Updated: May 7
Be the Best You: A Christopher Marsh Perspective
Mountain Youth staff get the great privilege of interviewing inspiring young people in the community each month and Christopher Marsh, a 9th grader at Eagle Valley High School, is no exception. He has such an incredible outlook on life and has found strategies that keep him healthy, calm, connected, and balanced. In our time together, he shared about his love of the outdoors and how nature is a source of rejuvenation and calm for him. Christopher is a passionate young person focused on making healthy decisions and encouraging others to be the best version of themselves; himself included. When asked what words of wisdom he would share with his peers, he stated: “Find something like a quote, or someone that you look up to, stick with it, hold it close to you, work towards being like that, and try to be your best self.” The quote he sticks with and tries to live by comes from Mohammad Ali: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.”
Christopher has served on Valley’s Voice for the past three years and recently joined the Youth Executive Board. He was introduced to the program by a friend and finds enjoyment by serving. His favorite part is being heard and having a voice in conversations about what the group chooses to do. Christopher and his fellow Valley’s Voice members plan youth-led activities and events for other youth so that they are fun activities to participate in. He feels that when adults plan things, they’re too formal, which doesn’t encourage youth to attend. His favorite activity this year has been the ski day scavenger hunt. Being on the Youth Executive Board, Christopher has been able to focus on different types of project and activities. He is a part of the Fentanyl Awareness and Substance Prevention Passion Project, helping to increase knowledge about the dangers of drugs and how to not overdose. An accomplishment of the project is spreading awareness about Narcan and making sure people know what to do and how to use it, if someone overdoses. Through the project team’s efforts and community efforts, many more people now carry Narcan as well as many law enforcement officers.
Christopher is also on the planning committee for the annual Youthapalooza event, held each summer. It is an event that brings youth and programs together for a fun-filled evening. This year’s event will be held on August 4th and all are invited to attend. Christopher shares that through his participation on the committee he is learning a lot about money management and how to set up budgets. He appreciates that the youth involved in planning the event are given responsibility to decide how the money is spent. Through this process, he’s also learned how to manage his own money better.
In his free time, Christopher is motivated to be outside and to be active, with an emphasis on getting away from electronics. He believes it’s important for your brain to have a break from the phone and other electronic devices. He enjoys biking, skiing, Nordic skiing, hiking and running. Christopher finds benefits in being outside both with others and, also, being alone. As he shares, the benefits of going out with others is having someone to talk to and share some struggles you’re having. The benefits of going by yourself is you can reflect on your choices, how you think about things and how you can improve your life.
Christopher likes to learn about math and natural sciences and anything that gets him outside; he is also taking advanced classes to keep his mind active and prepare for college. He participates in the P Tech program to earn credits towards a degree in Sustainability. Christopher’s favorite part of being outside is the way that nature sounds and looks, it’s very relaxing. It helps with reducing stress and can calm him down and help get rid of his anxiety so he’s not so overwhelmed at times.
For Christopher, he sees his peers struggling with stress, getting away from electronics, and other addictions. One thing Christopher believes will help his peers is hanging out with friends and putting the phone away for two hours or more, so they are not exposed to all the false information that gets circulated through social media outlets. He offers, “Connect with the outdoors and with others that you can talk with and who can support you through the things you’re dealing with.” Christopher finds connection with his sister on car rides to and from school, checking in on the day, and supporting each other through challenges. He also connects with, and finds inspiration through, his dad and Mr. Kottenstette. These adults inspire him to be the person who stands up to help people when they’re in need, be the best version of himself, and work towards goals the best he can.
Some important habits Christopher has adopted are: To be his best self- including not raising his voice in conversation and not continuing to argue with someone; practicing ways to calm himself down to not escalate situations; and meditating which helps to make him happy and calm. Christopher is very wise, well-grounded, respectful and passionate. His outlook and calm presence are inspiring and contagious to all who meet him. It was an honor to be able to spotlight him this month and share his words of wisdom and encouragement.
Written by Mikayla Curtis, Mountain Youth Director of Strategic Impact, email@example.com