Colorado Young Leaders

A nonprofit organization

$45,198 raised by 93 donors

90% complete

$50,000 Goal

CYL exists to empower the next generation of leaders; a young person with a clear passion and purpose, a heart for others and the confidence to make the world a better place. Your gift will fund mission-driven expenses & will help extend our vision to serve more Colorado youth.


"CYL helps bring students into the community to make a positive impact, about what they're passionate about. It builds leaders and leadership skills to help us youth be stronger leaders in the future. CYL has given me more opportunities to volunteer and network in my community. It has taught me how to actually be a leader…and a better one at that, I have made more friends, become more confident, and I've really been able to find my passions and pursue them. It's given me the outlet to get things accomplished, and I think that's mostly because CYL doesn't limit us. We say 'How high?' and the staff says, 'As high as you want'. They let us explore things and make our own mistakes." (Maddy Gawler, South 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)

"Youth are gifted with unique and considerable levels of passion. They are longing for opportunities to test themselves and start making their mark on the world. I believe in Colorado Young Leaders because it calls out that passion, validates it, and provides the structure and guidance for it to be unleashed in truly constructive ways. CYL leaders grow in confidence, expand their world views, and become powerfully creative members of their community. What is not to believe in?" (Kelley Birschbach, GoTell)

"I used to feel that to make a difference I had to give everything away. I wanted desperately to save the world in one big dramatic act. I put away every cent in hopes of pursuing an outreach adventure abroad. For me, need and purpose had to be grand --and certainly located further away and somewhere more exotic than Denver. When I found CYL, that perspective changed in a way that I never could've expected. It turned out that making a difference was the magical result of many efforts coming together wherever it was needed. I realized, that I didn't want to be a savior. I just wanted to be someone that did something." (Olivia Wischmeyer, East HS)


To develop young people's leadership skills through our dynamic leadership process: to inspire a sense of adventure through meaningful service-learning opportunities in the local community; and to create community for young people to live out their discovered skills and passions.

Values: Leadership - Service - Community - Adventure - Legacy

Background Statement

Established in 2013, CYL is a student-driven organization, grounded in the belief that young people can change the world and animated by the core values of community, service, adventure, leadership and legacy.

From her experience teaching low-income and affluent youth, CYL's founder Nicole Mahobian remedied the level of apathy among students through experiential education. At Montbello HS, she had students share their dreams then arranged field trips to expose them to those fields and the skills they'd need. Youth saw for themselves that education was a path to living their passion, and 80% of those students improved their reading levels by up to 6 years. At Valor Christian HS, it was through international service trips that students found confidence and purpose, yet many disconnected after returning home. From these experience, CYL was born.

What sets Colorado Young Leaders apart from other leadership organizations is the combination of awesomeness that is brought together by the Decalibron Summit Program. The program brings all the important parts of our core values together: leadership, service, community, adventure, and legacy. Our vision is to have a community of high school students moving through each of the Summits together, guided by passionate adults that challenge them to be their best. The Decalibron Summit Program is a 4-year leadership model to explore causes & passions (Mt. Democrat); commit to a cause (Mt. Cameron); dig deeper for greater understanding (Mt. Lincoln); and to leave a legacy (Mt. Bross).

CYL provides 3-5 CYL-led service opportunities each month for students to explore service and discover their passions in a variety of cause areas primarily throughout the Denver Metro Area with the support of our nonprofit partner network. Called Service Adventures, these can range from a couple hours in Denver to a weekend program in the mountains. Cause areas can include, but are not limited to: adaptive sports; animals; arts & culture; civic engagement; community development; education; environmental & climate action; food access & alleviating hunger; homeless services; mental health; indigenous rights; social justice; and youth voice & leadership.

Leadership Exploration Meetings are the core of CYL's leadership development program to provide a safe space for youth to discuss community issues and to have conversations that matter. LEMs take place twice a month, during the 2nd and 4th weeks of each month, from September through May. In the fall, the focus is on identifying individual leadership skills and empowering youth to explore the leader within. In the spring, LEMs focus on how Young Leaders can utilize their leadership strengths to identify community needs and create an impactful community engaged project.

Organization Data


Organization name

Colorado Young Leaders

other names


Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Youth Development

Organization Size

Medium Organization


250 Fillmore Street Suite 225
Denver, CO 80206


250 Fillmore Street Suite 225
Denver, CO 80206

Service areas

Denver County, CO, US

Jefferson County, CO, US

Arapahoe County, CO, US

Douglas County, CO, US





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