By LORY POUNDER
summit daily news
Summit County, CO Colorado
February 22, 2008
FRISCO — Two years ago, Henry Martinez moved to Summit County from Guatemala without knowing any English.
This week, he spoke the language perfectly at an Our Future Summit forum. Henry, a junior at Summit High School, was one of the four students who shared their perspectives of school, the county and world at a small public forum at Summit Middle School. He sat alongside students Brittany Moore, Nick Adolph and Lizzy Shay Thursday night.
As teenagers, they are hopeful for the future, for their personal success and are working to make a difference, are interested in politics, and, like most teens, want to be taken seriously.
Brittany, who moved to the county from Highlands Ranch about four years ago, is the senior class president, on the swim team and involved with a number of committees.
Recently, she was accepted to the University of Colorado in Boulder where broadcast journalism may be a path she follows.
Nick is a sophomore involved with many of the athletics at the school and an advisory committee. Lizzy is a junior who has played a variety of sports, is currently on the Alpine ski team and participates in the International Club that Henry is a member of as well.
Lizzy moved with her family to Summit County from Lakewood about four years ago and fell in love with the area. She was the only of the four who is certain she will make this her home in the future.
“With the resources I have been given ... chances are pretty good that I’m going to be successful,” said Lizzy who plans to work in the ski industry. She said she enjoys “the feeling of being close to greatness. ... The people who live in Summit County chose to be here and I like the kind of people who would choose to be here.”
However, both she and Brittany said they faced the challenge of being accepted in “such a close-nit community” when they first arrived. And while a couple of the students said they feel as though a city like Denver offers more opportunities in terms of school athletics and future jobs, they complemented the community feel here.
Still, one of the concerns Lizzy shared is the social and cultural boundaries she sees in the county. She added that “students are more courageous than parents ... willing to cross (these) boundaries.”
Something these teenagers believe could improve the area for youth as well as lower drug and alcohol use, would be a recreation center run by young adults with dances, computers, movie nights.
The challenges they all face now are trying to decide where their future will take them, but all are optimistic that their generation will create positive change.
Henry said he sees his peers as open-minded and willing to try new things.
Nick said, “I see our generation ... (as) solving these problems of hate and war.”
Brittany added, “I hope in the future our generation can lead the world in a more peaceful away of going about our problems.”
Lory Pounder can be reached at (970) 668-4628, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Working to make Summit County a Better Place to Live for Ourselves and Future Generations