STLF Language & Messaging

We all are STLF.  Every single person that wears our shirts, anyone that screams our chants, and tags a photo of STLF on facebook represents WHO we are, the LANGUAGE we use, and WHAT we stand for.  This document’s intent is to unite us as STLFers, and best portray the STLF we all know and love!


Who we are:  Mission and Vision

Mission:  To reveal leadership through service, relationships and action

Vision:  To energize generations of student leaders


We are optimistic group of student leaders who engage in servant leadership to create positive life experiences.  As a volunteer-driven non-profit, STLF makes an impact in communities across the country. Engaging students on the college, high school, and middle school levels, STLF uses the dynamic Pay It Forward experience and the Leadership Camp to encourage life-long service and leadership.



STLF Language:  Positive, Inclusive, Optimistic, Energetic, and Judgment-Free

The most important point to remember is to be POSITIVE and JUDGMENT-FREE in your language.

STLF embraces and uses inclusive language.  We avoid language that could alienate or offend an individual or group of people.  This also means avoiding language that wrongly lumps individuals into a group.




Everyone, You all, Ladies &  Gentlemen, Friends


Students, Participants


People with disabilities

Disabled person

We… invite, encourage, ask, hope, get to, etc

You… must, have to, will



STLF Messaging:  Uniting to Convey Similar Values, Culture, Energy, and More

It is important for an organization to speak with one voice, though there are many spokespeople.  This is tough because messages are DIFFERENT when you are RECRUITING and when you are EXPLAINING. 


Recruiting (prospective participants):  SELLING the Story, the Tour, the Experience

You will probably talk about the Tour itself, logistics of sleeping on the floor, and the crazy time that your bus had to be towed and you spent 4 hours playing bus games. 


Explaining (city  contacts, people you meet):  TELLING the Story, the Tour, the Experience

Sleeping on the floor and bus games may same odd to the general person.  Talk about the service!  The leadership!  The unique opportunities and points of learning that every Tour brings!



STLF Talking Points:  Think about and Prepare in Advance

-          Convey Our Mission:  It sums up why we exist (and is only EIGHT WORDS!).

-         Tell What We Do:  Our main program is the Pay It Forward Tour (exist on the College, High School, and Middle School levels), but we do more than Tours.  We engage youth in servant leadership.  We provide positive life experiences.  We encourage commitment to action.

-         Share Our Impact:  Our specific numbers are always changing, so you might not know the number of Tours that have gone out, but it’s not the numbers that are most important. Stress that the true impact of STLF is within each positively changed life.

-         Tell your story:  Nothing is more compelling than a personal story, so share yours!