STLF gave me the courage to be my true self and find my happiness.
Getting involved with STLF in college was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only have I gained friendships and created endless memories, but during a time where I felt lost and hopeless- STLF was very supportive. Through the years, STLF gave me the courage to be my true self and find my happiness. I gained a different perspective on life and became the person I am today. I was very appreciative of all that I learned and gained with STLF that I wanted to help others get the STLF experience.
I had the opportunity to be a core leader for a Pay It Forward Tour my junior year of college. Through organizing the trip, working with various communities, and seeing the positive affect it had on the participants, I realized I was a part of something more. I wanted to be a part of something more. This environment where young people could see they were making a difference, where they felt like they belonged, where they found their leadership, where they realized that what they do matters… I wanted to be involved with STLF more than ever.
Leading high school tours gave me the chance to connect with younger students and show them that they were and are leaders. At the end of every trip, I saw a positive change in attitude and self-confidence in them. I thought to myself, “if I could do this as a job, show young people there is a world awaiting their leadership and let them know they matter, I would feel complete.” Fast-forward 4 years after my first STLF experience, and I am working at an organization that gives young people the opportunity to explore what it means to be a leader and make a difference in the lives of others.
Working at STLF has allowed me to be a part of that “something more” I was longing for. Being on staff has allowed me to give back to this organization for supporting me through the tough times and showing me that I matter, that what I do matters. Now, I can help instill that in our students today, our leaders forever.