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Blog Posts (71)
  • Youth Spotlight: Jenifer Macias

    Lao Tzo proclaims that, “To lead people, walk behind them.” When reflecting on the significant impact that Battle Mountain High School (BMHS) junior Jenifer Macias is having on her peers, I recall her quiet but significant role modeling of community and youth engagement. Jenifer has sought out numerous opportunities for herself, from academic to service, in order to learn about various pathways, develop a network, and relish her high school experience. I first met Jenifer as a freshman when she was recruited through a friend and fellow classmate to support Mountain Youth with translation. This volunteer duty supported hours required for her Eagle County School District Seal of Biliteracy. This credential requires volunteerism in both English and Spanish. The program recognized its largest graduating class to date in the 2019-2020 school year, with 72 students earning the Seal, despite the pandemic and remote learning challenges. Jenifer appreciates building multilingual expertise and recognizes the advantages it will offer being able to greet and interact with a broader population. Quickly, Jenifer’s talents were acknowledged, and she was urged to join the Communities That Care (CTC) Process. Facilitated through Mountain Youth, CTC is a multi-year process aimed to build various protective factors or assets while reducing risk factors. Specifically, Jenifer has been co-chairing the Youth Recruitment and Reward work, building pipelines throughout the community to support youth advising. In the “nothing about us without us” mindset, Jenifer thought it would be interesting to help other young people have a voice. “I was surprised that adults were willing to offer paid compensation and give school credit for leadership opportunities,” Jenifer points out. I have personally observed Jenifer design agendas, facilitate meetings with peers and professionals, and eloquently collect feedback on the meeting in a manner that surpasses experiences many professionals can deliver. Since she began in this work, Jenifer has recognized a growing number of youth leadership and advising roles, many of them putting their money where their mouth is and paying young people for roles like tutoring and coaching. In turn, Jenifer explains that “Pay is a motivator because it feels like a job that we take very seriously; we are more committed to doing it well, and we prioritize the work.” She has also recognized a boost in awareness about these types of opportunities. Jenifer touts groups like YouthPower365, SOS Outreach, and Upward Bound as leaders in the field. As a third-year participant in Upward Bound, a program hosted by Colorado Mountain College (CMC) and aimed at supporting first-generation college students, highlights have included college tours and a weeklong stay at the CMC Leadville campus for a summer learning excursion. Heather O’Malley, Director of the local TRIO Upward Bound program, remarks, “Jenifer has consistently been the first person to help her friends stay on track and jump in when they need support. She is very motivated to go to college and puts in more hard work than almost any student I have worked with. Most importantly, she is very kind and has a smile for everyone.” Jenifer has also grown her engagement on campus. As she humbly rattles off her participation in Link Crew, Student Council, National Honor Society, and the Gifted & Talented Program, Jenifer softly remarks that her involvement makes high school more fun. She loves meeting new people and having unique experiences. Jenifer became a Teacher’s Assistant for Ms. Baglietto, who serves as an equity lead in addition to her foreign language instructional duties. “I can relate to Ms. Baglietto- she is Mexican and my family is from Mexico, which helps us to understand each other’s struggles. She also inspires me because she went to school in Paris and has had great jobs,” Jenifer reflects. Jenifer supports organizing and distributing books through an equity library and planning staff meetings on equity to incorporate a student perspective. In Ms. Baglietto’s perspective, “Jenifer has become a right hand I can count on to analyze and review ideas with. She not only helps with the inception and creation of equity, diversity and inclusion programs at BMHS, but she has also stepped into an advocacy role.” Jenifer has been recruited to serve on Youth Equity Stewardship (YES), a Council of students throughout Eagle County Schools representing each middle and high school. YES aims to build bridges by boosting understanding and appreciation of cultural, historical, and other contexts that students bring. Additionally, Jenifer recently advised the Eagle County Schools Board of Education on Advanced Placement and Dual Enrollment experiences for Hispanic students. “I never would have thought I could go to a board of adults and tell them what I personally felt needed to change, and they would actually listen. They seemed to care a lot about our opinions,” Jenifer explains. On the topic of advanced classes, Jenifer encourages students to ask their teachers about options, because even though her family wants to teach her, they did not have the capability. Jenifer wants to inform younger students and encourage them to advocate for higher-level opportunities. Jenifer suggests, “These classes are more work than regular classes, but as long as you are willing to put in the effort, they can open so many doors and save money in the long run.” What is next for this soon-to-be senior? Jenifer sees a future in sciences and has treasured her biology and chemistry coursework. Hailing from a family where graduating high school is a significant accomplishment, Jenifer has been motivated for many years to pave the college pathway. “My parents are a huge inspiration to me and talk to me every day about careers and my college path. They came here to build a better life for themselves and for us. I am motivated to do well, so all of their efforts will seem worth it,” Jenifer summarizes. I aim to embody Jenifer’s core mantra as I move forward in my day, “I can do anything, even if the odds are against me.” Written by Michelle Stecher, Executive Director

