What it means to leave a legacy

Legacy. The word holds a lot of power and is one of CYL’s core values. For CYLers it empowers young people to think of the impact they are leaving behind after high school. It means creating something sustainable and long-lasting. It means letting go of the fixed mindset of “this is how things are” and moving into a growth mindset of “here is a chance for us to grow and learn.”

Each year, CYL’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) leaves an incredible legacy; from the CYLers in 2014 who actually created YAB to the class of 2016 who created Base Camp, each year builds upon the legacy the previous YAB created. 

One year ago, we were gearing up for Base Camp: Be Heard, an annual youth leadership conference created and implemented by CYL’s Youth Advisory Board. Be Heard represented the desire for teens to uncover their passions and to share their unique story. It just so happened that the History Colorado Center was unveiling their “What’s Your Story?” exhibit, funded in partnership with CiviCO, just in time for the exhibit to be the backdrop of the entire conference. As students walked into the “What’s Your Story?” exhibit for the first time, there were immediate synergies as the words commit, impact, changemaker and spark posted around the interactive, youth-minded exhibit made them question if CYL had any part in the creation of this exhibit. 

After learning how CYL utilized the exhibit to amplify the voices of young people at Base Camp, Young Leaders Riley (CYL ‘20), Morgan (CYL ‘20) and Grace (CYL ‘22) were invited to interview with the team at CiviCO to share their experiences of the exhibit from a youth perspective. The leadership of our students blew their team away. Right there, a new partnership was ignited. You can hear Grace, Morgan and Riley sharing their perspective about the “What’s Your Story?” exhibit here.

As COVID-19 impacted the immediate future of CYL in-person programming in March 2020, a new partnership was forming behind the scenes. CYL and CiviCO engaged in conversations to form a strategic partnership with the aspirations to empower leaders across the state of Colorado to find purpose and lead through their passions, from Young Leaders to adult leaders. On July 1, 2020 Jen Landers, CYL’s Executive Director, joined the CiviCO team and is currently sitting in the role as Executive Director for both Colorado Young Leaders and CiviCO.

Our collective vision is to cultivate and activate diverse leaders who elevate our community. Always bold in impact, deeply ingrained in service, inclusive at heart and uncompromisingly together. 

We are excited about this partnership and opportunity to expand CYL programming and connect with adult leaders across the state who can lift up and amplify the work of our Young Leaders. It’s powerful to know that the good you do today can transcend the current moment and create a ripple effect for days, weeks, months and years to come. Because of the 19-20 YAB’s commitment to storytelling and amplifying youth voice, CYL now has this incredible opportunity to lead in a unique way. 

October 29, 2020