All over the country, Boys & Girls Clubs are celebrating The Year of the Teen! An awesome program of events, talks and workshops focused on inviting more teens to become members. Of course, I was ecstatic to participate, turn the tables and lend my voice as an expert in Teen-Talk!
Boys & Girls Clubs give teen’s access to a range of amazing resources that will help them to plan and work on reaching their goals. But as any adult will tell you, creating genuine relationships with teens so that they feel inspired and engaged isn’t easy – especially if you are no longer one yourself! So the Boys & Girls Club in Buffalo, NY are building their program with the help of an awesome network of people – parents, teachers and community leaders. Each person works very hard to connect with teens, and I took the chance to meet with Club staff and share a lesson on Teen Talk – how to understand and communicate with teens.
As a teen ambassador and teenpreneur, I know what it takes to make teens tick. By hosting my own creative workshops, and participating in talks to teens all over the nation, I know that it’s important to be truly present that’s why I believe in inspiring anecdotes about my journey and on-going own experiences. As an active philanthropist and business owner, I also deliver presentations and pitches face-to-face and on TV. My audiences include parents, community leaders and other businesses. But don’t forget, I also go to school. So with all of these hats on, I know that it is really important to feel inspired to seek new possibilities, and it is important to be able to lean on those who believe in you.
Here are the key teen-talk lessons that I shared with the staff at the Boys & Girls Club in Buffalo, NY:
Taking chances on teens by believing in their abilities shows a genuine interest in their lives and builds a real connection.
Giving them space to experiment with ideas and express their thoughts in their own way without the restriction of too many structures inspires spontaneity, so move with them, not against them and keeps things interesting.
Explore different things around the community
No two teens are the same! So you can guess that our interests will be different too. There are many local activities, events and places to volunteer that will help to trigger new ideas, allows teens to share their talents with others and builds new friendships.
Eat well, Be well
One of the great things about being part of a club is hanging out with new friends and enjoying the snacks! Eating good food makes everyone happy. After all, no one wants to be around an unhappy teen!
Whether I am embracing my own kind of weird, or breathing new life into a new project, I enjoy sharing these experiences, and I know that my friends and business community enjoy them too. Inspiring and motivating teens is about being truly engaging, fun and easy-going. With this in mind, I personally look forward to celebrating every year as The Year of the Teen!