  • Difference Maker: Brittany Kinney

    World Full of YES Brittany Kinney believes in the potential of "Yes," "Yes, it may be hard," "Yes, you can do it!" and, "Yes, I am here to help." It is that dedication and "YES" belief that exemplifies her as a person, community advocate, and this month's difference-maker. Brittany is currently the Senior Program Manager of PwrOn. PwrOn offers year-round career and college readiness for high school students in Eagle County. Youth in our valley lack the resources or support systems necessary to pursue their dreams. YouthPower365 bridges these gaps of resources and support Brittany works with students daily, providing one-on-one advice to students on scholarships, community resources, financial support, academic support, SAT prep, college applications assistance, and much more. Her work doesn't just fit in the confines of an average school day. She supports after-school clubs and helps host pro-social events. She even answers texts and emails late into the night from students asking her for support on coursework. Brittany creates innovative and practical strategies that enable students to reach their highest potential. The word “no” is not in her vocabulary. Finding every possible way to be there for her students, supporting and guiding them, Brittany aims to inspire the YES attitude towards all of her students. "Every door is open for them," says Brittany as she highlights that the world is filled with yes. Brittany believes in all of her students and sets them up to receive 'yes' through knowledge, opportunities, and relationships. She emphasizes the importance of relationships, her awe for the community we live in, community connections, and how these collaborations, apprenticeships, and internships set PwrOn students up for success. Brittany has made such an impact on her students that one asked her to stay in her role until after they graduate. Brittany is true to the word, “yes” because that student is graduating this year and is successfully prepared for college thanks to the dedication and attitude that Brittany encompasses. Students aren't the only ones Brittany makes a lasting impression on. "I was excited to learn that Brittney was moving with students to the High Schools with PwrOn," said Ellen Sirico-Filmore with CareerX, "I see how Brittany still has close connections with students and has the inherent ability to translate student passions about college or career into actuality." To learn more about YouthPower365 and the work Brittany is doing, head over to https://youthpower365.org/pwron/. Brittany's yes-woman mindset should inspire us to take every opportunity to say yes!

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  • Aprendiendo Juntos | Mountain Youth

    What started as a small What’s App group to connect the Spanish-speaking community has evolved into a successful Facebook live virtual series, Aprendiendo Juntos ( Learning Together). Local experts present and discuss topics including behavioral health, childcare, education, economic assistance, and more. These discussions offer participants tools to take into their daily lives that increase well-being and a greater connection to local resources. These family engagement efforts provide a network of support which then evolved into virtual on-line presentations by trusted community leaders, providing families with connection and community. Join the Whatsapp group to stay connected on resources happening in the community now! JOIN Aprendiendo Juntos (Learning Together) NUTRICIÓN PARA TODA LA FAMILIA Upcoming Events Conceptos básicos de la respiración y la reducción del estrés Apr 28, 6:00 PM Facebook Live Register Now APRENDIENDO JUNTOS Play Video Play Video 44:26 Mountain Youth Aprendiendo Juntos: Desarollo Infantil Acompáñenos en esta presentación sobre la primera infancia, donde oradores invitados de Early Childhood Partners y Child Find hablarán sobre el desarrollo infantil y las necesidades socioemocionales de los primeros años, y compartirán consejos útiles para reducir el estrés al criar a niños pequeños. Play Video Play Video 23:21 Mountain Youth CÓMO PREPARARSE MENTALMENTE PARA VOLVER A LA ESCUELA - GETTING READY MENTALLY FOR SCHOOL Aprendiendo Juntos - Melvin Betancourt ofrecerá herramientas a padres y niños para controlar la ansiedad de ir a la escuela. También hablarán las tutoras estudiantiles locales, Britney Chavez de EVHS y Ana Garcia de BMHS, quienes nos orientarán en cómo apoyar a los niños con el aprendizaje en línea. Melvin Betancourt will offer parents and kids some tools to keep anxiety about going to school at bay. We will also hear from local student tutors, Britney Chavez from EVHS and Ana Garcia from BMHS who will guide us on supporting kids with online learning Play Video Play Video 37:10 Mountain Youth Hablemos Sobre Recuros Comunitarios ¿Está al tanto de la diversidad de recursos disponibles en nuestra comunidad? Existen numerosos recursos y servicios en el valle que pueden ayudarle a usted y a su familia a navegar y acceder sistemas como el seguro medico, servicios de salud mental, servicios escolares, y mucho más. ¡Acompáñenos para aprender más sobre algunos de ellos y conectarse! Are you aware of the diversity of resources available in our community? There are numerous resources and services in the valley that can help you and your family navigate and access complex systems such as health insurance, mental health services, school services, and much more. Join us to learn more about some of them and get connected! Guest Speakers 𝐀𝐥𝐦𝐚 𝐃𝐞 𝐋𝐚𝐫𝐚 Bright Future Foundation Advocate Rapid Rehousing Coordinator 𝐂𝐨𝐜𝐨 𝐀𝐧𝐝𝐫𝐚𝐝𝐞 & 𝐆𝐥𝐚𝐝𝐲𝐬 𝐕𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐚 Eagle County Paramedic Services Behavioral Health Navigators 𝐒𝐨𝐧𝐣𝐚 𝐌𝐞𝐣𝐢𝐚 The Hearts Reign Executive Director 𝗪𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝐆𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐬 Youth Power 365 Community Integration Coordinator

