Speaking to the youth is something I really enjoy doing because it involves taking time and understanding their point of view about the world around them. I currently partner with Hope at Hand, a non-profit organization that provides art and poetry sessions to vulnerable and at-risk youth populations. https://www.hopeathand.org/ In a short time working with them I have seen how powerful a message it is to send to the younger generation that there are people who have been there and understand what they may be going through…and are here to help!
Being a youth can be challenging especially in the teenage years where everything seems awkward and they may not know where they fit in. In many situations, this can lead to a young person mixing in with the “wrong crowd” or ending up in dangerous situations. To me that is why there should always be a door open and a person there to let them know they are not alone.
I remember before I really got serious with writing poetry, I had an 11th grade teacher named Ms. Korn for creative writing. I really enjoyed her class but she would always give me C’s on the papers until one day I asked her, “on your comments you said this was a great paper…but then you give me an average grade. Why Ms. Korn?” She replied, “I’m glad you finally asked that question. It is because this assignment was given weeks ago however I just saw you write it in the hallway a couple hours ago.” She then told me something I will never forget…that it is important to put in the work to get what you want out of life. If you can write like this now…just imagine if you really put in effort and tried!
After that moment I began taking her class seriously and using all the time I could to complete the assignments and get the grades “I deserved.” It was a year after I graduated from highschool that I really began writing and performing my own works, but I will never forget my very first mentor. Hopefully, I will be able to inspire others just like she did me.