The hardest work I’ve ever done was teaching high school. The hard part wasn’t the lesson planning or the grading or even running fire drills (I was the “Master of Disasters” at the school). The hard part was helping beautiful, talented, tremendous teenagers believe that they were beautiful, talented and tremendous. So much around them and within them made it hard for them to believe it. When their fragile sense of self was shaken, bad options looked so good to them.
I had the great pleasure today of learning about the work of the Wayside Multi-Service Center. Wayside advocates for the health, safety and thriving of young people in this town and others. They research the needs of youth and respond. They offer training and leadership development for young people. They work closely with many local partners: youth, parents, police, schools, physicians, etc. and they are always open to collaborating with more partners.
The passion with which Wayside staff member Kristen French spoke about the families and teens with which she works in Watertown was so beautiful. We should all be so passionate. The rising generations need us to be so passionate. What can you do *today* to support/mentor/teach/encourage or bless a teenager? It’s good work.