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Vail Daily column: Feed two birds with one seed

Franklin Reilly

Being young is a time to try new things, explore your interests and learn from your mistakes. It’s also a time to find out what’s important to you, to identify lifelong mentors and to embrace service and humility. That is what Franklin Reilly has been doing and commits to as a young person in the Eagle River Valley.

Franklin is a sophomore at Battle Mountain High School who keeps himself busy with many sports, music, hobbies and helping out others. He learned early in life from his mother and family that giving to others is a part of who a person is and that it’s important to serve others for the sake of giving and not to boost personal ego. Anywhere he and his mom go, they are always willing to jump in and help others. This desire for service has come from a goal of being humble but also from key mentors in Franklin’s life.

Franklin looks for teachers who are passionate; he would rather learn from people with passion than be focused on just the topic. Franklin has a lot of influences in his life depending on what he’s doing — whether it is baseball, music, school or other groups. He chooses mentors for their passion but also for people who reflect the characteristics of failing and persevering.



AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN



Franklin loves beating the odds and proving wrong those who tell him he can’t accomplish something, which offers terrific motivation to be the best he can at everything he does. Mistakes are also very important to Franklin, as he loves making mistakes because no one is perfect or ever will be, therefore it’s important to use every mistake to grow into a better person.

Franklin is also a member of the Youth Leaders Council through the Eagle River Youth Coalition and talks about how this role has made him more confident that the voice of youth is heard throughout the community, offering fresh ideas on how he could impact the community. The Youth Leaders Council initiated the 2014-15 school year with a retreat at the end of September that brought together this excited group of young people who represent all six local high schools and are ready to increase the youth perspective in the community.

Franklin sees the role of Youth Leaders Council as “feeding two birds with one seed.” Organizations that receive advice from Youth Leaders Council are able to better serve youth and in turn, young people can better support these organizations when they feel more connected and an inclusive part of these organizations.



When it comes to service, Franklin sees it like a balance board, knowing that anyone could end up on either side of the balance board and therefore it’s important to help people out when they need it. Additionally, he says it’s good to recognize opportunities to help people. Nonprofits and community members often have good intentions to help out but do not always have the resources, therefore it’s important for volunteers to pitch in and provide support to make an overall difference.

COMMUNITY COMING TOGETHER

During the summer, Franklin saw the community come together for the Evans Chaffee Kickball Classic, a benefit kickball tournament. He felt this was a great day to see local businesses uniting and having fun; it helped reassure him that community still exists in our valley and that people can come together to support a good cause. Franklin believes you will always be able to find places to help as long as you stay optimistic and are willing to take risks.

Franklin’s commitment to learning from mistakes, learning from others and staying focused is humbling. It’s important to recognize when others need help, and it can be risky to step forward and offer that help. More importantly, it takes motives beyond personal gain to make sure that we have a connected, caring and inclusive community.

One of his favorite things is to see someone who has worked tirelessly towards something and loves what they’re doing. This motivates Franklin to help out when he recognizes people lacking passion and he wants to help them uncover what excites them. Franklin is a part of a great generation that sees the value in a close community that cares for its members, and it’s an honor to have him engaged with leadership opportunities in the valley.

Mikayla Curtis is the resource development coordinator for 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. In addition to Youth Leaders Council, Eagle River Youth Coalition offers various levels of parenting education and training for community members. For more information, call 970-949-9250 or visit http://www.eagleyouth.org.


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