Now is the Time - Project AWARE
"Colorado's AWARE aims to build the state and local infrastructure and capacity for a comprehensive school behavioral health services system that supports every student in Colorado by reaching their fullest potential in school and life."
- Increase access to school and community-based mental health services including improving coordination of state and local polices and resources.
- Coordinate planning across state and local education, mental health, juvenile justice, and other child serving systems.
- Implement youth violence prevention strategies
- Increase awareness of mental health issues among school-aged youth.
- Connect families, schools, and communities to increase engagement in planning and implementing programs.
- Implement effective behavioral health promotion and mental illness prevention strategies, including universal, selected and indicated approaches.
- Develop and implement systems for early identification of signs and symptoms that are linked to existing services.
- Sustain community-based mental health promotion, illness prevention, early identification, and treatment services and initiatives.
- Conduct outreach and engagement with youth and families to increase awareness of mental health and promote positive mental health.
- Ensure that the mental health services delivered are culturally specific and developmentally appropriate.
- Access existing funding systems to support the provision of mental health services to school-aged children and youth
- Encourage the implementation or expand the usage of a multi-tiered behavioral framework
- Increase mental health literacy of school personnel and other adults who come into contact with school-aged youth via MHFA/YMHFA training.
If you would like additional information about Project AWARE visit:
2018-2019 AWARE Staff
Howard Holbrook – AWARE Grant Coordinator
Howard Holbrook is new to Thompson School District. He earned his BS in Jr. High/Middle School Education from Illinois State University and his MS in Educational Administration from Northern Illinois University. After spending 12 years as a middle school mathematics, social studies, physical education teacher and coach in Illinois and Texas, he has spent the last 21 years as a middle school principal in Illinois and Colorado. In all of those positions, over the many years, he has learned just how important mental health education, awareness, intervention and counseling services are for students and families of all grade/age levels. He has had the opportunity to work with many district, county, state, and private mental health providers and sees this position as one of helping to put at risk students and their families together with all available resources to best meet the needs of those who need it most. Howard and his wife enjoy sports, investigating the outdoor activities and breathtaking sights in this beautiful state as well as watching/following the various activities of their two daughters here in Colorado and two adult sons back in Illinois.
Jessica Long – Advocate
LHS, LEMS, CPES, CRES, CES, LES, LEES, PES, TES, GES, VBES
Jessica has worked in Thompson School District since 2014 and earned her B.A. in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work from Biola University. She has worked as the Youth Program Coordinator for CSU's University Village, providing programming and support for international families living on CSU's campus. Jessica has experience working in special education and loves helping students succeed by utilizing their strengths. She is a certified Youth Mental Health First Aid Instructor and enjoys teaching these courses to the community and educators in an effort to reduce the stigma of mental illness and equip the community with skills to intervene with a youth who may be in crisis. She enjoys photography, visiting family in California, and getting outdoors with her husband. Jessica and her husband Matthew love showing their happy little baby, Liam around Colorado and taking part in the fun community events the Front Range has to offer.
JeanPierre LaFaye – Advocate
TVHS, WCMS, BTES, NES, SMES, CMES, BFKES
JeanPierre earned his BA in Communications from Purdue University and holds a Masters Level certificate, from the University of Colorado, Denver in Bilingual Education/Linguistically Diverse Education. After college, JeanPierre worked as a consultant for the Federal Government in Venezuela and Hawaii. Upon his return to the mainland, he moved from his parent’s home in Maryland to Colorado in 1999. JeanPierre comes to Thompson Schools with 22 years of working experience holding various roles within schools, community based social service organizations, local government and private industry. JeanPierre has a passion for helping those in need, he has had the opportunity to work with and help those who are part of marginalized and underserved communities within Colorado and the United States.
JeanPierre LaFaye (you may call him “JP”), is a very French name, however he is not from France, Canada or Louisiana, his family is from Bolivia. He was born and raised in Maryland; where his parents taught him to speak Spanish. He is a native speaker of Spanish, and also the first in his family to attend and graduate from college. JP is married, his wife is a veteran teacher of 20 years. She currently teaches 5th grade. They have one son, an 8-year-old boy in 3rd grade. As a family, they love to get up to the mountains to explore, ski and snowboard. They love going to concerts, spending time with friends and visiting their respective families in Maryland, Virginia, Texas and Illinois.
Loren Lew – Advocate
FHS, BRMS, NVCS, LCS, ISES, BEES
Loren has worked for Thompson School District since 2016. Prior to that, he worked in law enforcement for 20 years in California and Colorado. He has an MA in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and has taught at a community college. Loren enjoys mentoring students. He believes every student has something to offer and has the potential to succeed. He likes gardening, watching movies and hanging out with the family.
Melissa Hart – Advocate
MVHS, CBMS, HPS, MES, SES, WES, MBES
Melissa Has worked in TSD with the AWARE Grant since 2015. She received her Bachelors Degree in Social Work from the University of Kansas in 2006. Her background includes working with severely disturbed children in Residential Treatment facilities, case management, and supervising kids in the Juvenile system for pretrial services in Larimer County. Melissa connects students and families with outside community based Mental Health Resources. Melissa is a certified instructor with Youth Mental Health First Aid and mentors students at the Middle and High School levels in TSD. Melissa enjoys swimming, working out, riding bikes with her two kids, and walking her dog.