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Youth Spotlight: Laura Vargas

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

By: Came Dole, Youth Engagement Coordinator

Eagle County thrives off of a united community, and is a youth leader who has contributed to, benefited from, and encouraged expansion of togetherness throughout the Eagle Valley.

Born and raised in Honduras, Laura stated that “there's not many people that look like me or are from where I’m from”, which is why she’s faced some tough times in the community. But overall, Laura has been positively impacted by the community in Eagle County. Laura has been in the valley for 8 years and has dug in, rooted herself, and grown multiple fruitful opportunities for community benefit.

Laura’s outgoing and involved nature has helped her secure footholds throughout the community. Serving as part of Valley’s Voice over the past few years, Laura has played an integral role in emphasizing youth voice and offering opportunities to her peers. Last year, Laura worked on a passion project “Power Thru”, with two other students, Britney and Giana. Power Thru aimed to help youth in the community to feel connected to other young people, and to “Power Thru” COVID-based feelings of separation & loneliness. Offering virtual events/learnings/opportunities through Power Thru, Laura was able to evaluate community needs, and provide a youth perspective on what services and activities could be developed for her peers. Additionally, as an intern on Mountain Youth’s For Youth, By Youth team, Laura leads processes of designing and executing fun & engaging events for youth around the valley.

During her ‘whirlwind’ junior year, Laura admits that she lost sleep due to studying, struggled with self-pressure to succeed, and took on an ambitious course load- yet always prioritized self-care. Amidst juggling numerous priorities, Laura earned her highest GPA ever last year! Laura is quick to acknowledge the comradery and support from others as a pillar in her success. Connections with classmates, peers, and teachers have built Laura’s network and expanded her knowledge. One of her role models is AVID teacher Timothy “TJ” Simpson. Connecting with his students and sharing advice is something that Laura appreciates. She noted his friendly and outgoing personality and shares that he is open about real-life stories that have helped with real-world decisions and relatability.

Starting her senior year at Battle Mountain High School, Laura has embraced a leadership role in many initiatives. These engagements include AVID (career and college readiness), the Youth Equity Stewardship (YES) team, LINK Crew (welcoming in new students), and as the Vice President of National Honor Society at Battle Mountain High School. Laura enjoys supporting her peers and growing her skills with each venture. Her network has exploded and she attributes her success to the people she has been able to connect with.

Laura’s primary piece of advice for success? Stay organized! Being so involved takes a lot of scheduling, organizing, and attention to detail. Planning ahead, keeping up on to-do tasks, and leveraging electronic scheduling tools are huge priorities for Laura to stay on top of her game.

As she applies to Universities everywhere, I feel confident that Laura will succeed wherever she lands. Mountain Youth is so lucky to have someone with such diverse experiences, knowledge, and leadership to serve with us. Thanks Laura!

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