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Colt Connection

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About Colt Connection

Colt Connection School-Based Youth Service Program (SBYSP)

The School Based Youth Services Program (SBYSP) initiative was started throughout the State of New Jersey in 1987 to help young people navigate their adolescent years, finish their education, obtain skills leading to employment or continuing education, and graduate healthy and drug free.

Adolescents have numerous concerns and problems. Since a substantial number of teenagers have multiple problems that call for several different services, SBYSP provides an array of employment, health, and social services. Services are available to all youth and recreation is provided. In addition to the following core services, each site develops services which respond to local needs, such as on-site child care, so that teen parents can stay in school.

The major services are:

     Mental health and family services
     Healthy youth development
     Access to primary and preventative health services
     Substance abuse counseling
     Employment services
     Pregnancy prevention programs
     Learning support services
     Family involvement
     Referrals to community based services

One-Stop Shopping

SBYSP sites, which are located in each of the 21 counties in or near schools in urban, rural, and suburban communities, are open to all youth ages 10-19, and provide services before, during, and after school, as well as throughout the summer. The comprehensive "one-stop shopping" design helps break down barriers and bureaucratic roadblocks that too often prevent young people from obtaining services and supports. The program has been extended to younger students in some school districts. Currently there are 90 SBYSP operating in 67 high schools, 18 middle schools, and five elementary schools.

A recently-completed three-year evaluation of the SBYSP shows that New Jersey's model program is effective in providing services that adolescents use to address their problems. The evaluation was funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and conducted by the Academy for Educational Development (AED). The final report from AED concludes that SBYSP has been able to make important differences in the lives of vulnerable students.

Specifically, youth who were involved in SBYSP showed:

     Increased educational aspirations and higher accumulation of credits toward graduation
     Diminished feelings of unhappiness, sadness, depression, and suicidal thoughts
     Improved sleep habits and less worrying
     Less destructive behavior and fewer feelings of anger
     Decreased use of tobacco and alcohol
     More and improved interaction with families and friends
     Better use of contraceptives to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases

The Cumberland Regional High School SBYSP – Colt Connection – was founded in 2001 and continues to be made possible through various public and private grants and the generosity of the school district and greater Cumberland County, NJ, community.

Colt Connection is a collaboration between the Cumberland Regional School District Board of Education, CompleteCare Health Network, and the NJ Department of Children & Families.

For information on CompleteCare Health Network Patient Rights and Responsibilities, please click here.


Parental Consent Form

The Colt Connection parental consent form can be completed online by clicking here. Any questions may be directed to Colleen Kennedy at

School-Day Services - 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
After-School and Non-School-Day Services - By Appointment Only
Please call 856-451-9400, ext. 279, for more information.

If you find yourself in a mental health emergency, please dial 911 or go to your local hospital emergency room.

Interested in making an appointment? Students may request an appointment for a counseling session by emailing a staff member or connect with them via TEAMS (see below). 

For updates and highlights on the latest at Colt Connection, please follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

Staff of Colt Connection

Contact Us

Colleen Kennedy, M.Ed. Program Director Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. 7:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. / Weds. 7:15 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. / X273
Cindy Bernstein Program Assistant Mon., Weds., Fri. 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. / X279
Eric DeJong, B.A. Student Support Counselor Weds. 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. / X240
Colleen Prater, M.Ed. Youth Development Specialist Mon., Tues., Weds., Thurs. 7:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. / X202
Julianna Marchese, B.A. Employment/Student Support Counselor Mon., Tues., Thurs., Fri. 7:45 a.m. - 4 p.m. / X240
Breanna Suppi, MSW, LSW Mental Health Counselor Mon., Weds., Thurs., Fri. 7:15 a.m. - 3:15 p.m. / Tues. 7:15 - 1:30 p.m. / X224