Advocate, Mother, Grandmother & Super Volunteer

Posted on February 01, 2018

Tracey Branch doesn’t go half-in for anything. The vibrant mother and grandmother volunteers with myriad organizations after the day ends in her role as Children, Family and Adult Services Manager for Eagle County.

Where some of us might feel overwhelmed, Tracey sees an opportunity to make a difference in the community as a whole. “I understand that the needs of many of our community members and vulnerable populations are not met by agencies and organizations due to staffing and financial constraints,” she shares “Also, I believe that it is valuable for each of us to use our time and talents to serve others and that we also benefit and grow from these experiences.”

Her catalyst for volunteering, with church settings, coaching youth athletics, Boy Scouts, school settings and with Red Ribbon Project, serving on the board, HIV testing and fundraising events, is the challenges facing youth. Life seems more precarious and with so many areas to stumble - and it can all be documented on social media. Ugh, right? Kids are confronted earlier with issues, but they just aren’t mature enough to handle it all. Tracey, who sees difficulties every day, believes respectful communication is the key to helping keep kids on the right track.

“I believe that we need to be open and honest in all our conversations with children. We should address them and answer questions and concerns at the appropriate developmental stage they are at. We need to let them know that we are open and available to talk to them about any concerns they have regardless of the topic. To do this, we as adults, need to engage in self-reflection so that we are prepared to answer the questions youth will come to us with.  We should analyze our own values, beliefs, and socialization when we are interacting with youth so that the message is respectful and accurate,” Tracey says.

Tracey’s energy and compassion make her easy to talk to; combined with her life-long passion for learning, she brings knowledge to the conversation too. “Tracey is committed to our community, which is shown each day in her actions,” says Denise Kipp, Red Ribbon Project executive director and prevention manager for ERYC. “She is always helping others, whether it be in the classroom, out on the athletics fields coaching, volunteering with youth serving non-profits, or just simply being there for young people by listening and providing support. One person at a time, one day at a time, and one project at a time, she continues to make a difference that I am confident will leave a lasting impact on this community.”

Tracey has an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Northern Colorado and her Master’s of Social Work from Walden University. Her work experience rolls right over into her volunteering: she’s worked in the fields of domestic violence, sex offender, and cognitive restructuring therapy with individuals who were re-integrating back into the community after being incarcerated. Prior to coming to Eagle County, she worked for Weld County child protection. Youth in schools got to work with her when she was a prevention educator for ERYC and RRP, implementing Botvin Life Skills, Towards No Drugs (TND), Project Alert, and maturation classes in Eagle County Schools. 

Tracey brings compassion and experience, which makes her voice even more impactful. Thank you, Tracey!

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Eagle River Youth Coalition - Making Youth a Community Priority
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