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Youth Spotlight: Ayelen Espinoza

Ayelen is a bright, adventurous, and motivated sophomore at Eagle Valley High School who has dreams of traveling far beyond the Eagle River Valley. Ayelen has a service dog, named Buck, and two younger sisters, whom she loves. Although shy at first, Ayelen is outspoken, talkative, and engaged in her school and community. Whether she is helping to organize events for students in Leadership Class, supporting young readers through Reading Buddies, or playing E-Sports, you will find Ayelen is quick to offer a helping hand to create a more accessible and healthy community.

In her sophomore year, Ayelen joined Valley’s Voice, which she plans to be a part of throughout her High School career. She joined Valley’s Voice to help the community and make school less stressful for others. Being a part of Leadership and Valley’s Voice, Ayelen is proud to create events for youth that motivate them to further engage in their school and community.

In addition to her work with Leadership and Valley’s Voice, Ayelen enjoys playing E-Sports and is interested in gaming, crypto security, and cosmetology. After graduating from High School, Ayelen plans to attend the University of Dongguk in Seoul, Korea where she would like to study crypto security, gaming, or cosmetology.

Ayelen is not afraid to share her story and courage with others, as she did with a project with Mountain Youth called, Stories We Tell. She shared her story of how she was bullied to bring greater awareness to this issue. She shared her voice so others would feel less alone and better understand the impact bullying has on someone.

When asked what motivates her to give back, Ayelen responded, “I feel like, for me, since not all places are accessible, it's hard to go all the places I want, it motivates me thinking that there are more people out there like me who are struggling too. Do not give up on your goals. You can complete your goals by finishing strong.”

The future for Ayelen is bright and our community is a better place to live because of the work she does to make our spaces more accessible, youth-led, and kind. Thank you, Ayelen for being courageous, outspoken, and involved with your community and school.  

-Stevi Bratschie, Director of Community Education

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