Eagle River Youth Coalition Youth Spotlight: Kaleb Woodworth
ERYC Safe Driving Coordinator
Red Canyon High School junior Kaleb Woodworth embodies the word volunteerism. Kaleb has participated and organized volunteer projects throughout his high school career.
“Kaleb has been an amazing addition to the RCHS community from Day 1. His commitment to excellence and leading by example is inspiring to both staff and students,” said Troy Dudley, principal of RCHS.
Woodworth transferred to RCHS from Eagle Valley High School last year and was eager to volunteer at his new school. This school year Woodworth, along with five other students and two teachers, traveled to Grand Junction to prepare and cook meals for the Rose Hill Hospitality House occupants who had a family member in the hospital. Before the students left Eagle, they stocked up on fresh ingredients from the Eagle River Valley Food Bank and then made a homemade meal for everyone. Woodworth enjoyed putting his cooking skills to use by preparing his favorite sautéed vegetables for the Rose Hill dinner guests.
Cooking is one of Woodworth’s hobbies he shares with others. Each week Woodworth, along with other students, walks a little over a mile and a half to the Eagle River Valley Food Bank in Gypsum to grocery shop. The students then prepare and cook lunch for the RCHS student body.
“Kaleb is currently in my cooking class where he utilized the food bank on a weekly basis to prepare meals and feed lunch to the rest of the school. Kaleb puts thought and care in everything he does and this is no exception when he is in the kitchen whether it be meal planning, or creating the meals, he adds a pinch of kind-heartedness to all of his dishes,” said Megan Berck, Woodworth’s teacher.
While attending Eagle Valley High School, Woodworth served on the student council where he led different committees for community service projects including fundraisers for Make a Wish Foundation for a fellow student’s sibling who suffered from cancer and for three other families. Woodworth and fellow students also designed t-shirts and stickers to help fundraise.
For another service project, Woodworth and seven other students led and coordinated a school-wide community service day for the 1,000 students at EVHS. Each homeroom teacher and students selected a place they wanted to volunteer in the community. Some of the selected projects included helping assemble goodie bags at the Shaw Cancer Center, cleaning up wilderness trails on BLM land, painting outdoor scenes on electrical boxes in Gypsum, and volunteering at Mountain Valley Horse Rescue in McCoy.
Woodworth is insightful and wise beyond his years. “We help committees get out in the community to raise awareness about what we can do for each other,” he said.
When asked why he has a passion for volunteering he said, “My favorite thing about serving others is the reaction I get from them and how it makes them feel. For example, I was in Grand Junction at a restaurant I previously saw a homeless gentleman and I decided before we finished eating to grab some leftovers. I walked three or four blocks back to him and I gave him the leftovers. He started to cry and said, ‘God bless you.’ It warmed my heart seeing how grateful and appreciative he was.”
When Woodworth is not planning events or volunteering, he is an avid outdoorsman. His other hobbies include reading, writing, drawing, cooking and working on cars. Kaleb enjoys spending time with his grandfather Bruce Yeik of Eagle woodworking and building furniture.
In future Woodworth hopes to become a maritime marine. When asked what he was most proud of, he said, “Realizing what is necessary for my future and being motivated to do well in school.”
The graduates of Vail Mountain School’s class of 2019 will be off to far-flung destinations next fall, set to enter college in one of 16 different states or explore the world on a gap year. One grad is even attending college in Canada.