Saturday, June 25, 2011

Something to Celebrate: Young People to be Proud Of

So those of you who follow me on Facebook and Twitter might have noticed that I've recently become infactuated with the work done by a local group called the United Teen Equality Center. They are a youth-led coalition which works toward empowering young people to create change through policy-making.

The group provides a great antidote for those who think that young people are unengaged, uninterested, and, well, unlovable. I often hear so much hate directed toward young people--particularly young people from our urban cities.

Right now the organization is working on getting state bill #S00183 passed in Massachusetts. The bill would require state education officials to develop a high school civics course that covers the various branches of local, state, and federal government. The course would also teach high school students the history of social movements as well as current events. It sounds like a pretty good idea to me--teaching young people to be engaged in their community and government.

I've known for a long time the power teens have. In the early 90s I works at a youth shelter for teens who have runaway from home or were thrown-away by their parents. Some of those young people were the most engaging, hopeful, and intelligent people I've ever met. I think when I encounter the United Teen Equality Center and their work, I remember the young faces of the teens at the shelter I worked at. I remember the potential that was lost and found in the people who came through that door.

I hope you learn to see that potential, too.

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