Youth Success

Did you know?

  • Earning a high school diploma is perhaps the most important determinant of a person’s future in the United States. High school dropouts are more likely than those who graduate to be arrested or have a child while still a teenager, both of which incur additional financial and social costs.
  • Every student who does not complete high school costs our society an estimated $260,000 in lost earnings, taxes, and productivity.
  • For all of Weld County, the high school graduation rate was 82.1%.
  • For the 2015-2016 Colorado standardized tests of Weld County students, a whopping 61.2% (almost two thirds) were not reading and writing at the expected level by fourth grade.In recent years, more than 1,000 homeless students attended Weld County schools, a number that is continuing to rise as affordable housing becomes increasingly scarce in northern Colorado.
  • Approximately 475 young people per year become involved with the county’s criminal justice system. Many more at-risk teenagers and young adults live in our community undetected by schools, the criminal justice system and social services.
  • Over the past two years, more than 1,800 youth received United Way of Weld County recreation scholarships to help them participate in sports and activities in recreation departments and towns throughout Weld County.


The National Research Council asserts that “academic success, as defined by high school graduation, can be predicted with reasonable accuracy by knowing someone’s reading skill at the end of third grade. A person who is not at least a moderately skilled reader by that time is unlikely to graduate from high school.” Up until the end of third grade, most children are learning to read. Beginning in fourth grade, however, they are reading to learn, using their skills to gain more information in subjects such as math and science, to solve problems, to think critically about what they are learning, and to act upon and share that knowledge in the world around them. Black and Hispanic children who are not reading proficiently in third grade are twice as likely as similar white children not to graduate from high school (about 25 versus 13 percent).

To better align the investments it makes in agency programs with ongoing youth success work in the county, United Way is presently facilitating a community-wide planning and goal setting process for Youth Development efforts in Weld County. Find out more and read about the progress of this effort.  Contact Melanie Falvo for more information and to get involved.

Collective impact partners:

19th Judicial District, Colorado Courts
A Woman’s Place
Boy Scouts of America, Longs Peak Council
Boys & Girls Clubs of Weld County
Brigit’s Bounty Community Resources
City of Greeley
Community Grief Center
Connections for Independent Living
Girl Scouts of Colorado
Greeley/Evans School District 6—Family Center
Greeley/Evans School District 6—GEAR UP
Greeley/Evans School District 6—Nutrition Services
Greeley-Weld Habitat for Humanity
High Plains Library District
I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County
Immigrant & Refugee Center of Northern Colorado
Jobs of Hope
Life Stories Child & Family Advocacy
Lutheran Family Services of the Rocky Mountains
NCMC, Inc.
North Colorado Health Alliance
North Range Behavioral Health
North Range Behavioral Health—Weld Prevention Partners
Northern Colorado Youth for Christ—Turn Around Bikes
Partners Mentoring Youth
Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center
Salud Family Health Centers
SAVA Center
Shiloh House
Soccer Without Borders
The Greeley Dream Team
The Salvation Army
Thompson Rivers Parks and Recreation
Town of Kersey Recreation
Turning Point Center for Youth and Family Development
UCHealth—Healthy Hearts Program
United Way of Weld County
University of Northern Colorado— Department of Audiology and Speech Language Sciences
University of Northern Colorado— Office of Engagement
Weld County Department of Human Services
Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment
Youth & Family Connections

Starting at 15, Jazmine was couch-hopping in and out of homes. Jazmine was really good at hiding her homelessness. She didn’t talk to others about her problems. She never really told anyone that she was homeless. She would put on her makeup in the car before she entered school. She had to mature and grow up in so little time. She had to finds ways to eat, find places to stay and shower, find new clothes. UWWC helped Jazmine with resources such as budgeting, writing resumes to find jobs and helping with college applications and finding scholarships.