Get Connected/My Stories »
Everyone has a story to tell. Here is a collection of stories related to STLF submitted by students, parents, supporters, partners, and more. Explore the stories, post comments, and submit one of your own to be posted soon! Thanks for reading!
This year's bus core from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls shares their story of how they got to be where they are today.
Nicole shares proof where home is for her and how STLF was a college experience game-changer. Check out her story here!
When Wenkai first arrived in the US, her goal was to finish school and return home. After participating on a PIF tour her freshman year, her perspectives changed and she started getting energized from being involved.
After Paying It Forward multiple times, Mariam discovers opportunities outside of her zip code and comfort zone. Most often girls in her community do not leave home for college, but Mariam decided to be a role model for other young women around her.
Amber submitted this story a year ago to share STLF's impact in her life. Follow Amber from high school to undergrad through STLF and see how she has extended beyond STLF since!
Kjersti shares why being a bus core leader is a different experience than being a participant. She shares her gratitude for seeing a diverse group of people being knit into a family.
In this essay for his English class on a time that had meaning in his life, Christian recaps his first Pay It Forward Tour. Peek in to see what fuels his desire to serve and his view of the gift of giving.
In this video My Story, Sparky shares his journey with a group of STLF college participants in a Celebration City! Check it out from the audience's perspective.
"A person is a culmination of all the experiences they've ever had which are tied to all the experiences in the world...Sometimes we forget how connected we all are and instead get caught up in our own worlds."
"You don't have to solve world hunger or cure cancer to be a leader. My students were leaders the moment they sought solutions for problems in their community, big or small. My students were leaders when they saw the potential for change in themselves."
"If you are someone who is reading these personal stories to address your apprehension that STLF might not be the organization for you, have no fear. I can say with confidence that, if you keep an open mind, the STLF community can become yours. It’s a community that changed my life for the better."
"I am a parent of my daughters who just got back from the STLF Pay It Forward Tour. I just want to say, from a parents perspective, that this is an amazing experience for them."
"As I go on to lead ISU mystery bus 1 this upcoming spring I am ecstatic to help fellow students overcome their struggles while revealing their leadership potential. I want nothing more than for every participant to have an amazing experience gaining insight into themselves and their potential."
“The mission of STLF is to reveal leadership through service, action, and relationships”. That isn’t a mission; a mission implies a wish for something. Consider that statement a promise. A promise implies fact. I can promise, if you let it, STLF will change your life. I know it changed mine.
STLF students Audrey (IL) and Tyler (MN) met each other at Leadership Camp during the summer of 2011 where they created a remarkable friendship.
I could go on and on about the transformational experiences I saw take place on Laura Jeffrey Academy's first-ever Pay It Forward tour. I had been on 6 tours before, but this was my first time as a "community partner," as I worked to get the tour started out of the all-girls middle school in St Paul that I work at as an Americorps Promise Fellow.
"It was a remarkable day during which I several times found myself overwhelmed with emotion. The world is due for a change and I think your group is helping that along."
"When I joined STLF this past fall as a freshman at MSUM, I was told by numerous people that going on the Pay It Forward tour would forever change my life. I knew it would probably be a humbling experience, but wasn't sure it would have that much of an impact on me."
"If you’re like me, you can probably trace a chain of major life events back to one single point. My point is that email. If I had overlooked it, my life would be completely different and almost assuredly not as great."
"It was at that moment, when we arrived back in Grand Forks that I realized I paid it forward. Not only to the communities we served but to anyone that felt the same way I did when I got off that bus four years ago. For anyone that is considering a bus core position, don't wait until your fifth tour."
"I have never seen such a genuine smile on my son's face, nor seen such immense internal happiness beaming through him. I waited to send this note to see if it was a temporary gift, but it is sticking! The impact is real!"
"I can't lie and say I'm not nervous about leading about 37 of my peers on a Tour. I'm hoping I can give them the same awesome experience I had last year..."
Each summer STLF Chapter Core leaders choose a Word of the Year at our annual Summer Retreat. It is a word that unifies all of STLF and describes the year to come. This year the chosen word was Empower. Maryssa reflects on what this word means to her as we enter Tour Season!
I encourage others to get involved in Students Today Leaders Forever and pay it forward when they can! It's very rewarding! "[STLF] cannot do all the good the world needs, but the world needs all the good the [STLF] can do." -Kari Stenger
"After going on Tour my life would never be the same. I became part of something bigger, I changed lives, I inspired others, I gave back and I became a part of a family."
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- Middle School Participants
- Service and Housing Partners
- Student Core Leaders
My Story - University of Wisconsin River Falls Bus Core
Read about how a group of students came together and became a family - and a bus core!