Youth Advisory Board

Ready now!

We don’t believe students need to grow up first in order to lead, they don’t want to wait until after college to impact their home life, their school, their community… the world!   CYL exists because we know that high school age students can make a difference in their communities today!  That’s why Young Leaders are a vital part of CYL’s decisions and discussions.  Please meet the current CYL Youth Advisory Board below.

ALL Chapters YAB

Stevie Shock, Co-President 

Senior, East HS

“Leadership is a set of skills that you learn from experiences in your life. The people that surround you help shape the way you comprehend situations. A good leader not only leads but follows, and adds their own unique touch to the way they push people to reach a common goal. Passion is one of my favorite words, and I believe that if you have a passion you need to follow that passion until you feel completely fulfilled. My passion is to help others. CYL has helped me in every possible way to fufill my passion, it has given me multiple perspectives by working with diverse communities, from disabled snowboarders to under-income kids. But most importantly, it has given me the leadership tools to embrace my passion and help my community.”

Maddie Walinchus, Co-President 

Junior, ThunderRidge HS

“Leadership is taking action when no one else will. It guiding people and providing an example to follow. It is bettering yourself as a person so that you can be at assistance for others. I think that an important issue that an everyday highschool student can solve is the issues within themselves. As Americans we always want to help others. We never stop and reflect upon our country and ourselves. I want the change in the world (a world of happiness) to begin with the change in ourselves. We all have so many issues that we should focus on changing within our lives, then we should go out and live our passions for the good of others.”


Will Palmquist, President

Senior, East HS

“Leadership is knowing when to take control of a situation and when to be more hands off. A misconception about leadership is that a leader is one who always takes command and tells people what to do. Leadership in its best form is when one is able to adapt to any given situation in order to better all parties involved.  I am passionate about soccer, and I play year around with very few days off. It requires a ton of resilience and has developed me greatly as a leader.”

Cece Cole, Vice President

Sophomore, Jefferson County Outdoor School 

“Many of my views of leadership co-align with CYL’s, but leadership to me is the translation of one’s values and passions to making a creative and unique difference in the world around you by using your own mindset. The power to lead is derived from the will one has to make a change, and how I like to think about it, the ripple they make all depends on how much they want the wave. I am deeply passionate about living life to its absolute fullest by a) staying aware about the world around me b) envisioning a perfect world and c) working towards that vision. I do that by pursuing my passion and showing great commitment to service, change, and purpose by exploring them and leading my life by them.”

Maddie McCabe, Treasurer

Senior, East HS

“Leadership is a mindset in which a person has the confidence in themselves to make a difference and help those around them. Leadership means supporting those around you, and contributing, not monopolizing, the over all success of the group. Through CYL, I have discovered that passion is expressed through action. I am deeply passionate about volunteer work, and helping other students become positive members of society. It is important to me that students across Colorado live up to their fullest potential and take advantage of the resources Colorado has to offer. Over the years I have begun to understand and find passion in how meaningful and enjoyable volunteer work can be.”

McKenna Gawler, Secretary 

Junior, South HS

“Leadership is having the capacity to listen to others before speaking your own mind. It is making other peoples needs a priority over yours and guiding them without portraying dominance. I think being a good leader is being open to learn from others as much as they learn from you.  I am deeply passionate about the errors in our education system. Schools put way too much emphasis on their “Core Subjects” when 65% of students will be going into a job that does not exist yet. Students will not have the skills those jobs require if schools focus on the wrong things. I think students should have more freedom to explore their future by offering more classes and reducing their required classes.”

Mackenzie Whitehead-Bust, member

Sophomore, Denver School of the Arts HS

“Leadership is the ability to drive change within a group of people and in your community, while maintaining a solid role as a group member, not a group dictator. I think a great leader isn’t always the voice of the group, or in the front of the pack, but plants a seed of innovation and initiation. A great leader has a deep knowledge of themselves, and draws on their own strengths to inspire other people. I have been privileged to have the opportunity to enjoy the vastly beautiful wilderness of Colorado on a regular basis. However, I know that many people in Colorado do not have the luxury of being able to get outside, due to physical, financial, or time constraints. Not only do I think the opportunity to experience the outdoors can be a pivotal aspect of a person’s life, but I also know that unless we do something more drastic to protect our natural resources and landscapes, future generations will not have the same beautiful environments to enjoy. I am deeply committed to doing my part and some more to protect and restore Colorado’s treasures, as well as create opportunities for kids who otherwise would have none, to experience the wilderness.”  

