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The Lighthouse Program Celebrates Supporting Nearly 100 Youth Since Opening on CMU's Campus

Unique partnership between CMU, D51 and Mesa County District Attorney’s Office proves to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth through the Lighthouse Program

On Colorado Mesa University's campus lives an important community program that betters the lives of local youth in Mesa County.

On Wednesday, March 20 the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office invited community members to tour the Juvenile Diversion and Lighthouse Program to see their new space on the CMU campus, 1060 Orchard Ave., and learn about the programs, the recent expansion and to meet the team. 

The DA’s Office recently gained a new space to match the community’s growing need for the crucial services the two programs provide, focused on preventing youth from entering the criminal justice system. The open house allowed community members to stop by and see the newly added space, learn more about the programs, and ask the team questions. 

21st Judicial District Attorney Dan Rubinstein. “I want to extend a huge thank you to Colorado Mesa University for their partnership in this important endeavor — their generous contribution of space and the involvement of their students in our programs have been invaluable.”  

In addition to the Lighthouse Program being housed on the university’s campus, a dozen CMU students have an active role in working with D51 kids, aging from 4-18, who are potentially headed down a disruptive path. Brandon Daniels and Chelsey Stock, both CMU social work majors, have been interning with the program since August 2023. Mark Schwarz, a psychology student from Montrose, started his internship in January. There are also nine Maverick mentors who hold paid positions with the program and focus on tutoring and skill-building activities.

Currently, the Lighthouse Program is actively supporting 69 youths. To date, 96 participants have been engaged in the program, receiving services from referrals to external community resources to full-scale intensive case management tailored to their individual needs and circumstances.

The Lighthouse Program is voluntary and seeks to identify youth with risk factors that put them at risk of dropping out of school, committing crimes, and beginning substance use. The program’s goal is prevention and intervention through support, services, and education for the youth and their families.

At present, 88 youths are enrolled in the Juvenile Diversion Program. Since July 1, 2021, this program has seen 633 youths complete their diversion plans, effectively avoiding the traditional court process. 

With goals similar to those of the Lighthouse Program, the Juvenile Diversion program is an opportunity to divert juvenile cases from the court. It allows the juvenile to avoid having an adjudication on their record, given the unique circumstances that often occur surrounding youth who commit crimes. 

Please visit the Juvenile Diversion and Lighthouse Programs webpage for more information about the juvenile programs.


Written by Staff