Fueling Her Future
Written by Sandy Schroeder, Director of Community Engagement
For Frances Farrell, becoming involved in her community is not so that the “box gets checked”. It’s much, much more. I met Frances at one of the planning meetings for Tu Guia and she said, “Sure, money is great. But what truly motivates me is to be contributing something to my community.”
Frances has her list of activities, as is true with many highly actuated high school students. She attends Battle Mountain High School and plays lacrosse, skis on the Nordic ski team, and runs cross country. She is the head curator for the TEDxYouth@Vail event, serves on Student Council, participates in the LINK crew, and is a National Honor Society member. In addition, she is working towards earning her Child Development Associates Credential. She works at the pre-school at Homestake Peak School, babysits, teaches swim lessons, serves as a Reading Buddy through the Literacy Project, and is one of three teen leads for the Tu Guia / Your Guide project/program with Valley’s Voice and Mountain Youth. Quite a list, right? It’s not even the best part!
Frances does what she does (and recommends the same to others) to fuel the future. Not just her future, the collective future. Service to a larger good is not just educating and rewarding, it is “exposing the real roots of the community, the parts we don’t see daily.” At the core is the ability to build bridges. From her perspective, it creates a spider web effect where people are reached, affected, and then contribute to a new community, one that is positive and uplifting. All of this, Frances identified, “has allowed me to find positivity throughout all of COVID.”
True to her life mission to want to give back and serve others, Frances completed an internship with a reading specialist and an applied behavioral analyst and she is pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Education and Child Development at Vanderbilt in the fall. She is gaining momentum to make her dream come true: change the education system. Frances has recognized that there are so many unique learner profiles and different intelligences, that there are countless ways to meet “success” in the classroom. Tapping into every individual’s infinite capability to learn, makes success possible for everyone. Traditional learning has worked for Frances, but that is not good enough. She needs to use her fuel, her energy to make learning possible for everyone.
COVID has thrown the balance of life, social life, family, and extra-curriculars off for many students. Her advice is to try to retrieve that balance, to be as close to 100% as possible so that all things align. How to do that? Find things that are exciting and drive individual passion. It will make a difference. Frances is a gem in our Eagle River Valley. Catch her, if you can.