“Honestly that first Legacy Summit still has a big impact, even now. Before Legacy, I was really shy. Even now I’m shy, but back then I was really really really shy. And so leaving Legacy, I was like ‘Oh! To some degree, everyone’s dealing with the same issues of loneliness or anxiety, or with their own personal stuff. So it’s not like I had to worry about what they think because I knew they were focused on themselves, and working on themselves. And I realized that I could be myself. I could do my own thing.”
Lily Rosado is a High School Sophomore in Lancaster, California who came to a Legacy Summit for the first time in February of 2017 as an 8th grader with her ASB class. When she signed up to attend she thought she knew what to expect. She’d already seen a difference in the confidence of her classmates who’d already been, and was excited to experience it for herself.
“I thought it would help me get out of my comfort zone. So I was excited – and I was nervous. But as soon as I arrived I knew it was going to be a lot of fun. I knew I wasn’t gonna want to leave, in fact, I cried on the bus ride home because I wished it had gone on longer!”
One of the first things that happens when students arrive is to gather in pre-selected groups who become their Legacy weekend family. This, on its own can be scary, however, after only one day Lily had a new friend. The two girls had never met yet after spending a few hours together, working through exciting and thoughtful experiences and deep sharing, Lily had a new best friend.
“It was my first day and I’d already made new friends. I knew I couldn’t be left out of anything because everyone there would make sure I wasn’t.”
Lily connected with peers and mentors every moment throughout the program. From the nature hike, to the art project, to the scariest climbing & heights ever, Lily felt empowered to explore her own potential and interests even further. Her new friends helped her through it, and they were all thrilled when they overcame their fears together.
“Everybody was scared, but we were all scared together, so we knew we’d have each others’ back. As I was climbing, I was able to focus on what the facilitators were telling me, and they helped me work through my fear, every step of the way. They kept telling me ‘Two more steps, when you think you’re done, only two more steps.’ They told me it was okay, whether I jumped at the end or climbed down, because either way I’d already gone further than I thought I could go. It made it a lot easier for me to think about it like that.”
Cross the Line was the activity that catapulted Lily to step fully out of her comfort zone. Lily remembers the activity feeling sacred, where everyone felt comfortable being exactly who they were.
“I don’t think I’d ever opened up about the things we talked about, like to, anybody. We were getting it all out and understanding that we’re all going through so much of the same stuff… I had a group of friends that I could share what I was going through, and it made me realize what I was going through was normal.”
Lily found comfort in her peers, (who were strangers just days before), rather than fear. That feeling of safety and being a part of the collective initiated momentum has kept her going since.
“There are very few places in the world where you can be completely vulnerable and not feel judged, and Lori (All It Takes’ founder and director) made sure we knew that All It Takes was a safe space. Everyone knew it was time to be serious.”
The confidence she’d seen her peers return with had found her too. Her experience is that everyone comes home from Legacy with a fresh and unique sense of confidence, the kind that only comes from within. Lily is still a shy person, and she’s confident, and she now enjoys being social. All It Takes is about finding confidence in who you are. The impact was tangible.
“Even when I got home my mom was like, ‘Wow, you seem different!’ Before Legacy I was a hot-head and very temperamental. After Legacy, instead of getting into arguments, I’d take a deep breath, notice my emotions and work towards fixing the problem. I became more grateful and level-headed.”
“Before Legacy, I had a few friends from elementary school who I stayed in contact with. In middle school I didn’t really talk to anybody, didn’t want to share my ideas, didn’t really contribute because I thought ‘oh, what if I get made fun of?’ After Legacy, I applied for ASB in high school, which I never thought I’d do, and made a new group of friends. All of a sudden I’m the girl who will go up to somebody sitting alone and ask them to come hang out.”
Lily returned to Legacy as a mentor the first opportunity she got. She loves mentoring new participants and seeing who they’ve become when they come to her school as a freshman.
“I love working with kids, and my first group as mentor was a really great group of kids. They were very respectful, and I was able to joke around and have fun, and when it came time to really pay attention, they’d listen to me. I was really nervous about having to lead a group of kids, because I’m the middle child in my family and I’m used to other people leading. I was afraid to boss them around, but it felt really good to know that these kids don’t hate me, they’re actually willing to listen to me.”
As her group started opening up to Lily and confiding in her, Lily realized that she was already everything she needed to be to be a great mentor. She had doubts, but she had the confidence to try it anyway, and her group respected it.
“After Legacy, I joined a youth group, which I go every week and I even went to Mexico and worked with kids in orphanages. We helped repair buildings and played with the kids. It was an amazing trip. I think after Legacy, I just wasn’t as scared to work with people, so I joined more leadership oriented groups where I could work with people. I love art and I want to spread positivity, because even kids my age can be so apathetic and I don’t think that way.”
Lily notices all of her strengths, and understands her growth points.
“I’ll still stereotype people in my head sometimes, and make a decision on whether I think they’ll like me. I want to move past that. If they don’t like me that’s okay, but I can at least give it a shot.”
As a sophomore, Lily looked up to her older peers in ASB who were seasoned AIT mentors. Now, she’s working side by side with them and this has brought them all together.
“I wanted to be like my mentors, they weren’t much older than me and I felt like they knew so much. At that point I knew that I wanted to keep coming to Legacy and learning from them.
Now, “we’re really close.”
As the senior group of AIT mentors get ready to graduate, Lily and her peers are ready to step up and keep their school engaged with All It Takes messaging and programs. She has already earned the position of ASB Commissioner, is currently planning and securing scholarships for college, and she’s part of the hospitality team in her youth group, the most social position. Ultimately she’s become more confident in communicating with everyone, including her family where she is working to strengthen relationships and avoid arguments.
Looking ahead, Lily knows she wants a future that’s defined by working with others and spreading kindness.
“I know I can make a difference. I want to work with kids, and I know I want to work with All It Takes until I graduate.”