“Worth More Than Gold” was the theme for the first Snowball retreat Mia attended and she says those words amplified her entire life. The Snowball retreat is one of 360 Youth Services’ most popular programs and focuses on celebrating yourself and others, making positive choices, and learning leadership skills. The Naperville Central graduate began attending Snowball her sophomore year and even served as Teen Director while a senior. Prior to attending, Mia said she was a girl who looked happy on the outside, but was looking for a group of people who celebrated her for who she was, without having to prove herself first. And that’s exactly what she found at Snowball.

She especially loved her small group and the vibrant conversations that flowed afterward. Even if she didn’t contribute, she always learned something from someone else.

“Snowball made me want to stay positive and keep that spirit,” says Mia. “It was in the laughs, the talks, the adventures, the coffee dates, the random acts of kindness and appreciation. Snowball isn’t one place, it’s in all of us who have realized the power of caring for others and showing them that without any special reason to.”

This August, as she heads off to Sarah Lawrence College to fulfill her dream of fashion design, she credits Snowball with her positive feelings about the transition to college. She believes she is able to approach new people and situations more easily; that’s definitely worth more than gold!

And that’s where Mia is now.


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