FRIENDS FIRST - Parents, students, and other community members celebrate past projects and future plans
Greenwood Village just got a lot FRIENDLY…FRIENDS FIRST relocated to their new location at 7100 E. Belleview Ave. Suite 303. On Tuesday, October 20th members of the community and South Metro Denver Chamber welcomed the impactful nonprofit with a ribbon cutting and open house.
The event included drinks, light hors d’oeuvres and door prizes. Staff shared their passion for working with students and the impact FRIENDS FIRST has had over the 22 years. Students shared how the organization has taught them compassion. One young teen spoke to the crowd stating “FRIENDS FIRST has boosted her self-confidence and she looks forward to seeing her friends.”
“FRIENDS FIRST serves over 30 schools in the Denver metro area. We are happy to now occupy an office closer to the students and families we serve," said Elycia Cook, Executive Director of FRIENDS FIRST. "We are also excited to be surrounded by a community of businesses, with whom we hope to build partnerships for the future success of our teens. This Open House is not only a celebration and an opportunity to share about FRIENDS FIRST, but also a way for us to say thank you to our families, friends, and community of supporters."
FRIENDS FIRST is known as a community leader in peer mentoring, working to educate and inspire teens to avoid high-risk behaviors, develop a strong sense of self-awareness, and prevent negative social interactions like bullying. Community service projects are an integral part of FRIENDS FIRST's STARS peer mentoring program because they help teens cultivate compassion, one of the core elements of bullying prevention.
Following the celebration teens and staff finished preparing for Make Difference Day – October 24, 2015. Over 30 FRIENDS FIRST teens, parents, and staff distributed blankets and hygiene kits to people experiencing homelessness in the areas surrounding 26th & California in Denver. FRIENDS FIRST decided to focus their community service in this neighborhood because it is undergoing an increase in people experiencing homelessness due to the area's gentrification, rising rents, and the resulting displacement.
Mission: FRIENDS FIRST educates and mentors teens to make positive life choices and develop healthy relationships.
To learn more about FRIENDS FIRST of to get involved, visit: Friendsfirst.org or call 720.981.9193