“Embrace your own form of leadership while pushing your comfort zone in different aspects of your community.” These guiding words from CYL student Lauren G. underscore that leadership is not about who you are but how you engage within your community. Last May Lauren spoke about her leadership journey, one that was propelled forward through one simple item on her summer bucket list. In 2017, the rising high school sophomore and her best friend wanted to step outside their comfort zone and conquer a Colorado 14er. This bold goal led them to join with other teens on the annual Colorado Young Leaders Decalibron Loop Hike. The hike became more than just an event to check off the list, but the start of an adventure that would engage her in her passions, embolden her as a leader, and add context to her life’s legacy.
After graduating from Cherry Creek high school in May of 2019, Lauren tragically lost her life in a rock-climbing accident. At 18 years of age, the accident could have defined her life but Lauren’s story is about so much more than that. She stood out as a leader both in the classroom and in her community. She excelled at her passions which included climbing and outdoor adventure. Also, she was a champion for causes she cared deeply about including environmental stewardship and teen mental health.
As a member of the Colorado Young Leaders Youth Advisory Board, Lauren was asked to speak during our spring Decalibron Celebration. Her story continues to inspire our community as she shares how her experience with CYL helped her discover her unique leadership strengths. Recently, Lauren’s family provided this video of her speaking at our event and encouraged us to share it with our community. We hope her words give you a sense of her journey with CYL and her legacy as a kindly bold leader.