Youth Leader Spotlight Claire Krueger

Posted on May 31, 2017

Eagle River Youth Coalition Poised, resilient and soft spoken are three characteristics I'd use to sum up Battle Mountain High School 11th grader Claire Krueger. Part of the multi-generational Krueger legacy, Claire follows in her family's footsteps when it comes to athletics. She has taken on powerful leadership roles on the soccer field, a varsity player since her freshman year. Claire can also be found on the basketball court, ski slopes, and golf courses. Yet it is not her sportsmanship or athleticism that strike me as her most impactful trait.

Claire's character can best be seen in her commitment to giving back to others. Service has been a foundation of Claire's personae over the years, as can be seen with her involvement with Best Buddies, Link Crew, National Honors Society and Student Council. Still, many local teens manage to fill their schedules with an impressive array of worthy roles. So what sets Claire apart from her peers? Her summer plans are an excellent illustration. "My mom came across a family-based service trip to Honduras and my brother and I jumped on board immediately," she describes quietly. Helping Hondurans is a tip of the iceberg though for Claire's summer plans.

Between spending a week in our nation's capital on a youth energy tour, discussing priorities with legislators and learning about policy, and spending another week at an engineering camp in Santa Clara University- both scholarship-based opportunities that Claire has been selected. She will also get to practice her Spanish while building schools for and with young Hondurans.

This is the first family service trip for the Kruegers, and Claire's first time in this part of the world, and first international service experience. She will be working to personally pay her share of travel expenses. "I love interacting with people I may not otherwise get to know. Volunteering gives me a sense of accomplishment while meeting new people and experiencing new opportunities," Claire explains.

Claire's favorite local volunteer opportunity has been serving as a Reading Buddy with the Eagle Valley Library District and The Literacy Project. While the volunteer description included weekly reading sessions with a local elementary-aged student, Claire especially enjoyed seeing their faces light up when she arrived each week. "I got to be a leader and role model to these children," Claire recalls, and her influence expanded beyond literacy to include behavior as well.
For the past two years, Claire has served as a youth advisor in the Eagle River Youth Coalition's Youth Leaders Council (YLC).

Through YLC, Claire comes together with students from different walks of life to provide input and help steer various community initiatives that impact children and families. Claire reflects on the benefit of getting to know students from throughout the valley that she may not otherwise get to interact with. "It is amazing to hear all of the different opinions of YLC student advisors. We learn how to use our voice, and the importance of speaking our mind to help guide projects," Claire explains. For Claire, learning how to channel her opinions and interests through YLC has translated into improved communication with teachers and parents, and has helped build her confidence as a young leader.

Claire's quiet yet determined leadership style and commitment to serving others is an inspiration. I can't wait to see how Claire Krueger continues to inspire others to shine brightly.

Michelle Stecher is the executive director at the Eagle River Youth Coalition (ERYC), a local nonprofit organization that offers and supports collaborative prevention programs and services. ERYC tackles three main areas that affect the development of teens and adolescent youth including: substance abuse prevention, emotional wellness & mental health promotion and academic achievement. In addition to supporting the health and well-being of local young people, ERYC offers various levels of parenting education and trainings for community.

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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 |
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