YI Rocky Mountain is a leader in creating economic opportunity for young adults by amplifying their voices in the political process. We advocate for policy and initiatives and train diverse cohorts of young adults to effectively advocate for their community’s needs, focusing primarily on health care, higher education and the workforce.
Since its founding in 2016, YI Rocky Mountain has run a leadership development program on health equity, provided advocacy training to hundreds of young adults, launched a digital pilot to provide young adults in rural communities with information on preventive health care, and led a #HealthyAdulting campaign to increase health insurance literacy and use of preventive services among young adults in the state, through in-person workshops and digital engagement. The office is currently training the next generation of young leaders through our Young Advocates initiative, a paid leadership development program. YI Rocky Mountain is part of the Financial Equity Coalition, Skills2Compete-Colorado Coalition, and Protect Our Care Colorado.
In 2020, our office and young advocates led on developing a Hunger Free Checklist and Healthy Minds Checklist for college campuses to ensure students don’t go without food or access to mental health care. We conducted a mini case study of our campus-based advocacy work on destigmatizing mental health care in Colorado and on college campuses. We worked on the passage of HB20-1002, awarding college credit for work experience, and supported a package of bills addressing the opioid epidemic as well as a bill fixing the state reinsurance program. While no one could have predicted the unprecedented challenges 2020 would bring, there were still some big wins for young Coloradans in the legislature.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have updated our legislative priorities to support young adults and students through this crisis and beyond and developed a library of resources. We’ve also created resource guides for young adults during the pandemic. Colorado resources can be found here and federal resources here. If you’re interested in partnering or joining our work in Colorado or the Rocky Mountain region more generally, we’d love to hear from you!
Kyra deGruy Kennedy, Rocky Mountain Regional Director
1536 Wynkoop St., Suite 310
Denver, CO 80202