Aspire Youth Services Center

2901 Ford St.
Golden, CO80401

(303) 273-2600

Aspire Youth Services Center (APYSC), located in Golden Colorado, is a secure trauma-informed treatment program for up to 30 males committed by the court to the custody of the Division of Youth Services. APYSC is one of four youth centers located on the Campus at Lookout Mountain (CALM). Aspire is designed to meet the needs of DYS's highest-risk youth and accepts referrals from across the state.
APYSC offers comprehensive services to committed youth and their families. Using trauma-informed and evidence-based models, the programming provides an environment that focuses on a therapeutic and strength-based approach to treatment. The approach starts by focusing on the inherent strengths of an individual and what is working, and builds upon a person's efforts to persevere in spite of life's challenges.
Each youth is provided weekly individual therapy, monthly family therapy or family-focused sessions, and group therapy four (4) days a week. Groups focus on risk and need areas such as attitudes, values, beliefs, peer associations, and personality characteristics that may relate to the individual\'s likelihood to re-offend and commit another crime in the future. Structured skill-building is routinely incorporated across all areas of programming to include within unit groups, level system, treatment planning, individual treatment, and family and group therapy.
Behavioral Health services and practice elements are integrated into all aspects of programming and are developmentally appropriate. Treatment matches individual needs, risk-levels, and addresses learning style, motivation, and capacities. Additional services offered at APYSC are academic and career development opportunities, recreation, medical and dental care. Spiritual life and pastoral care are offered and provided through Youth for Christ and Straight Ahead Colorado. By addressing the whole youth and individualizing treatment needs and services, APYSC works to reach the ultimate goal of reducing risk factors and recidivism for each youth in our care.
APYSC utilizes Restorative Community Justice (RCJ) and is committed to creating a community that understands The Seven Sanctuary Commitments. The 7 commitments that are practiced include: Nonviolence, Emotional Intelligence, Social Learning, Communication, Democracy, Social Responsibility, Growth and Change.
Aspire Youth Services Center utilizes a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) approach. With this approach, APYSC is able to collaborate with regional client managers, education, community members, medical, behavioral health specialists, safety staff, administrators, and the youth's parent/guardian. This MDT process provides a structured setting for the development of individualized treatment plans, treatment plan review, and case-specific decision-making. Each case plan and the individual treatment plan guide youth throughout their placement at APYSC by identifying goals, objectives, and target interventions. APYSC provides effective transition services from admission through reintegration into the community by identifying and strengthening family and community support.
Aspire Youth Service Center allows youth to envision themselves in an interconnected web of people and environment and being aware of the impact of one's actions on others and the environment.

Youth Served

  • Youth requiring secure care who are committed through the court system to the custody of CDHS
  • Youth may be referred from any region of the state and subsequently, receive services at APYSC.
  • Male population
Family Information
Youth Handbook, Educational Testing & Voting Rights

Visitation is an avenue to build and maintain healthy family and community relationships. Families of youth in the care of DYS are encouraged to visit the youth center. All visits require a scheduled appointment. You can request visitation by contacting the Aspire Control Center at 303.273.2734.

Contact & Directions


Aspire Youth Services Center

APYSC Control (303) 273-2734  
Taylor Garza, Director (303) 273-2709
Roderick Prayer, Assistant Director (303) 273-2685 (o) (303) 669-9756 (c)
Nathan Koch, Clinical Director (303) 273-2722
Julie Porter, Principal, Teens Inc. (303) 273-2759
Felicia Castagnaro, Registrar, Teens Inc. (303) 273-2645
Lisa Arellano, Office Manager, Teens Inc. (303) 273-2636
Michelle Duran, Program Assistant (303) 273-2608
Debra Iliff, Administrative Assistant (303) 273-2603
Maureen Stigall, Administrative Assistant (303) 273-2605
Main Control - Campus at Lookout Mountain (303) 273-2600  


For Bus Route information please visit:

2901 Ford St.
Golden, CO80401


The Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman - Phone Number: 720-625-8640, 1-866-276-8646 (toll-free number) - The Office of Colorado’s Child Protection Ombudsman helps youth and families address concerns about youth experiences and treatment while living in the Division of Youth Services (DYS) youth centers. The CPO is an independent state agency that investigates complaints and grievances about the Division of Youth Services and provides free and confidential assistance to anyone who calls.