Shoutout. There were a lot of teens on the road to today–with their parents and without. One group of girls gave out a “Hiiiiiiiiiiiiii,” all three waving with delight with the windows down.
Two older boys were at the corner at one point. They both waved and I could hear their music and saw them moving to the beat. And then I did, too. They laughed at me goodnaturedly. Then shared a look helping me to make sure that I knew I was more to be pitied than anything approaching cool.
At one point, I could seek a pack of cross country runners, likely from Wilde Lake High over by Wilde Lake turning the bend around the water.
And then there are the young Vantage Point House workers with their black bow ties who turn right in from of me each time I am on the corner, rushing to get to work.
So many activities, so many places to get to between school and sports and jobs!
I’m glad to know that there are spaces out there that help teenagers to connect about the aspiration and stressors they hold in the loaded seasons of middle and high school and beyond. Our church hosts such a space each month in our Carriage House. Last year I had the chance to work alongside the teens of Youth in Conversation. I was blown away by their candor and insight as they discussed academic challenges, gender identity, racism, and social pressures.
Shoutout to the youth out there growing up in this time in this town and country. At the busy intersections, may you feel the love you need in order to face all the many challenges that come your way.
May we whose years are stretching farther each day from our teens (cough cough twenty year HS renunion this spring) maintain a deep reservoir of empathy, support, and joy for the youth of our community!
More About Youth in Conversation
“Youth in Conversation is a group of high school students who want to “talk about the things no one talks about.” Our goal is to build community by having conversations about identities we have in common and issues that separate us, such as race, culture, religion and gender. We believe if we take the time to listen and learn from each other, we can find ways to be a more thriving and innovative community because of our diversity. ”
Youth in Conversation is a program of HoCo.Convo, in collaboration with HCPSS Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Howard County Office of Human Rights, Office of the Local Children’s Board, Columbia Association Multicultural Programs, & the Mediation and Conflict Resolution Center
Pastor | Kittamaqundi Community Church | Columbia, Maryland