Expanding Access for Healthier, More Active Youth Daniel Robinson and Caspian Covarrubias, two 14-year-old young people who live in Avon, are determined, hard-working, kind, and active individuals who seek to provide low-cost access to recreation in the Vail Valley. Three years ago, both teens joined Valley’s Voice, Mountain Youth’s youth-led, adult-supported program that focuses on education and community service projects, to make positive changes within their community. Youth in Valley’s Voice are encouraged to develop Passion Projects that focus on a need or area of prevention that they are interested in. One such project that Daniel and Caspian are passionate about is improving access to Avon Recreation Center’s workout facility.
Daniel is a focused, fun, smart, and active young person who does every sport you could possibly imagine. He has lived in Avon for 14 years and participates in cross-country, basketball, Nordic skiing, track, and swimming. Daniel believes in the importance of youth voices in organizations to ensure their ideas are a part of the decision-making process, especially when it impacts youth. He is focused on his well-being and health and by extension, hopes to bring more opportunities to his community to become and stay active.
Caspian is a dedicated, light-hearted, driven, and active teen who loves to play soccer and is the goalkeeper for Vail Valley Soccer Club. Caspian plans to attend Vail Mountain School next year for high school and is interested in medicine, particularly anesthesiology and radiology. Joining Valley’s Voice three years ago has helped Caspian develop self-confidence, and trust in himself, and has played a major role in this chapter of his life. Caspian attends many camps, is involved in local activities, and hopes to bring more opportunities to his community. Caspian and Daniel spend much of their free time at Avon Recreation and created a Passion Project focused on creating greater access for youth under 15 years of age. The current policy at Avon Recreation allows teenagers to access the workout facility alone only after they have taken the Strong Teen program. The Strong Teen program started in the summer of 2022, and is available for anyone between 13-18 years old to learn basic weightlifting and exercise techniques. Teens who are 13-14 must take this class to access the gym without parental supervision. The class is offered every other Saturday and costs $25. Caspian and Daniel worked with Avon Recreation to share their ideas and increase access to the class so all youth have an opportunity to learn weightlifting techniques and use the gym on their own. Young people like Daniel and Caspian are working to create a more active, healthy, and inclusive community through their own ideas and actions. Thank you to these two strong, courageous, and involved youth for following your passion and making our community a more inclusive and youth-centered place to live!
Written by Stevi Bratschi, firstname.lastname@example.org
Stevi Bratschie serves as the Director of Community Education for Mountain Youth, a local organization dedicated to youth development, prevention education, and community engagement.