What has CYL meant to you as a young person and as a leader this year?

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With our annual Board of Directors meeting approaching, we asked some of our Youth Advisory Board members to answer this question: What has CYL meant to you as a young person and as a leader this year?

Here is what they said…

“CYL means growth to me.  I’m not innately comfortable leading in the spotlight.  CYL showed me that not only can I do so but also that there is more to leadership, far more, than standing before others and talking.  I am a quieter leader, but enjoying the challenge.  As for personal growth, CYL has increased the reach of my ideas and impact.  CYL brings meaning to my time beyond the high school experience.” (Kavan, Senior, Kent Denver)

“Recently CYL has become a major part of my life.  All my life, I have had this unknown passion that I couldn’t figure out how to fill.  When CYL came into my life, I have found that service fulfills that passion.  I have made so many friendships and connections with amazing high school students.  I have become a more confident and more organized person in my normal everyday life, in my school life, and in my extracurricular life.  CYL has pushed me to take risks that I would have never even considered before.  I have learned how to connect with people and communicate with them.  I have become more aware of the community around me and learned what I can do to improve it.” (Maddy, Sophomore, ThunderRidge HS)

“As a young person, it is hard to find your voice and use it in the most powerful way.  CYL has given me the opportunity to use my voice.  It encourages the idea that, yes, I may be a young person, but that does not rate me as less of a leader or less of a vessel of change.  CYL has taught me about how to transfer my passion into change.  Not only has CYL given the opportunity to expand my character as a leader and a young person, but it has made me more involved in my community and makes me feel valued as a person and leader.  CYL means the world to me because it helps me see the world and become a apart of it.” (Cece Cole, Freshman, GALS Denver)

“Colorado Young Leaders has empowered me to take initiative and get involved in my community.  As a leader, CYL has taught me to be open to new ideas.  Before CYL, I didn’t know how valuable and enjoyable volunteering is.”  (Maddie, Junior, East HS)

“CYL has given me the opportunity to expand my definition of “leader” and find a new outlet for my positive energy.  It has helped me become more humble and introdcued me to the most unique, incredible individuals I have ever met.  I have been able to find people with the same passion of putting other first and dedicating their time to others.  The people I have worked with are so amazing and kind.  I am grateful to be able to help them have the time of their life in whatever we are doing.”  (Maddy, Senior, South HS)

“Where do I even start?  I honestly feel like CYL has changed my lift.  It has exposed me to my passion for helping others, it has sculpted me into an independent leader.  CYL has helped me inspire others and inspire the true leader in me.  CYL has made me into a selfless, passionate, intelligent person.  CYL has shown me just how much I can do as a teenager for my community.  Dedicating my Mt. Cameron climb to amazing people like Brehla, who I snowboard with through NSCD, has given my life an empowering meaning.  Thank you Nicole & everyone who made this dream possible.  I am proud to say I am a Colorado Young Leader!” (Stevie, Junior, East HS)

“CYL has been a tremendous experience.  It has enabled me to volunteer with groups and organizations that I am passionate about.  Through this process, I have done meaningful work instead of volunteering solely for the purpose of meeting a school requirement.  Most of all CYL has made giving back and volunteering fun!” (Will, Junior, East HS)

“CYL has been a way for me to explore Colorado through volunteer opportunities.  I have learned how to be a better leader through these experiences.  They have equipped me with leadership techniques and how to prosper.  I have learned to spread my leadership values towards other young people and my generation.”  (Katherine, Junior, Kent Denver)

“CYL is an incredible organization that has given me hope for my generation and inspired me to give back to the world around me.  I have been incredibly humbled by my experience so far & I think the mission of CYL is going to change the lives of not only its Young Leaders, but also the lives of all those our Young Leaders come in contact with.  I am blessed to be an intern for CYL” (Hayley, Freshman, University of Denver)

“I first joined CYL because I wanted to be more involved in the community.  When I joined it was a lot different than I thought.  The CYL team is awesome and I like how everyone works together.  Joining it has helped me feel apart of something important.  Going on Snow Service trips, being on the YAB, and meeting new people has helped me develop as a leader.  I am so glad I found this awesome organization to be a part of outside of school.” (Claire, Junior, East HS)

“For me CYL has opened doors to amazing opportunities.  It has taught me that I don’t need to be an adult to make a difference.  Being on the YAB is really awesome because we are able to make decisions that impact our generation and our community.  We get to help decide what we do and how we do it.  I love CYL.” (Ellie, Junior, East HS)

“CYL has benefitted me in so many ways.  CYL taught me how to be a leader, respect others, believe in myself, and try to understand people who have unique needs or different ideas.  As a high schooler, it has allowed me to listen to other’s ideas and collaborate with them to make change.” (Weston, Sophomore, ThunderRidge HS)

“CYL is important because it gives young people the opportunity to become leaders in their community.  It gives high schoolers connections, skills, and networks to make their dreams a reality.” (Emma, Senior, South HS)

“CYL has meant a lot to me because I have grown tremendously as a leader and a young person through interacting with other students from different schools.  I have learned numerous leadership skills through the Leadership Exploration Meetings and continue to develop as a person and a leader through consistent participation and involvement in our YAB.” (Kaushik, Junior, Cherry Creek HS)

February 4, 2015

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