Track: Health and Well-Being

Level of Learning: Learner

Spotlight on Colorado Workshop

Bridging the Gap is a transformative program that fundamentally changes the lives of young adults who were in the child welfare system. With the support of Independent Living Coaches and in collaboration with community partners, young adults are connected to supportive services that guide them in their journey toward independent living. This presentation will provide information and data about the needs of youth leaving the child welfare system and what types of programming is showing promising outcomes. In addition, presenters will highlight the unique community partnerships and collaborations that make this programming available in their community.  

Learning Objectives

  • How partnerships between government entities and a nonprofit deliver the much-needed services to a highly vulnerable population
  • Needs of the clients being served and how the services provided meet these needs
  • Hear from a program participant on how the program has supported his/her success.  


  • Erin Medina, senior manager of youth initiatives, Mile High United Way (@unitedwaydenver)

Erin Medina
Senior Manager of Youth Initiatives
Mile High United Way

Erin Medina has over 17 years of experience working with children and families in the human services field. She earned her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her master’s in social work from Colorado State University. She is licensed as a clinical social worker in Colorado.

Medina worked for the Department of Human Services as a child protection caseworker for eight years before joining the Mile High United Way. Currently, she is the Mile High United Way’s senior manager of youth initiatives. As part of her role, she oversees the Bridging the Gap program, which serves youth ages 18-24 who are leaving the child welfare system. The program provides supportive coaching and skill building in stability and self-sufficiency. Mdeina also spends much of her time building and maintaining relationships with community partners and agencies who serve children, youth, and families.