Mountain Youth, formerly Eagle River Youth Coalition, is an nonprofit corporation that provides a voice for youth in our community and answers for parents and caregivers when there is a difficult situation at home or at school. Building a strong community requires a strong foundation, and that is what Mountain Youth has been doing throughout the Eagle River Valley since 2001.
Mountain Youth has a vision, mission and core values rooted in creating a community where all youth thrive. We help young people find their voice through our programs, including substance use prevention, safe-driving education, youth advocacy and parent education.
Valley’s Voice, which is a new iteration of the Youth Leaders Council (YLC), is youth-led and adult-supported so young people can instigate the change they want to see. More than 200 high school students from every high school in the Eagle River Valley have participated. Recently, YLC students have been influential in helping towns draft language to increase the smoking age to 21, participating in focus groups for towns and local companies and creating the Youth Master Plan for a future vision of our community.
Eat Chat Parent is an award-winning parenting program with nationally renowned speakers to guide trusted adults to talk about tough topics and to remind them they are not in the quagmire of raising children alone. This program has grown exponentially over the years, with more than 1,500 attendees in 2018-19. We have always offered live Spanish interpretation, and for the first time this year, we will offer a Spanish-specific seminar with live English interpretation on November 5 and 6. The topic is “Therapeutic vs. Therapy” and how to access local resources.
Finally, Mountain Youth is shifting from Families in Action to an in-school family wrap-around intervention program, called We Hear U. We are partnering with Eagle County Schools and Homestake Peak School in particular, designed to help youth who have an infraction. Their parents are also involved in the process so this is a two-generation strategy to help families who need it most.
For almost a decade, Alpine Bank has been instrumental in helping us create, grow and learn together. Mountain Youth and Alpine Bank are committed to keep youth a community priority, where we support healthy bodies and minds, encouraging leadership skills to guide their lives. Learn more about Mountain Youth at www.mountainyouth.org.