.