Claire Crawford, member

Senior, East HS

“Leadership is the ability to gain others’ respect. In order to guide people in making good decisions, others must respect and trust their ideas. It is also the ability to make judgement calls in difficult situations and problem solve, rather than just react. Lastly, leader must lead by example and show others how doing the right thing is admirable and important. “


Logan Ossentjuk, President

Junior, Kent Denver HS

“Leadership is standing strong in a tough situation. A leader stares into the eyes of adversity and says “Bring it on”. A true leader does not fear their weaknesses, in fact a leader embraces them. One can become stronger through recognizing their faults. A leader puts the needs of themselves behind the needs of others. A leader is defined by how he or she is seen by those that choose to follow them. A leader must embody passion to rise above the others, rally the weak, and drive others to take on a mission or cause. I am deeply commited to making people happy. This is true whether it is one of my best friends or a complete stranger. I am very empathetic and feel that the happiness of others should come before my own, therefore I work hard to make the people around me happy, which in turn makes me happy.”

Olivia Wischmeyer, Vice President

Junior, East HS

“Leadership is taking action against the things you feel hold the world back, while inspiring others to follow and fight with you until your actions can be felt in your community. I have always been torn between the things I am passionate about and I have found that I can embrace each passion and experience equally. I do not need to choose one way to live, I continue testing many ways of living until I find myself. Art for me has always been a passion of mine and I have spent countless hours in class and out of class creating. I spent about six years taking classes out of school and upon entering high school I have been committed to making use of my resources and experimenting with mediums and developing my artist voice. To view my art portfolio:”

Will Sadler, member

Junior, Kent Denver HS

“Solving issues is important to my involvement to the board. I feel that our generation has to ability to fix social problems such as race, gender, and sexual preference within the world. I feel we can solve this because of our closeness to social networking and technology and how it allows us to connect with people all over the world.”


Josh Mendrala, President

Junior, ThunderRidge HS

Leadership is setting the example for others to build on, follow, and improve; as well as being a vessel in order to absorb others’ teachings. I am passionate about living my life to the fullest and empowering others to do the same.”

Madison Goldsmith, Vice President

Junior, ThunderRidge HS

“Leadership is creating and executing a vision in the service of others by helping and providing them with training, tools, motivation, and your time, as well as emotional support, and intelligence so they can realize their full potential, both personally and professionally, while working toward a goal, and helping to understand the talents and passions of each individual as well as the potential of the group in whatever you, them, or the organization is trying to achieve.  I am absolutely passionate about and committed to volunteering and helping people whenever and wherever I can.”

Eske Carter, Treasurer

Sophomore, PalmerRidge HS

“For me leadership is to unite others and to inspire them to do something, as well as helping them accomplish that task and give them the resources they need for it. I am very passionate about student council. I love the school that I am at, and student council is a way to give back to my school, and try to make changes that are needed.”

Max Anderson, Secretary

Junior, Palmer Ridge HS

“Leadership to me is not one person being in charge telling everyone what to do. To me leadership is providing guidance for individuals to point them in the right direction so they can make the right decision for themselves. Leadership is a helping hand that enables individuals to figure things out for themselves, and providing guidance only when necessary. I am a very hard worker. When I commit myself to something, I always give it everything I can. I currently have two jobs and work over 30 hours a week, and I just turned 16 this month. I look at the things I am passionate about and they consist of: exploring the outdoors and nature, spending my time with my close friends, running as an outlet to explore the outdoors, but most of all, my smaller Colorado Springs community. I have learned from example from my parents what it means to develop a community and that is what they are currently doing in our downtown area. I am constantly able to spend time with several organizations in our area that are providing outlets that bring the community together, such as UpaDowna or Inside Out and several other organizations.”

Estee Medberry, member

Junior, STEM HS

“Leadership is standing up for the right things, using integrity and kindness as foundations. Being a leader is having others who want to follow you in making a positive difference. You need to listen to others and combine ideas to have the best possible outcome. I use the 4 way test that rotary follows: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? I am passionate about changing our generation in a positive way. I feel like we can not wait for others to make a difference. We need to take the initiative and take the first steps. We are the change and can not wait for others to do it for us. I am passionate about is making sure everyone is treated equally. My sister was adopted from China and I have seen how some people judge her as well as how others constantly make assumptions. I want to make sure people are treated equally no matter what race, religion, you name it. We all have red blood going through our veins and we are all human.”

Mikayla Warrick, member

Junior, Valor Christian HS

“Leadership is a person who is dedicated to helping other, whether directly or indirectly, find their path in life and directing them on how to make a positive impact. I am passionate about serving at places like North Littleton Promise where I can help children learn to read better and hopefully make an impact on their desire to achieve a lot in life.”

Have you volunteered over 50 hours in your community as a CYL member?  Have you submitted Mt. Democrat?  Do you embody CYL’s core values?  If so, you should apply for our Youth Advisory Board.  Although, the positions are set, we have a rolling acceptance of qualified Young Leaders.  If you want to apply, click here.