Professor, youth advocate earns kudos from state

By Staff

Elaina Verveer, a youth advocate and professor at both Naropa University and the University of Colorado-Boulder, was recognized May 15 for her years of work in the community when she was awarded the title of 2010 "Outstanding Civic Leader" by the Colorado Governor's Commission on Community Service.

Because of Verveer's work and passion, youth all over our county are creative positive change in
the community. Elaina works with middle, high school and college students all over the county, inspiring all of them to make the community a stronger place. She teaches such classes as "The Art of Community Organizing," "Democracy, Education and Social Change," "Renewing Democracy in Communities and Schools," and "Teaching Social Justice," in which she supports college students as they create positive change in the area. Secondary school participants in her "Public Achievement" program have marched from Boulder to Lafayette on Cesar Chavez Day for immigration reform and produced public service announcements about local teen violence, changing school and local policy, and addressing various – inequities in the community.

Members of the Lafayette Youth Advisory board, a group of middle and high school students that work with the Lafayette City Council to address issues impacting local youth, with Verveer's help have successfully raised funds for a Layfayette skate park.

Lafayette Mayor Chris Cameron said, "You can bet that if young people are doing something good in Lafayette, Elaina has been involved somewhere along the line."