  • All Youth Thrive | Mountain Youth | Edwards,CO

    youth /yo͞oTH/ noun: youth; plural noun: youths the period between childhood and adult age; anyone between the ages of 9 and 25. About Us Mountain Youth continues to make a positive impact on young people’s lives. Learn about the the largest data assessment effort administered biennially to middle and high school students, and the campaign. Are you a young person passionate about making change? Learn more about . Parents, caregivers and trusted adults are invited to join the conversation through . Take a minute to learn how we all work together, because you are not alone. Need to know more about Graduated Drivers Licensing Laws in English and Spanish, watch our GDL presentations on our . Healthy Kids Colorado Survey "Be Your Best U." Social Norms Valley's Voice Eat Chat Parent Safe Driving Page ​ All of our work embodies empowering youth to thrive! Meet The Team Youth Engagement Coordinator Michelle Stecher Executive Director Anabel Johnson Jess Christensen Safe Driving Manager Amy Baker Family Education Manager CALENDAR Nutrición para toda la familia Wed, Apr 07 Facebook Live Apr 07, 6:00 PM Facebook Live Esta sesión de 30 minutos da a los padres la oportunidad de obtener información adecuada sobre nutrición y cómo implementarla en casa Share RSVP Conceptos básicos de la respiración y la reducción del estrés Wed, Apr 28 Facebook Live Apr 28, 6:00 PM Facebook Live ¿Sabías que el diario permite a la gente aclarar sus pensamientos y sentimientos, ganando así un valioso conocimiento de sí mismo que ayuda a reducir el estrés? Comprender las técnicas de respiración adecuadas puede establecer los nervios y crear sensación de paz y tranquilidad Share RSVP

  • Eat Chat Parent | Mountain Youth

    Eat Chat Parent Eat Chat Parent (ECP) is integral in creating a better community for all through open dialog and tackling tough topics. Through community conversations, the Parent Advisory Council, and information from the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey , we create a robust offering of two-generation learning seminars. Because of your support, Eat Chat Parent received the Vail Valley Partnership Community Impact Award in 2019. Mountain Youth partners with Eagle Valley Behavioral Health to sponsor community talks throughout the year. ECP encourages open conversation between parents, older siblings, and experts on relevant topics. Parents and children in fifth grade and up are invited to attend these panel discussions with professional speakers to share and learn new skills for more effective parenting and discover available resources. join us for these important discussions. Please ​ Contact Amy Baker, Community Education Manager with questions. Watch Helping Kids with Anxiety: Develop Family Strategies All Videos Play Video Share Whole Channel This Video Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tumblr Copy Link Link Copied Search video... Now Playing CÓMO PREPARARSE MENTALMENTE PARA VOLVER A LA ESCUELA - GETTING READY MENTALLY FOR SCHOOL 23:21 Play Video Now Playing Aprendiendo Juntos: Desarollo Infantil 44:26 Play Video Now Playing Hablemos Sobre Recuros Comunitarios 37:10 Play Video Now Playing Rise Above the Influence 02:38 Play Video

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