Teens speak out at leadership forum

More than 70 young people in the community are better equipped to deal with various teen issues following a day-long “Rethink Teen Forum,” according to organizers the Family Resource Centre.

A number of issues such as drugs, culture, leadership, myths, gender roles, conflict and equality topics were addressed during the event at the Arts and Recreation Centre in Camana Bay last week.

“Teens were fascinated and retained much of the information surrounding teenage myths, such as being lazy, reckless, dramatic or pessimistic. From this, they gained a richer understanding of their developmental stage as well as learning about new information,” said Miriam Foster, Rethink Teen program coordinator.

“We at Family Recourse Centre feel that over years, teenagers have gotten a bad reputation. Therefore, through this program, we as facilitators wanted to learn about the real challenges young persons are currently facing,” she added.

Brendon Malice, the program facilitator, said it was refreshing to see the teens’ opinions on how to resolve the world’s issues and identify cultural diversities.

“For instance, let’s take a car. As humans, we often only focus on the exterior, but it is really what’s underneath that keeps the car going. The same is true for culture. The exterior of culture may be language, dress and food, but the interior includes gender roles, and a view on resolving conflict and equality,” he said.

Teens discussed the elements of culture, learned how to work with people of different values while still being true to oneself, focused on ways to debunk myths about teens, identified leadership traits and how use them positively, removing prejudice and treating others as equals, and writing an inspirational word on a brick as a symbol of solid foundational trait.

“Teens left feeling empowered and filled with knowledge. Some even indicated the need for more of this kind of programming,” said Ms. Foster.

Participants were offered the opportunity to continue their leadership work with the Young Men’s Christian Association of Cayman, a voluntary organization which aims to empower young people while developing a healthy body, mind and spirit.

For more information on FRC programs, contact 949-0006 or [email protected]