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Youth Spotlight: Armando "Mando" Fuentes

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

We recommend getting to know Mando if you haven’t already, since he wants to get to know you!

Mando’s outgoing, approachable, and generous nature make him a great addition to our team at Mountain Youth. Although he doesn't have an official title, we know he can be relied upon to help and contribute creative ideas and positive energy to any task he undertakes. His responsibilities include serving on the High School Valley's Voice Board and the Communities that Care Media and Data Teams. Mando helps brainstorm the areas or risk factors that we could improve upon. He also helps determine how we go about making positive changes and promoting protective factors for our local youth. When there are other opportunities to jump in and help, he is on it and comes in with his dimpled smile, contagious laugh, and excellent attitude.

Being a true "day one" Vail Valley native, Mando appreciates the people in his community, as well as, the beautiful surroundings. Although he loves his home, he embraces the opportunity to learn about the world through travel. Both of his parents are immigrants to the United States and have an appreciation for learning about other peoples’ cultures and experiences. They have encouraged Mando through out his travels. His passion for traveling stems from the fact that he has been able to learn more from his explorations and adventures in the nine countries he has visited, than he could have learned in a classroom. During his travels and explorations, he finds value in serving the communities he visits. His favorite activity has been volunteering as an educator. His passion for education is evident in his work with organizations in Eagle County and in his own life. He looks forward to continuing his world-travels, but is working to save up to buy a car. Having his own vehicle would make it easier for him to get around and explore the rest of Colorado and other states as well.

Mando's attitude towards life is admirable, and many of us could learn from him. "Be here now" is one of the many mottos he lives by. While he sees his peers spending their time scrolling on their phones, he would rather be outside, being creative, or meeting new people. He enjoys many of the same activities as others do in our Valley. A few of the things you can find him doing include, snowboarding, mountain biking, trail running, and creating art in the art room at his high school. In addition to working for Mountain Youth, he is also a volunteer for the Children's Global Alliance, SOS, and the Community Market in his spare time. He shares that he believes in the importance of giving and helping others. Regardless of how fortunate you are, there is something that we can all learn from each other. There are a few things that he thinks you should do or be to embrace life: Be selfless; Be humble; Be yourself. And, don’t be afraid to take risks. These are the demands he tries to live by, but also, have fun!

Cameron Dole, the Youth Engagement Coordinator for Mountain Youth, works closely with Mando and shares, “Armando Fuentes is an outstanding young man who uses an array of experiences to communicate, challenge, and conversate with peers, younger youth, and 'adults'. His charismatic presence provides an essential vibe for every situation. His willingness to hop on board is always present, and his bonds built with those he interacts with are impressive. I am so lucky to work with Mando, and his smile, stoke, and service for the community are unmatched!”

Mando is going into his Junior year at Eagle Valley High School. He is still figuring out what he would like to do after high school, but we know that whatever he gets into, he will thrive and be a confident and influential individual that you would be lucky to know. We look forward to continuing to have the privilege of working with him.

Written By: Grace Meinberg, Mountain Youth Manager of Safe Driving Efforts

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02 aug. 2022

I really enjoyed reading the article on Armando Fuentes! Grace Meinberg really created an amazing picture of a young man who has so many wonderful qualities! I was so lucky to be Armando's kindergarten teacher. Even way back then, in kindergarten, Armando was one of those rare people who was always willing to go the extra mile for others, and always giving so much of himself! He is someone who is always thinking of ways to make a positive difference in life and the lives of others!

Armando you deserve the best in life because that is what you give! You are a one of a kind gift to the world, and may all your kindness and good deeds alway…

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