Difference Maker: Zachary Varón
Gandhi once said, “It is easy to stand in a crowd, but it takes courage to stand alone.” Little did Zachary Varón know that standing alone at the Vail Bridge would draw a crowd of 500 people to help protest for the Black Lives Matter movement. Zach was unaware of the ripple effect that he would have on Eagle County.
Zachary is an artist, a competitive Big Mountain snowboarder, the entrepreneur of Treeline Ltd, and a third-generation Coloradoan. Treeline creates unique urban mountain art, provides modeling and performance opportunities, and uses media content to encourage an artistic community and world. Zachary uses his content and captions to send a message of inclusion and encouragement; this is important because we need to bolster inclusion.
Not only does Zachary use his art to motivate others,he also mentors students at his alma mater, Metropolitan State University of Denver. Weekly phone calls with students offer opportunities for him to guide them through school and work, and helps reassure them that they are on the right path. He inspires them make connections and supports them any way he can, using his voice as encouragement in their daily life.
Zachary is full of positive energy and only wants to see good in the world. He believes that we are one human family. “We are on this planet together. Why not make it a better place?” said Zachary. Eagle County is a special bubble to Zach and he is always exploring ways to actively engage and improve the community.
Zachary did just that when he stood at the Vail bridge on May 30th. It can be hard to know the effect that one can have on others. Zachary’s effect was very visible when 500 people showed up in Vail in solidarity on the Black Lives Matter movement. This was just one day after his supportive partner posted a photo of him at the bridge and shared it on social media. The ripple effect that he started led to peaceful protests in Avon and Eagle. Zachary stated that he was “overwhelmed by the diversity and numbers that showed up to help protest injustices, and was one of the craziest moments of my life.” He inspired protesters to listen to experiences of people of color. Many community members wanted to use their voices; Zach led the charge and gave them that platform.
Zachary believes that we are all in this together, and when we all join in unison we are inevitably stronger together, a moto that Mountain Youth strives for. We are proud to have people like Zachary Varón in our community, people that encourage and inspire others to stand up for what they believe in.