Vail Daily column: Teen positively influences all who know him | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily column: Teen positively influences all who know him

Mikayla Curtis
Youth Leader Spotlight

Javier Corona

One of the greatest parts of my profession is being able to meet passionate, caring and wonderful young people. Javier Corona is one of those youth who immensely impresses you after spending five minutes with him. His outlook on life is so positive and profound for such a young age that you keep reminding yourself that if he can be that positive, you certainly can be as well. Javier is a sophomore at Battle Mountain High School who has his sights set on attending Stanford Law School. He hopes to one day practice family law to help people wrongly accused and to help set things right for families who have been deeply affected.

High expectations

Since he was young, Javier has been encouraged by his mom and family to always seek to be a better person. One of his greatest assets has been the high expectations his mom has had for him — this has encouraged him to continually make her proud and accomplish important achievements.

Javier believes youth need parents that push them. He has observed parents of peers who show that they care but don't push their children when they're ready to give up or are afraid to try new things. Javier also believes parents need to be strict with their children and need to be present for their children.

His mother worked very hard at many jobs with little sleep as he was growing up, but she always made sure she was there for her son. Javier recognized this and has greatly appreciated it.

Javier says every youth appreciates their parents looking out for them and supporting them, whether they'll tell their parents or not. His recommendation for parents is to make sure to have boundaries set, create high expectations and hold children to these expectations because it teaches them responsibility and good behavior. To extend Javier's recommendation, collectively across our community we need to support our youth and hold them to high expectations and be there to help them achieve those defining moments.

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A positive outlook

When Javier was younger, he was diagnosed with a medical condition that has since created some limitations around what he's able to do. A lot of people would see this diagnosis as a huge setback to their quality of life, not Javier. He is always smiling and positive and is just so happy to be healthy, have his intelligence and be able to enjoy life with family and friends. His goal is to change things in the community for the better and bring others hope for the future.

He believes that no matter how stressful life is or how tough your background is, there's always a way to better your life and be happy. He shared a story of a friend who had a tough home life, but no matter what always had a smile on his face. At times, though, it became too hard and his friend wanted to give up. Javier was there for him and wouldn't let him do so. Javier helped his friend keep his head up and focus on his goals. His persistence to see others succeed is what sets Javier apart from his peers and makes him one of the most positive young influences I've met.

AWARDS

Javier was recently awarded the Youth Legacy Builder Award from the Eagle River Youth Coalition at the annual Valley Tastings event. This honor, along with the Youth Summiteer Award, are awarded each year to the most outstanding youth nominated by the community. Javier was nominated because he is such a positive influence for other youth and supports their development as much as his own. The legacy Javier hopes to leave our community is to change things that could help better the community. He encourages everyone to join as many activities and projects as possible and to use free time productively by helping others and having a positive influence on them.

To follow Javier's example and to learn how you can get involved in being a positive influence for youth, visit http://www.eagleyouth.org.

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. In addition to the 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 http://www.eagleyouth.org.