Studying, earning money for college, singing and volunteering

Posted on September 03, 2018

According to Business Insider, snap streaks have become the most important metric for teen friendships. In case you have no idea what a snap streak is, I will tell you. It is when you send direct snaps (via the Snapchat app) back and forth in a 24-hour period with one friend for a long duration of time. Think 200 days long. In some extreme cases, 1000 days long. This month’s Eagle River Youth Coalition’s Youth Spotlight, Eagle Valley High School junior Caroline Dewell, tells me she doesn’t have time for snap streaks.

“I know people who have ended friendships over the streak being lost,” said Caroline recently to me over her Moose Trek blend at Yetis, while I sipped the Lavender Lemonade. It’s not that she is against social media. “I make time for online group conversations,” she tells me matter of factly. With teens living and dying these days over keeping their streaks going, Caroline is focusing on SATs, earning money for college, practicing singing and volunteering.

“I share a room with my little sister and she thinks I sing too much,” Caroline shared. “I work very hard to learn a new note and when I master it, I want to sing it over and over again. It makes me happy,” she continues.
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You may have seen Caroline singing the National Anthem at one of many local events. Caroline, who also dances and acts, has parlayed these triple threat talents into a business. If you are a mom of a toddler take note - Princess Parties should be at the top your list for your little one’s birthday celebration. Caroline has mastered the art as Elsa for these appearances that are helping her to pay for her future college, where she hopes to major in musical theatre. “The kids make me believe in myself,” Caroline has come to realize. “You can’t mess up when you are Elsa.”

Smart, Talented, Motivated and Funny

When she is not earning money for college, you can find Caroline competing on the national stage representing Eagle Valley High School for Speech and Debate in the humorous interpretation category. Last year she was third in the state and earned a spot at Nationals. Caroline is also a community organizer and recently recruited several youth to sing at Starting Heart’s Heart and Sole event and for the Castle Peak Senior Center. Currently, she spearheading youth to paint inspirational messages on the middle school bathroom doors to spread love and acceptance. She is dedicated to being involved in our arts community and bringing it to as many locals as possible.

What motivates Caroline to follow such a productive, meaningful path? When I asked her, she told me that a wise middle school teacher, Kim Spaulding, once shared with her that you can choose your life. “People can tell you no, but it’s up to you to fail or not,” Caroline believes. She has taken Spaulding’s advice and made it her own. “I don’t want a partying life. I still have fun every weekend. My happiness comes from getting something done and being able to say ‘I did this,’” Caroline says with a huge smile on her face.

Sometimes you just have to show up in life. And, not in cyber space. Caroline - thank you for immersing yourself in our community instead of counting your snap streaks. Can we clone you?

Carol Johnson is the Community Education Manager at the Eagle River Youth Coalition and facilitates Eat Chat Parent, a program that helps parents and anyone who works with youth encourage healthy behaviors.





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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 | info@eagleyouth.org
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