Endless Energy & Perseverance

Posted on June 30, 2019

Think Andrew, think strength. In my interview with Andrew Rogers this morning, it was clear to me that “strength” has multiple definitions. In many ways, you may think Andrew is the “boy next door” with blond hair, blue eyes, and very athletic. His interest in environmental studies, math, and STEM may also cause you to think that he is pretty ordinary. After you read about Andrew, you will see that he is, in fact, quite extraordinary.

Andrew began his school career at Red Sandstone Elementary, continued until 7th grade at Homestake Peak School and is currently found attending Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy. It is at VSSA where Andrew identifies his first iteration of strength. It is in the program called Sources of Strength. This program is designed to decrease the incidents of suicide by engaging young people with peers and adults to “harness the power of peer social networks to change unhealthy norms and culture, ultimately preventing suicide, bullying, and substance abuse”, says the Sources of Strength website at www.sourcesofstrength.org. Andrew’s interest in leadership and health causes his ears to perk and his eyes to sparkle when he talks about Sources of Strength. He knows and believes that the program is making a difference because his peers are able to find their strength in family support, peer support, healthy activities, and athletic abilities.

Andrew Rogers

Andrew is no stranger to athletic abilities, either. He is a Nordic skier for the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy team and he has earned his rank as a Junior National Qualifier and an alternate for the Junior Racing Nationals competition. Coaches Dan Weiland and Eric Pepper spur his skiing prowess. He does not stop there, however. He is also a cross-country runner for Battle Mountain high school. Andrew sees himself as a leader of the group and finds fun in racing 8 times throughout the season. He raced in the GoPro race and places 14th overall in the 10-kilometer run. Track? Of course! He runs the 800, 1600, 3200, and the 4 X 800 on the Battle Mountain Track team.

And then, Andrew is committed to making a difference in his community. His top three causes include suicide prevention, substance abuse prevention, and the environment. He was a member of the Youth Leadership Council through Eagle River Youth Coalition and will apply to be a member of The Valley’s Voices in the fall. He has most recently been trained in QPR (Question, Prompt, Refer) by Molly Fiore from SpeakUpReachOut. He is not able to identify signs of suicide and then refer the individual to appropriate resources. Andrew also volunteers at the Vail Recreation District running events and he finds time to work at the Vail Raquet Club and with the Vail Mountain Bike Camps. He also volunteers at the River Clean-Ups that are sponsored throughout Eagle County. The ERYC Youth Advisor, Gerry Lopez states, “Andrew is one outstanding individual. Not only is he very involved in bettering his community, Andrew is also very involved with his schoolwork, and staying on top of his priorities. It has been an honor to see Andrew grow as a human being on my time with ERYC, and look forward to see where he will land!”

Tired yet? Not Andrew! He aspires to go to college and the Colorado School of Mines and Bates College have caught his attention. He also finds time to hang with his family and travel with them as often as possible. Last March, Andrew traveled to the World Cup Nordic Ski Event in Quebec with coaches Dan and Eric.

Endurance is not only Andrew’s game, but also his strength. Sometimes people feel that they do not have the strength to get through the day. For Andrew, that boy next door, this is the race. Seem like he is winning, too.

Next post: Amy Ben-Horin

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Eagle River Youth Coalition - Making Youth a Community Priority
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