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 The YCLT experience so impacts many of the youth present that several return to be facilitators for the new crop of youth the following year. Some come to share their testimony while others come to witness a transformation in their peers.

 “I am so sure that they [the participants] will go as learners and come out as leaders! I know I have,” said Ashley Moreno, a facilitator from St. Theresa Parish in Palm Springs and YCLT 2011 participant. “Before YCLT I had no idea what I was going to do in life or what I was going to do to help out my community. Now I participate in the Youth group and I help out my community in every way I can.”

 During the weeklong retreat, youth take part in talks given by youth ministers and other guest speakers on topics like spirituality and leadership skills. Community building activities, prayer, music and Mass complete the retreat experience. Participants often return as facilitators because of the greater connection to God they experience through the activities and surroundings. 

 “Meeting all of the different youth that desired God, encouraged me to not only have respect for my faith, but also live every moment for God,” said Claudia Hidalgo, a facilitator from St. Thomas Parish in Riverside and YCLT 2010 participant. “Since the summer of 2010, I have desired and began to seek God like never before. I knew then and there at YCLT that I wanted to serve him.”

 “I don’t know exactly what it was that happened; but somehow, God touched me, and began to change me noticeably from that event on,” said Jesus Puentes, a facilitator from St. Mary Parish in Fontana and YCLT 2010 participant. “Through my interactions with other people, and the awesome experiences that I had during those days, God started to more noticeably break open that proverbial ‘shell’ in which I had kept myself isolated, and limited for years.”

 After experiencing the retreat, many participants leave ready to make an impact as leaders at their parish and in the broader community. 

 “Since YCLT I have taken more leadership positions in school and in my parish,” said Eddie Coronado, a facilitator from St. Anthony Parish in San Jacinto and YCLT 2011 participant. “I have been able to apply techniques taught at YCLT in our EDGE middle school youth ministry and the ASB at San Jacinto High School.”

 “By the end of the training, I had met a few of my best friends (we’re still in touch) and I was ready to dedicate more time and effort to my church than I already was before,” said Justin Tecson, a facilitator from St. Mary Magdalene Parish in Corona and YCLT 2011 participant. “I knew right when I checked myself in I would come out with the courage to make a difference in the lives of others as well as my own.”