TrueStar Mile High Magazine Spring 2017

The accessibility of drugs, alcohol and negative peer influence for teenagers these days is abundant and needs to be deflected with constructive community resources and consistent substance abuse counseling.” -Matt Louzon, Excelsior’s Director of New Programs.

Here at Excelsior, we have witnessed the consequences that negative influences can have on teenagers, so we work to provide the constructive resources and counseling needed to help them thrive. One such resource is TrueStar Mile High Magazine – an opportunity for our youth to participate in a project that teaches positive self-expression, diligence and teamwork.

“During my dark days, it kept me hopeful. I knew others were depending on me and it felt good to do something positive and creative.” – Anonymous TrueStar participant

During this project, seven of Excelsior’s own “True Stars” supported one another in facing their challenges while collectively creating a magazine that is a reflection of themselves. While learning the art of journalism and photography, these seven youth collaborated to create a magazine focused on healthy living, a theme they chose themselves to demonstrate their ability to make positive decisions and stay healthy no matter the odds they face.

It is projects like these that truly empower and heal our youth. While therapy will always be essential, fostering long-term success requires engaging youth in something outside themselves that they can hold on to after treatment. TrueStar Mile High Magazine does this by teaching our youth how to express themselves positively, work as a team and navigate obstacles as they arise. Then they feel a huge sense of accomplishment and pride with the final product.

“I never wanted to complete things before – doing drugs made it easy to quit things without feeling bad. But now it feels good to be part of a special project, and I don’t want to stop!” –Anonymous Excelsior TrueStar participant

Excelsior would like to extend a huge thanks to the organizations and individuals that make TrueStar Mile High Magazine possible:

Thank you to Anschutz Foundation and Daniels Fund for providing funding to support our substance abuse treatment programming – without your support, this project would not be possible.

Special thanks to the Excelsior family who made this project possible for our youth: Linda Johnson, Lisa Post, Nancy Jamison, Diana Gonzalez, Nicole Termeer, Cathy Hughes, Emily Dombroski.

Finally, thank you to the TrueStar Foundation and their staff for developing such a beneficial, memorable program where youth can speak their truth and overcome whatever odds may face them.