Vail Daily column: Teen leader is enjoying the journey |

Vail Daily column: Teen leader is enjoying the journey

Anabel Johnson

Finding balance and time for self-care is a leadership trait that many overlook, so it is doubly impressive when a high school leadership youth can articulate its importance and make it a goal. Anabel Johnson is an entering senior at Battle Mountain High School and is not only involved in many activities on and off campus, but also pursues her many passions and goals. For Anabel life is about enjoying — it’s about not only doing everything you need to do but getting time for yourself as well to be able to enjoy what you’re doing. She wants to be known not only as someone who always worked her hardest at everything but at the same time was there for others and made a difference in her community and to her peers.

Balancing Act

During her high school career, Anabel has been a part of National Honor Society, Link Crew, cross country, Youth Leaders Council, and drama. During the coming school year, she will be the student body vice president, direct a play, be a peer mentor, and is also considering doing other sports on top of what she’s already a part of. If this wasn’t enough, Anabel also enjoys singing, painting, running, free-writing and reading. She learns to balance her activities with her hobbies to make sure that every day is a day she’s enjoyed. Anabel attributes learning her ambition from her dad who is the most intelligent person she knows, works extremely hard, is a coach, on boards and always a part of something, finds time to give back to the community and teaches her how to live life the best way possible.

Instilling Confidence

Anabel hopes to instill this confidence in her peers who may feel pressured by others excelling around them and who lack confidence in themselves. She sees community service as an opportunity for these students to be a part of something and feel wanted, needed and important. To her, community service is important because it brings community members together and breaks down people being on their own and doing their own thing; it makes the community a better place when everyone is willing to give a helping hand. Anabel has found time for service and has been a tutor for her peers, helped with trail races, Wild West Days, student council activities, theatre support and interned with a children’s theatre school. For her, service is important for good mental health and good karma. She loves teaching and working with kids and making a difference in someone’s life — even if she’s busy, she’ll find time.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Reaching for the Top

What makes Anabel a unique leader is that she enjoys the journey up hill and reaching the top because it makes you feel good, proud, confident, and gives one insight into future direction to take. It also helps you realize self and strive to help others along the way. Striving to make a difference in the community and helping others is not a waste of time, according to Anabel, but gives insight into new cultures and new ways of living.

“This valley is a very nice place,” she said. “We don’t see a lot of city issues here but there are still things that need to be recognized and supported. There are people who need help out there. It’s not a bright, happy world, but there are organizations out there willing to help people live a better life.”

Anabel encourages others to be a part of these positive efforts, to stay inspired and reach whatever goal they’re aspiring to reach. And most importantly, enjoy the journey along the way.

Mikayla Curtis is the resource development coordinator 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

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