By Nancy Coggins
March 30, 2008
When recently talking on the phone with an older female family friend in North Carolina, she was complaining about the teenagers who are into drugs and other destructive behavioral activities. So I told her about the Ketchikan Youth Initiative (KYI) and its goal to renovate a vacant building [the Water Warehouse (WW)] to benefit teenagers. In this plan, the teenagers would be its leaders, and we adults, their mentors. Our aim, I explained, is to provide a safe place for teenagers not only to hang out but also to get a chance to run a small business like an ice cream or a gift shop. The whole idea gave her a lot of hope for America's teenagers.
At the 03/30/08 City Council Meeting, teenagers Allan and Dano shared their "how-to" and "why" visions for a youth-run WW within KYI. Allan cited the list of rules used concerning a couch at Kayhi as a model for how to run WW. Then, Dano explained that WW would give teenagers a chance to start learning how to make an impact on society, which, as adults, they would later be expected to do. The one young adult spokesman, Ty, provided meeting attendees with some details about the challenge of renovating this building and the AmeriCorps team to arrive mid-April to start it.
Finishing my conversation with
my NC friend, the woman concluded that we must have smart kids
among the 20 who signed the petition to help accomplish this
KYI goal. I replied, "No, it's just that we mentoring adults
in this town expect leadership from our youth, and in this KYI
project we have given them a chance to create their own businesses
and activity programs within this building."
Received March 28, 2008 - Published March 30, 2008
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