To be a teenager again…

Frankly, I don’t think I would want to be. We spent the afternoon at Rise Life Management again and Josh and I worked with the 12-14 years olds. They were all girls, so while you might think they would be closed off to Josh the reaction was quite the opposite. These children are considered at risk youth, so often their family dynamic is not very supportive. The attention that Josh was giving these girls, by simply engaging in conversation with them, some over interpreted it. Think about being a teenage girl and having a guy talk to you for the first time. Admit it, you thought it meant he “liked” you.

We were working on self esteem and talking about things we do well and how that makes us the people we are. For example: I am a nice girl. What makes you a nice girl? Do you talk to the people around you? Do you help your parents around the house? What do you like about yourself. You could see the positive impact it had on some of the girls in the group. They were bringing out positive attributes in themselves that no one had ever bothered to talk to them about. There were some challenges with this exercise, but the one that struck me the most was that some of the girls resisted the exercise not because they were unwilling to talk about themselves, but because we asked them to write their thoughts down, and a few of them couldn’t write. These girls are in high school and needed my help spelling very simple vocabulary. We go back there in a few weeks and I asked to work with the same age group again, I hope they can see that there is more to being a woman than Vybz Cartel suggests in his lyrics.

Youth Development Trainees

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