- Wood River Middle School
By Eric Valentine for the Weekly Sun
Eva Grover is one of those people who seem to understand that, as important as we are individually, it’s our connection to things larger than ourselves that matters most. Whether it be in her appreciation of sports, of nature, of family or of community, Grover’s sense of making lasting, positive impact finds its groove in the day-in, day-out little things we do.
“Kindness has a tendency to spread and inspire more kindness and I'm hoping that my small acts can help start little chain reactions and make a difference much bigger than myself,” Grover said, when answering how she hopes to make the world a better place, someday.
“I answered this same question in my last Compassionate Leaders meeting and I think the most reasonable and attainable way for me or anyone to make the world a better place is not some grand idea like ending world hunger or stopping all wars,” she explained. “In order to make the world a better place, I have made it a daily goal to make someone else’s day, whether that be with a compliment, a smile, or even just a wave across the hallway.”
A Valley resident since she was 3 years old—Grover was born in Heber City, Utah—the Wood River High School senior plans to attend one of several smaller liberal arts colleges back East. Among her preferred colleges are Dartmouth, Middlebury, Colby, and Bates. And since she is currently taking A.P. Studio Art, A.P. Physics, A.P. U.S. Government, A.P. Calculus, College English and War in the Modern World, and earning a 4.13 GPA, it means she is likely well prepared.
Her plans to head back East also mean she’s going to miss things here.
“My favorite thing about this community and the thing that I will miss the most is the outdoors,” said Grover. “A lot of the places in these mountains are a large piece of who I am and they are where I have spent a considerable amount of time, either with my family, friends or ski team.
“I am going to miss the culture of our Valley, as well. I don't think we really appreciate the generosity and kindness that we experience in this Valley on a day-to-day basis. The amount of community-wide support we have beyond our outdoors, arts, and education programs is hard to find elsewhere.”
Grover is a longtime Valley athlete, playing soccer and tennis for WRHS all four years. She says she learned a lot from both sports because one (soccer) is about finding cohesiveness with teammates and the other (tennis) is about being fully accountable oneself.
Grover is also a deeply involved Valley community member, evidenced by her involvement with Flourish Foundation and Amnesty International. Flourish Foundation meets weekly to practice meditation, find deeper human connection, and discuss secular ethics. Amnesty International seeks to raise awareness of global human rights issues.
Grover’s athletics and activism are not a surprise; she is the daughter of Chris Grover, head coach of the U.S. Cross-Country Ski Team.
“I think the one thing that I’m sure of is that I want to raise my kids the way I was raised,” Grover said. “Ever since I was little, my parents have taken me backpacking, hiking, and backcountry skiing. They have also surrounded me with a group of family friends who have become my second moms, dads, and siblings. From backyard dinners to weekend yurt trips, they have taught me that family is bigger than just those that you share blood with. My goal is to have those values fostered within my children.”