Eagle River Youth Coalition launches Valley’s Voice
Youth-led, adult-supported program will serve as a clearinghouse for projects and programs
In an effort to give local youth a bigger voice in the community, the Eagle River Youth Coalition and partner organizations have created Valley’s Voice: the one-stop-shop for youth to be heard, be involved and make change that impacts everyone.
Led by a youth executive board, Valley’s Voice will soon be recruiting young people, ages 10 to 25, for key positions. Valley’s Voice will host events across Eagle County to collect input on key issues for youth so that projects and progress can be facilitated.
The program came about directly from input from young people.
“I am so excited to be part of the new process for young people in Eagle County. There are so many ways for youth to be involved and so many organizations that want to serve youth. We found there was either a disconnect or duplications in working with youth,” said Sandy Schroeder, the Communities that Care coordinator and Valley’s Voice manager, in a news release.
Schroeder said that CTC’s work does not live in a silo; it is incorporated into county efforts that strive to create a happy, healthy and safe Eagle County. One CTC strategy is to “reward and recruit youth for roles in local coalitions.” CTC work has propelled the creation of Valley’s Voice. It is through The Valley’s Voice that every youth in the county will have the opportunity to serve, be rewarded, and be recognized for their contribution to the improvement in youth issues across the county.
The new iteration of involving youth came directly from youth, Schroeder explained. Valley’s Voice spans several past programs including Youth Leaders Council, encompasses CTC youth advisors and other young people in our community. It’s a youth-led, adult-supported program that focuses on education and community service projects — giving young people a voice in programs that impact them.
In September, all 2,500 high school students are invited to an event at CMC where they will be engaged and they can choose to be on the board, pitch a project, work with local businesses to provide insight and feedback or sit back and learn more. The program will include youth ages 10 to 25 so the middle school voice, as well as the older youth voice, will be heard.
This is the time for young people to get involved. Maybe there’s a project to tackle — anything from helping build a playground to organizing a canned food drive; writing a book to cleaning up a park.
YLC and CTC Advisors are being merged into Valley’s Voice. Young people from age 10 through 25 are encouraged to be part of the program and change in Eagle County. Interested youth can sign up at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/erycya.
The Eagle River Youth Coalition works to make the community we live in a stronger, more vibrant place for youth and families. ERYC’s is to continuously and collaboratively improve the lives of youth in the most powerful ways possible. We strive to understand, inform, engage, empower and transform. Remember, “You Are Not Alone.” Learn more at wwweagleyouth.org.