I know, you probably hear a lot of stereotypes about teenagers. Whether you’re at the mall, at a doctors appointment, driving by a school during lunch hour…teens are everywhere. You just can’t avoid them. Tell the truth! Are you bothered by them, fearful of them, concerned about them, or does your heart explode with excitement knowing that their potential to impact society in a positive way is unlimited?
For me personally, I am overwhelmed with joy when I interact with teens. When I hear their stories (drama, gossip, opinions…) and observe their actions I remember the vital years where my identity was shaped and when I was influenced the most- it was when I was a teenager. As a youth worker one of the most important things I have learned is that I cannot classify all youth the same way. There is no “box” label to identify them all.
This week was my first week facilitating InFocus Girls Group at ME Lazerte High School and Rosslyn Junior High - what a wonderful experience! With over 60 students in attendance from these two schools alone, I am convinced there is a need for people such as myself to educate and walk alongside female teens. If there was no need why would the teens voluntarily attend InFocus Girls Group?
There is something special that happens when a group of girls meet together with a common purpose in a safe environment. It is at InFocus where I see joy, hope and peace. Many students say they are a failure, that they have no purpose, that they struggle with anxiety and are faced with deep rooted fears every single day. But when they begin to listen to the inspirational stories of others and talk about their struggles I sense their burdens lifting and their joy for everyday life increasing. This week alone I have seen how ugly the lies girls believe about themselves are. My hope is for healing and restoration to flood the hearts of these teen girls through the next 4 months and that the truths about who they are created to be will be revealed and believed! Stay tuned…"