DENVER — Founded in 1986, Project PAVE - a non-profit organization - was created to empower youth to end the cycle of relationship violence before it even starts. Fast-forward to today, the organization now serves some four-thousand people each year through a variety of programs.

Project PAVE's prevention director, Derek McCoy, visited the 9NEWS morning show Sunday to discuss his organization's message, as well as some programs geared especially toward student-athletes. McCoy is a former standout wide receiver at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Following a stint in the NFL, McCoy joined Project PAVE while he was a teacher and coach in the Mapleton School District.

"I was just blown away, I was like, 'Where was this when I was a kid?'" McCoy said. "My only relationship standard was attraction, and I didn't really know how to develop and maintain the healthy communication and the skills that are really required to have a healthy relationship and marriage and parenting and all of these things."

McCoy is an integral part of the organization's "True Man Program," which was developed in partnership with the Denver Broncos. They are now going on their sixth year working together. The program speaks to young men and boys about expressing their emotions in a healthy way, using assertive communication when in conflict with others, and how to control aggressive and violent reactions.

For coaches who want more information on the True Man Program, contact McCoy directly via email (dmccoy@projectpave.org) or reach out to Denver Broncos Director of Youth and High School Football, Bobby Mestas (bobby.mestas@broncos.nfl.net). 

Project PAVE is hosting one of its largest fundraisers in September. The Battle of the Chefs will team up local Denver chefs with PAVE youth ambassadors. The event will take place September 26, 2019 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Skylight. For more information, visit https://www.projectpave.org/battle-of-the-chefs.html.

For more information on Project PAVE, visit https://www.projectpave.org/