Reflections on the Riley’s Way Retreat

By: Madeleine Diagne

Thanks to the Riley’s Way Foundation, I was able to escape college for 3 days as my sisters’ chaperone for their annual Youth Leadership Retreat. She walked into the retreat nervous and anxious and left the Retreat with an amplified voice and an extended network of like-minded individuals. It almost seemed too good to be true. As she engaged in insightful workshops with 80+ young women/gender-expansive youth, I was honored to witness them navigate and evolve throughout the weekend. Networking with Riley’s Way team members and other chaperones was just the cherry on top.

The organization turned a devastating situation into an everlasting opportunity for the participants. Youth leadership truly matters, and witnessing the emerging connections among all of the participants from different walks of life was wholesome. These are our future leaders and influential figures for tomorrow, and they deserve to be invested in. The fate of our community is in their hands. I’m glad that there are organizations as such because this is an opportunity I wish my younger self had. I cannot thank them enough for the positive impact they left on my younger sister, and I cannot wait to witness their growth on a national scale.