Let us start with a math problem. What do you get when you take one youth leader and multiply by three? Answer: You get the Claydon triplets and three times the amount of community service in Eagle County. Not only is it amazing that these three were born within seconds of each other, but it’s also amazing to hear about how much of an impact that Laura, Taylor and Hannah are together making in the valley.
These young adults, soon-to-be high school grads, are a force to be reckoned with and have accomplished quite a bit as triplets. While stronger together, they can jump right into the same project with more confidence than if they were doing it individually. I admire that while they have more leverage as three like-minded sisters, they don’t overpower the different groups that they are in. While they could easily have the biggest say in everything, they are great leaders in that they feel out the crowd first and allow everyone’s opinions and strengths be utilized.
While the Claydons are involved in a number of different extracurricular activities, including recently singing the national anthem at the Pepsi Center in Denver, I know them best through the Youth Leaders Council and Devils Against Destructive Decisions. Through these two groups they have played an integral part in the planning of the recent GOLD Party. Being some of the pioneers of this newer event, the sisters say that they really like the event because it “shows you can have a good time without smoking pot.” The sister were able to help the event grow to over 150 youth this year, with more students from high school showing up, and over $1,500 in cash donations.
With Youth Leaders Council and Devils Against Destructive Decisions, the sisters hope that “conditions (in Eagle County) will improve so kids won’t have to deal with the same problems,” Taylor said. “There will always be a group of people that don’t want to help, but it’s cool having like-minded people.”
“We learned from being in YLC and DADD to associate with the right people and stick to people you know won’t drag you down,” Taylor said. “YLC is a great way to make new friends and meet people from different schools.”
Laura added that “all schools have similar issues, but different how it happens.”
While Laura and Taylor are newer member of the Youth Leaders Council, they say that it’s never too late to start volunteering.
Looking to the future after graduation, the sisters are excited to move on to bigger and better things, and even if they end up in different cities, they have “no option” not to stay close with one another. Taylor is excited to move to the big city and attend Hofstra University in Long Island, where she will be studying physical therapy. Laura is currently exploring some options including schools in Rhode Island and Iowa, and Hannah is thinking either East Coast or California. They intend on staying heavily involved with extracurricular activities through honors programs and club sports. Before they start their new adventure, they plan on having one last summer adventure on a road trip to Florida where they will hit the beach and Disney World.
Drew Kartos is the marketing coordinator for Americorps VISTA at the Eagle River Youth Coalition, a local nonprofit organization that offers and supports collaborative prevention programs and services. The Youth Leaders Council is a program of the Eagle River Youth Coalition, a local nonprofit organization that offers collaborative prevention programs and services to tackle three main areas that affect the development of teens and adolescent youth, including substance abuse prevention, emotional wellness and mental health promotion, and academic achievement. In addition to Youth Leaders Council, Eagle River Youth Coalition offers various levels of parenting education and trainings for community members. For more information, call 970-949-9250 or visit www.eagleyouth.org.