Member of the Month - Red Ribbon Project

Posted on August 01, 2017

Eagle River Youth Coalition A Small but Powerful Nonprofit Team

The Red Ribbon Project (RRP) sprung, as many small nonprofits do, from a group of community-minded individuals. Back in 1996, when twenty or so people met in the Avon Library, an HIV+ diagnosis also meant a death sentence. From this meeting, a few activists created RRP, an organization that then addressed HIV awareness, education and support.

Being the small valley that it is, the concept of a support group didn't take off as the group thought it would. Luckily, small nonprofits are also very nimble organizations. The original goal was to build HIV/AIDS awareness in our community which has since evolved to focus on youth risk prevention strategies. Recognizing the inter-relatedness between HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and teen pregnancy the RRP enhanced and expanded the mission in 2010. The RRP mission statement is to "promote healthier lives by empowering the community to reduce teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections".

For 21 years the RRP has provided Youth Skills Building classes, pregnancy prevention, free HIV testing, and educational resources to the Eagle County community. In addition, RRP has provided connections to financial,… Read more >

Difference Maker - 4H

Posted on August 01, 2017

Eagle River Youth Coalition Head, Heart, Hands, Health: 4H is a All-inclusive Program for Youth

Usually we focus on a person who makes a difference in our community and with our kids. This month we are featuring several people and one organization that has changed thousands of young people's lives... for the better.


It's a confidence builder. It gives kids a voice and the ability to speak in front of people. It teaches skills and helps create lifelong friendships, contacts and job skills. And it all happens thanks to a few staff members and many, many volunteers. You might've been witness to some of these amazing attributes at July's Eagle County Fair and Rodeo... more specifically at the 4H exhibits, which included baking, sewing, crafts and livestock, to name a few.

Eagle County has a robust 4H community thanks to countless volunteers, and staffers Jenny Leonetti, Glenda Wentworth and intern Katie Stephens. Glenda was in 4H back in Kansas when she was a child. Katie started in the Clover Buds program around age 7 and today is interning at the CSU Extension Office, which houses 4H.

Kids in 4H… Read more >

Youth Leader Spotlight - Seminar Class at BCMS

Posted on August 01, 2017

Eagle River Youth Coalition Class CAN be fun!

Back to school season is right around the corner and while there is much sentiment that everyone loves summer, for some youth, they are excited to return to school and embrace the fun variety of classes that allow them to pursue their many interests. At the Eagle River Youth Coalition, we love this time of year as we start gearing up programs and efforts that increase and celebrate the youth voice.

The next wave of Youth Leader Council members are being onboarded, prevention programs are being coordinated with schools and community partners, and youth advisors are working on projects that will create a lasting difference. We also get to celebrate the youth of our community at the annual Valley Tastings event on September 9th where we will be honoring three outstanding young people with this year’s youth awards. These awards are selected from community member nominations and we encourage you to submit a nomination today.

ERYC is also dedicated to celebrating and raising the youth voice to make sure decisions that are made about them are made with their input. Over the course of the summer,… Read more >

Member of the Month - Alpine Arts Center

Posted on July 05, 2017

Eagle River Youth Coalition Alpine Arts provides a happy refuge for budding artists of any and all ages. With two new spaces located in the Riverwalk near Slifer Designs, there's truly something for everyone.

Owner, founder and artist Lauren Merrell opened the original space a few years ago to encourage the community to create art - there were a lot of art galleries but no place for amateur artists to create, explore and learn.

Over the years Alpine Arts has grown and become an integral part of the community, offering classes for preschoolers, teens and adults in myriad of disciplines.

When I stopped by, two little girls were engrossed in painting their canvas while grandma had a sweet break, teens were working on a larger art project and the staff was readying for a large project to take place later in the day in Beaver Creek. The vibe in this inviting, bustling space is relaxed with plenty of inspiration.

"The new space is great," Lauren shares. "It's nice to see people walking in and it's easier to let people know about the programs, so we can offer more programs."

Read more >

Difference Maker - Amy Ben-Horin

Posted on July 05, 2017

Eagle River Youth Coalition Retreating to nature created a passion for lifelong adventure - that she shares with youth and adults.


Ute Springs Experiential Learning Center (USELC) has worked with hundreds of kids - helping them reach their potential, allowing them the freedom to explore and get dirty while working to manage their stress and their challenges. The woman who founded USELC is Amy Ben-Horin. She's been involved in the day-to-day operations, getting outside with the kids, creating curriculum until very recently.

"Amy's background gives her a particular understanding and appreciation for the quality of learning that happens through experience in nature. Four years ago she also saw the opportunity to expand that learning beyond academics to more fundamental personal and interpersonal skills," shares Matt Scherr, USELC executive director. " 'Social-emotional learning' is how the education community now talks about these fundamental skills, and they are the foundational to not only to academic success but success in life. Amy understood this more simply -- to make good people, not just smart ones.

"With that goal, Amy co-founded Ute Springs Experiential Learning Center to help kids and adults discover and embrace their potential. Ute… Read more >

Eagle River Youth Coalition - Making Youth a Community Priority
Physical Address: 34520 US Highway 6, C10 | Edwards, CO 81632
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 4613 | Edwards, CO 81632
Phone: 970.949.9250 | info@eagleyouth.org
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