Youth Spotlight: Charlie Callis
Charlie Callis is a young adult anyone would be impressed to meet!
I have had the honor and privilege of working with many young people in my career as a teacher for 16 years, and now as the Director of Education with Mountain Youth. Charlie Callis stands out amongst so many of these young people because of their magnetic personality and ability to connect with just about anyone. When they interact with people they really know how to ‘listen to respond’, and they are truly present in the conversation. Not many people possess this combination of skills.
Charlie was born in Florida, but grew up in Gypsum, Colorado. Having recently graduated from Eagle Valley High School- go Devils! During their time at EVHS, Charlie embraced various leadership roles such as Mountain Youth Advisor, EVHS Track and Field Team Captain, and Mountain Pride Committee Member. Charlie continues to seek out new challenges to grow their skills and support their peers with each new opportunity.
Charlie’s primary piece of advice for youth in our community – they want youth to know that they can help people, that they do have a voice that matters, and most importantly to focus on what they are most passionate about. Charlie recently learned about the increase of young people dying from fentanyl in our country and it really surprised them. Charlie decided it was necessary to grow awareness locally about this issue as many young people and community members are simply not aware that this problem even exists. They are leading a ‘Passion Project’ with a few others and Charlie has begun planning an awareness campaign.
Charlie’s outgoing and involved personality has helped them secure footholds throughout the community. They are working towards becoming a Certified Nurse’s Assistant. Charlie took the necessary steps through Colorado Mountain College, completed the assessments necessary, and was hired at Castle Peak Senior Center, which provides them with real life experience before going off to college. Charlie feels that it is important to take the initiative and if you know where your interests lie, to start pursuing your career early on in life. They plan to attend Colorado Mesa University and hope to obtain their degree in Nursing.
Charlie believes that the biggest need for the youth in our community is mental health support. They feel that growing up in this somewhat isolated and secluded valley often means that kids need more mental health support and resources. Charlie’s main piece of advice would be: “Don’t be afraid of who you are, express yourself freely, and don’t worry too much about what others think of you”. One of Charlie’s biggest supporters has been his mom, and she is the reason that Charlie became interested in the medical field after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Eagle County is a better place thanks to Charlie; their leadership and contributions help to make this community great.
Written by: Denise Kipp, Director of Education at Mountain Youth, email@example.com