By Jaden Newson
Rise Above Colorado (RAC) is a drug abuse prevention program working to help teens be empowered to live a life free of drug abuse. RAC is dedicated and passionate in reaching teens all over Colorado. Along with the Board of directors and the team, RAC has a teen action council. On that council is one of our very own Jaden Newson.
Jonathan Judge is the program directors on the Rise Above Colorado team. He’s been working with Rise Above for 9 years and counting. Judge’s favorite experience with Rise Above Colorado is working directly with the teens. “It’s so rewarding to visiting communities. I get to tap in with hopes and getting the chance to talk and create something. “
RAC has participated in many murals around the state. Over the summer Judge was able to get with some teens here in Sterling and talk about plans to create our very own! The mural will be located downtown by the Family Resource Center. Judge explained teens wanted something unique to Sterling. The overall decision the teens decided upon was a rural theme and something to reflect the beauty of the Colorado plains. There isn’t a set date for when the painting of the mural will be happening, but judge is hoping for some time in 2018.
Judge has made a mural in almost every part of Colorado. “My personal mission is to get to the Northeastern Corner, so this is pretty exciting. The farthest I’ve gone is Fort Morgan with the murals.” Judge’s favorite mural experience was working in Craig, CO. He explained he helped with a huge portion of the mural, and seeing the action happen does not compare with being in the action.
If teens are interested in engaging with the new campaign teens can go to their social media pages. The new website by teens for teens is also a good way for teens to express any questions, or stories on the site. “We are always open to talking with them and the website is a great source to reach out. “ Judge said.
If you look around town you will find statues at parks, around city buildings, and general areas. Bradford Rhea has sculpted all of these. His most famous one,’Skygrazers’ or as most people know them as the giraffes in Columbine. We aren’t new to art here, but what we are new to is wall art. We have a couple like on the side of Quilts and Creations. The new mural that Rise Above is doing will add to the colorfulness of our town.
Camden Shepard is a freshman and was surprised to hear about the new mural. “I think it would be really cool to have a mural here in sterling. I would like to see something to show how proud we are to be Sterling. It would be cool to be like hey we are here and we exist.” Shepard also added it would be really cool to help out if she had the time.
Rodrigo Del Rio a junior was also unaware of the mural. “I would like to see something dope, something that stands out.” Del Rio also said it would be cool to help out if he had the time and didn’t conflict with sports. “We need something here to make it a cooler place.”
Stefani Pfistner another freshman was very interested in hearing about the mural. “That’s really cool! I think it would be so cool to see some nature theme and something really unique to show that we exist and we are proud to be here. “I definitely would help out with the making the mural I just need to know when. It would be so cool to be a part of making something awesome.”
If you are interested in knowing more about Rise Above you can check out their different social media pages. Instagram- riseaboveco
Facebook- Rise Above Colorado