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Representing the Geographic and Personal Diversity of Colorado, Rise Above Colorado Teen Action Council Extends Drug Prevention Messages Among Peers

DENVER – Jun. 23, 2014 – Rise Above Colorado, a new statewide drug-prevention organization that aims to empower teens to live a life free of drug abuse, announced the new members of its Teen Action Council for the 2014-2015 school year. The council is made up of a diverse and select group of teens who work on behalf of Rise Above Colorado to engage peers and extend drug prevention messages through education and service projects in their communities.

The 2014-2015 Teen Action Council includes 24 high school students from across Colorado who were selected through a competitive application and interview process. Many of the members have personally seen the negative impact drug abuse can have and they want to serve as a positive voice in their communities for choosing healthy alternatives.

“Drugs have concerned me since I was young. Drug prevention is something I've felt strongly about since losing my parents to jail due to drug abuse. Addiction is hard to break. It's even harder when you start using drugs at a young age. I think if we help break the cycle of drug use at a young age, we would have fewer addicts. People need to know that their brain isn't fully developed until the age of 25. I am involved in groups like Rise Above Colorado to show other teens that we can rise above others using drugs around us, including our parents, family and friends,” said, Kiyanna Maestas, representative, Rise Above Colorado Teen Action Council

During the 2014-2015 term, members will be involved in a variety of peer-to-peer activities through school and community outreach projects, as well as serving as advocates for teens via Rise Above Colorado’s social media channels. Work with this year’s council kicked off in early June with an orientation meeting to empower members with the facts on drug abuse in Colorado and the various Rise Above Colorado tools available to them to inspire their peers to make healthy choices around drug use. In addition to peer-to-peer outreach and community event participation, council members will be active participants in the annual Colorado 9 to 25 Youth Summit.

“Teen prescription drug abuse is a significant problem in Colorado. We are excited to have a group of diverse and passionate teens from around the state that realize drug abuse is an issue and are willing to help us educate their peers in a meaningful way,” said Kent MacLennan, executive director, Rise Above Colorado. “The peer-to-peer influence our council members strive for is invaluable in helping teens choose a life free of drug abuse and at the same time, the feedback that they share with us helps guide many of our educational tools and campaign strategies.

Members of the 2013–2014 Teen Action Council:
  • Bekah Anderson - Golden High School, Golden
  • Jaycey Beard - Eagle Valley High School, Eagle
  • Hunter Brundridge - Steamboat Springs High School, Steamboat Springs
  • Brenda Castaneda - Brush High School, Brush
  • Tiffany Collins - Julesburg High School, Julesburg
  • Hannah Eubanks – Mesa Ridge High School, Colorado Springs
  • Apoorva Gundu - Peak to Peak Charter School, Broomfield
  • Nic Jenkins - Fountain Valley School, Colorado Springs
  • Skyler Kopit - Arapahoe High School, Highlands Ranch
  • Andrea Macias - Arrupe Jesuit, Wheatridge
  • Kiyanna Maestas - Palisade High School, Clifton
  • Alexa Malara - Colorado Early Colleges, Ft. Collins
  • Cassandra Mares-Palmer- Northridge High School, Greeley
  • Jose Prado Mendoza - Rifle High School, Rifle
  • Natalie Moureaux - Montrose High School, Montrose
  • Taylor Morris - Bayfield High School, Bayfield
  • Kiara Morrison - Palisade High School, Grand Junction
  • Beau Naphawan - Rifle High School, Rifle
  • Miguel Palma - Greeley Central High School, Greeley
  • Tyson Rhodes - Canon City High School, Canyon City
  • Sanju Shenoy - Rock Canyon High School, Highlands Ranch
  • Kieren Skelley - Canon City High School, Canon City
  • Hunter Thompson - Wray High School, Wray
  • Jasmine Vega - Denver School of Science and Technology, Denver

About Rise Above Colorado
Rise Above Colorado is a drug abuse prevention organization providing Colorado’s teens with information, resources and healthy lifestyle alternatives to help them choose a life free of drug abuse. The Rise Above team proactively collaborates with teens, educators, community leaders and partners to provide science-based, compelling drug prevention lessons, face-to-face outreach and uniquely tailored community prevention efforts across Colorado that impact perceptions and attitudes about drug abuse. Rise Above Colorado is affiliated with The Partnership at, a national nonprofit organization working to help families solve the problem of teen substance abuse. For more information, visit

About the Colorado Meth Project
As part of the Rise Above Colorado organization, The Colorado Meth Project implements large-scale, research-based campaigns and community action programs to reduce methamphetamine use in the state. Central to its integrated campaigns is – a definitive source for information about meth for teens. The Colorado Meth Project is affiliated with The Partnership at, a national nonprofit organization working to help families solve the problem of teen substance abuse. For more information, visit

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Media Contacts:

Carolann Samuels
GroundFloor Media
(303) 775-9282

Kent MacLennan
Rise Above Colorado
(720) 425-4200

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