Making space for teens to be teens
Our teen-aged young people are often the objects of inaccurate media reports and other biased portrayals. They deserve nourishing, not condemnation. We need to provide safe space in which our teens can develop and prepare for adulthood. We best achieve this when we are able to protect them from destructive forces – but also give them freedom to grow. In addition to these needs, which apply to all teens, there are also young people in our communities who have special responsibilities because of the unique challenges their families face. For these young people, economic opportunity must be a part of our support strategies.
What I am proposing
- Employment initiatives built around the school year, providing incentives for teens to stay in school and get good grades, with supports to help them achieve those goals.
- Programming outside of school is only appealing to a fraction of young people; accessible resources, safe spaces, and helpful adult resource facilitators are all welcome to the majority. We will establish facilities with these in each of our four communities.
- Teens need to be active participants in their own development. We will involve teens in every stage of planning.