A word from Madison Walinchus, Colorado Young Leader

maddyMaddy (pictured left center in group), a 9th grade student at STEM Academy, has been very active and involved in various extracurricular activities all her life.  However, this summer Maddy had her first experience serving others when she teamed up with one of CYL’s non-profit partners for a week; during this time, she experienced first-hand the poverty in her home state and served alongside passionate people seeking sustainable solutions for this problem.

She left that week more self-aware, socially-aware, and eager to engage and serve more consistently in her community.  This past semester Maddy has regularly attended Colorado Young Leaders’ meetings to learn the skills & tools she needs to become a leader and serve more productively in her community.  She has taken her leadership skills to her role as President of the Junior National Honors Society, and she has spent hours serving at the SunValley Youth Center, Project C.U.R.E., and the African Community Center.  We asked Maddy some questions for this spotlight.  Here are the answers from this Colorado Young Leader:

What sets Colorado Young Leaders apart from other leadership organizations?

“It is really focused on getting you involved and learning and becoming a leader. Most organizations spend months planning for a trip coming up, but CYL is a NOW program. Also, it wants you to work in your community, change your community before you go changing the world.”

What are the top five characteristics of a leader?
“learner, listener, communicator, flexible, and patient”

How did Colorado Young Leaders develop you as a young leader that is self-aware, socially-aware, and engaged in community change?
“Before CYL I wasn’t really involved in other activities that were outside of my small town.  But through CYL, I have begun to understand that there is a world outside of my own, a world that could really use some volunteers. I have really been engaged in helping children in different situations from me to have a stronger foundation and be a rock they can grab hold of.”

What inspires you to be part of Colorado Young Leaders?
“Being able to see the smiles on others people’s faces when you help change their lives and knowing that the same smile is on yours.”

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February 18, 2014