Through CYL, I learned what an incredible impact youth can have when they come together to problem-solve and think creatively. Through organizing White Out the Stigma (our Global Youth Service Day project focusing on reducing the stigma of youth mental health), I realized that youth are unstoppable when we are focused on creating a specific solution to a certain problem. I think adults too often underestimate youth and the unique set of skills they possess when combating issues in our society.
CYL helped me grow into a more confident leader by giving me the professional skills I needed to take my role as a leader to the next level: reaching out and coordinating with non-profits, thinking creatively to problem solve, engaging in deep conversations with other students or adults, perfecting facilitation skills for team-building exercises, and volunteering with a wide array of different organizations. All of this experience that CYL provided not only made me become confident in myself but also made me a competitive applicant for different schools and jobs.
First, I carry the CYL legacy because every day I wake up I strive to #LiveLikeLauren and be Kindly Bold in each of my daily interactions and activities. Secondly, I carry the legacy of CYL by not only continuing to engage in service and volunteer opportunities but by reflecting on them as well. An important part of CYL is to reflect on the service that is being done to make it meaningful and more impactful, which I carry with me in my life today.
CYL helped me realize that service itself can be a passion and it is something that I am able to engage in on multiple levels across multiple issue-areas. I am currently living out my passion of service by continuing to serve my community in a variety of different ways. At CU, I am involved in a large service organization that has weekly and monthly volunteer opportunities and I work at CU’s Volunteer Resource Center where I help run the food pantry for students on campus!
CYL has given me friendships and partnerships I continue to cherish, which have continued to positively impact me. CYL helped me identify my love of serving others and gave me the tools I needed to take my passion for service to the next level.
Without CYL, I would have never thought so critically about service and would not be as passionate about volunteering as I am today. Without CYL, I also wouldn’t have some of the amazing people in my life today: Manda, the entire Denver Chapter who helped create White Out the Stigma, Lauren S., Jen, Hayley, and of course, the cherished memories of Lauren Guthrie.
Johnny Hultzapple, CYL ‘19
Studying at the University of Colorado Boulder, majoring in International Affairs and Spanish, as well as minoring in Political Science