Changing the world with peace

Posted on June 28, 2018

By Gloria Cueva, Collaborative Management Program Coordinator for Eagle River Youth Coalition

“Hate and violence,” is what this 11th grader from Battle Mountain High School would change in the world. It may seem like an insurmountable feat, but for Elijah (Eli) Seeman and his friends perhaps it’s possible to inspire peace through the universal language of music. Eli said it’s sad when others let you down, but he thinks that listening and being there for others is what can make a difference.

Eli has been a member in the band One Thirty-Two, who produced an album this past year. The band played all types of rock from classic rock to funk rock. They even performed at TEDxYouth this past April – earning resounding rounds of applause from the audience. Unfortunately, all the members will be moving away to go to college, except for one who will attend Colorado Mountain College locally.

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Eli says his band mates would probably describe him as a musician who is calm and intelligent. Perhaps the most admirable quality of this young man is his recent contribution to a… Read more >

Helping children and adults with equine therapy

Posted on June 28, 2018

Equine Therapy: Connecting and Centering



Horses can be barometers of our own feelings; they sense fear and agitation, joy and calmness. It’s for this very reason that horses are an integral part of Trio Equine Therapy. Whether a student, and a student can be a young child right up to an older adult, is working on horsemanship or riding, the horse provides calm, nonverbal feedback.

“We provide the services of Equine Facilitated Learning, Physical and Occupational Therapy incorporating the equine as treatment tool/strategy and adaptive riding instruction,” shares Lauren Shaeffer, founder, owner and physical therapist. “Horses are fascinating in that they are prey animals, they are keenly aware of their environment. Humans can be considered to be a predator, if someone comes up and they are anxious or really exited, the horse feels that emotion and they may shy away.
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“We teach about connecting, and self centering skills; breathing and relate that to different life and school situations or social interactions. Coping skills are easier to do with a horse then translate that into where they are having the most difficulty… Read more >

School counselor and youth advocate

Posted on June 28, 2018

Kayleen Schweitzer: A Calm Confidant



July’s Difference Maker influences hundreds of kids every year. Her calming voice combined with her listening skills makes her a trusted confidant for middle school kids at Eagle Valley Middle School. Kayleen Schweitzer is the school’s counselor and proponent for inclusivity and kindness. She, along with Principal Katie Jarnot, started ‘No Place For Hate’ this year. EVMS joins 1,600 other schools across the county in standing against hate.

“No Place for Hate is a self-directed program helping all of the stakeholders take the lead on improving and maintaining school climate so all students can thrive,” explains the Anti-Defamation League’s website.

With the help of the No Place For Hate student coalition, Kayleen created three different events or programs to encourage all kids to participate and to share kindness. The middle schoolers signed a pledge—those who wanted to; no one was coerced but it signaled a kick off to a great year. And beyond reminding students to be kind, it created an environment where everyone belongs.

“I feel like we gave kids a place to belong,” Kayleen said. “Kids that are… Read more >

Creating a Strong Youth Voice

Posted on May 31, 2018

More than a Student Athlete



Wyatt Nelson might be best known for his athletic feats, yet this accomplished student athlete crossed my path through his selfless community engagement. Wyatt is finishing up his junior year at Battle Mountain High School, and just recently landed a fifth place ranking in the state for pole vaulting. Wyatt credits much of his athletic progression to the strong influence of older student athletes. “I saw how accomplished my older peers were both academically and athletically, and it made me strive to push myself harder,” Wyatt explains.

From a broader perspective, we know that youth engagement in pro-social opportunities, such as sports and volunteerism, offer young people a huge boost. These assets help build character and resilience, and Wyatt has no hesitation paralleling the competitive spirit he has on the field to pushing him to achieve success in other realms of his life.

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Recently, the local Communities That Care (CTC) initiative, a state-funded process led by the Eagle River Youth Coalition, Eagle County Public Health, and dozens of community leaders and agencies, recognized that pro-social… Read more >

Mental Health Experts

Posted on May 31, 2018

Multiply Your Happy



From preventative services like Youth Mental Health First Aid certification and “Multiply Your Happy” positive psychology tools and seminars to mobile crisis response, counseling and therapy or psychiatric hospitalization if needed, Mind Springs Health is dedicated to serving our local families and has many child and adolescent mental health professionals available to consult with, including psychiatrists Lynda Tenhundfeld, MD and Dr. Nikolai Furmansky, and Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse Kris Vandenberg, DNP.

With the proliferation in our lives these days of smart phones and multiple digital devices, our experts are fielding many parental questions about how screen time impacts our kids’ mental health and the risks for depression and/or suicide. Recent studies do show that there is a correlation, and overuse of the internet and/or excessive gaming has repercussions on cognitive development, social/emotional development, physical and mental health.

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Heavily restricting kids’ online access is not the answer. There is opportunity for learning and creating, literacy and academic achievement, personal expression and connecting with both other people and social justice movements or causes. What has been found to benefit kids… 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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