When Aubrey Taylor was a teenager, she struggled with depression and anxiety, as well as a feeling that she was meant to do something significant for this world. A summer at Youth For Freedom leadership camp changed her perspective, and gave her the tools to pursue her dreams.
“It changed my whole life. I decided right then and there: this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. I don’t want another teen to ever feel the way I felt.”
Aubrey got a job at Youth For Freedom and eventually purchased the company, which hosts an annual summer camp as well as online mentorship and other special events. She’s also continued to work on her own leadership skills, which is how she met Everett’s Laycee Gwyther, founder of Executive Beauty Suites.
“It’s important to me that I practice what I teach. If I coach youth, it’s important that I’m coached. If I encourage them to surround themselves with powerful people, I need to surround myself with powerful people,” she says.
Aubrey attended a program where Laycee was a coach, and by the end of the program the two had formed a strong bond.
“I had never met someone who was so willing to help me in every area. She helped me map out programs, structure pricing, she gave me advice on how to handle difficult conversations with businesses,” Aubrey says.
Laycee travelled to the Youth For Freedom Leadership Camp to be a guest speaker, where her personal story of overcoming challenges and finding success was an inspiration to camp attendees. But Laycee didn’t just give a speech.
“We actually don’t have a lot of speakers at YFF, we’re much more focused on experiential learning,” Aubrey says. “So Laycee turns to me and says, ‘I’m here, what else do you need me to do?’ She drove the shuttle, she lead games, she sat down with a kid having an anxiety attack — she was all in.”
Executive Beauty Suites donates prize to Pathfinder Program
This year’s Youth For Freedom leadership camp happens June 27 – 30 in Zion National Park, Utah, with separate programs available for youth ages 11 to 18. The camp is not therapy or a boot camp for troubled teens, and all youth must be keen to participate. Space is still available if you’d like to sign up!
“A leader is a path finder. We’re encouraging our 17- and 18-year-olds to plan for their futures by using our tools, systems and coaches to prepare a detailed PATH to their goal. One winner chosen by the YFF board will walk away with $5000 to launch their leadership, in whatever form that looks like,” Aubrey says.
The $5000 prize has been generously donated by Laycee Gwyther and Executive Beauty Suites.
Learn more about Youth For Freedom at youthforfreedom.org.
Executive Beauty Suites empowers new and established entrepreneurs by providing an environment where independent businesses can thrive at 111 SE Everett Mall Way, Building F, Everett. Learn more at exbsuites.com.