Eagle River Youth Coalition spotlights Caroline Dewell for month of September

Carol Johnson
Special to the Daily
Caroline Dewell
Special to the Daily

According to Business Insider, snap streaks have become the most important metric for teen friendships. A snap streak 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, 1,000 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,” Dewell recently told me. 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, Dewell is focusing on the SAT, earning money for college, practicing singing and volunteering.

“I share a room with my little sister, and she thinks I sing too much. 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.” Caroline DewellEagle River Youth Coalition’s Youth Spotlight

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“I share a room with my little sister, and she thinks I sing too much,” Dewell said. “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.”

You may have seen Dewell singing the national anthem at one of many local events. Dewell, 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.

‘Make me believe in myself’

Dewell has mastered the character of Elsa from Disney’s “Frozen” for these appearances, which are helping her pay for her future college, where she hopes to major in musical theater.

“The kids make me believe in myself,” Dewell said. “You can’t mess up when you are Elsa.”

When she is not earning money for college, you can find Dewell competing on the national stage representing Eagle Valley High School speech and debate in the humorous interpretation category. Last year, she was third in the state and earned a spot at nationals.

Dewell is also a community organizer and recently recruited several youth to sing at Starting Heart’s Heart & Sole event and for the Castle Peak Senior Center. Currently, she’s 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.

Just have to show up in life

What motivates Dewell to follow such a productive, meaningful path? A wise middle school teacher, Kim Spaulding, once shared with her that you could choose your life.

“People can tell you no, but it’s up to you to fail or not,” Dewell said. 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.’”

Sometimes you just have to show up in life — and, not in cyber space. Dewell, thank you for immersing yourself in our community instead of counting your snap streaks.

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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