Empowering Our Youth
What do you think?
When you hear the phrase Empowering Youth for success what actually comes to mind?? I am sure there are many things that do, for me I have a million and one things going through my head as to what it could mean and what it actually means to me. The best description I can give is to provide youth with the necessary life skill tools so that they may achieve WHATEVER is put in their path, whether good or bad. To teach them to manage their own lives and how to stay in control of it.
Whether the definitions are on point with one another or not really is irrelevant because the over all meaning is stated as such just worded differently. Does that make sense? We all get the just of it… right?? So having said that what is an At Risk youth??? I believe an at risk youth is a child that: has gone through the court system as a ward of the state, only to end up in and out of juvenile detention centers and possibly group homes. A child that was born in the Ghetto per sae could have been nurtured as if they lived in the suburbs whereas a child that was born into money and never wanted for anything can also be categorized as an at risk youth.
No money means you don’t matter
This is what is received to being said by those of us who have had to work our way from the bottom 2 the top. Here in the Tri Cities there isn’t really anything here that can help guide our newer generations away from becoming a part of an already unjust system. If you don’t have money your kids can’t be a part of a boys or girls club, there are no places for teens to go to feel safe and a place they can hang out with friends doing what ever kids may do. Instead, they rather put money into more police, where they train them to be the asses that they are. Here they have and will target certain youth and stay harassing them to meet their quotas. Speaking from experience I know the feeling of that very thing.
WE need our council members to stop putting money where its not needed, we need to start speaking up to law makers, and really push the issues at hand … take a look at this here article….it floored me to say the least. We as parents are supposed to protect our children at all costs, us not speaking for what’s needed to help our children succeed will be the fall of our kids and kids, kids.
Kept in the DARK
This article is one of many that don’t get the publicity it needs. The actual real matters in this town are never put out there for the people. However, they will find every reason to speak on crime that in all actuality isn’t what they say it is. They get the media to do all their dirty work exposing this person and that one yet, the system itself is the only ones breaking the law on so many levels. They turn their backs on the future of our world threaten those whom have been to jail and or prison. There isn’t rehabilitating or helping in anyway. If things stay the way they are our youth will have not known how to stand up for themselves let alone prosper here.
Empowering Youth Programs Needed
In a post to come I will show how we need empowering youth services and how our mentoring youth is what will make a difference here in the Tri Cities. We as parents need to be the change we want to see. I will also show how it takes a village to raise a child an insider view about the mentoring program that myself and others started up over 4 years ago and the things we did with the youth that had come from dysfunction, gangs, drugs, streets, foster homes, bad situations and where they are today. I have success stories to share!!
The things we had accomplished in the little time we shared with these youths made such an impact that over 75% of our teens have yet to be arrested, run away, rebel or confide since we last seen one another. From painting murals to silent auctioning of their creations, giving them another way to express themselves in a positive manner really paid off. They became eager to help beautify the very things they had part in destroying. What better way to teach and allow a teen to be a part of the solution and pushing them to move forward with life. Giving hope and teaching them how to become productive members of society. That’s all they need yet everyone is too busy or UN caring to see that.
3 Felons, a Hair Dresser, a Poet, an Advocate, 2 Local Artist, and the Girl with a mission to better our tomorrow through our youth
Hears the catch … everyone that was a part of this program (mentors) had pasts, I am stating this because according to society, laws and other barriers that were placed in front of us we were the ones that made a difference and boy did it pay off. 75% or so of our teens have not been back in juvenile, not one ever defaced another street sign or building, not one returned to violence or gangs!!! In the short amount of time that we had the honor to work with these youths, we did what we had too to get across the pros and cons of life. Our mistakes and bad choices empowered them to be more than that.
The joy of running in to a youth that you had mentored and to see the dramatic change in their lives ( for the good) and then be told that you impacted them to see life in a different light and they go for it… that is the most amazing feeling ever!! This is why I come to you all, to seek help and assistance with getting our kids involved within the community … getting programs going and available for our kids.
Back in the Day
Remember skate west, home base program on Fridays and Saturdays (at kennewick high school), the arcade in Pasco off of Clark ST. I believe, drive in movies, hanging out with friends cruising court street, 4H (when everyone could be part of it, poor or not). These are the simple things that have the potential to change the mindset of teens just because they will have someone to trust outside of family … trust me I wish I could have had access to my 3rd and 4th grade teacher. I f it hadn’t been for him I would have never found the courage at school to excel the way I had or the courage later on down the road to take a stand and make a difference.
Next u will see that and well then u can make your own decision based on it…… always BE ENCOURAGED!!!