Many youth are struggling to determine their career paths and many feel alone, but they are not alone. They have access to the Internet on their computers, tablets and smartphones. Access to the library, guidance counsellors and career counsellors. If you are a youth and are struggling with this decision, I encourage you to seek out assistance. As this is a huge decision to make and you will need to know all the variables. One thing that the youth of today should note, in their career lifetime, they may/will find that they will have several if not dozens of career changes, so if you decide that you don’t like what you are doing, you are able to change direction.
In respects to empowering youth, I am often asked by parents and grandparents, how do we do that? The goal to empowering youth is simple, “just let them do”. Now I realize that it may seem strange, simplistic or even a crazy idea of “just let them do”, but in order to foster & develop their dreams, we must simply let them try. I mean let’s consider the fact as adults we learned how to “just do” and felt the bumps and bruises along the way. Well, the youth of today need to do the same thing. Trial and error is part of life.
By allowing them to find their own path, we are helping in building up their confidence in order to develop their goals. Youth need to learn from their parents, their communities, and leaders in the community, friends, family, guidance counsellors, career counsellors and their teachers. In allowing youth to foster their ideas we empower them. When we allow them to have a voice, their voices start to speak for themselves, their actions are more powerful and therefore more inspired.
The truth is, youth, even the most well-meaning are going to have ups and downs when it comes to using their voice or being heard. Some will have an expansive reach while others will fall flat and truth be told, that is okay. This is part of the learning process. It also allows youth to see, that just because you fall down, it does not mean that you can’t get up, dust yourself off and try again. Because that is the real world. Life is full of challenges, ups and downs.
Youth need to learn that being a “change agent” does not mean that everyone will listen, just because we would like them to. They need to learn that sometimes even the most fabulous idea may need a little more “oomph” or planning. Be aware that ideas come to us often and when we least expect it. But the most important point I want to make is that we as adults believe in the youth of today and their ideas to be potential “change agents”.
The final point I would like to make, is that as adults and parents of youth today we need to realize that even with great ideas, they are still children and that we need to assist them one day at a time. We may find that the youth are going strong one day and are ready to take on the world and the next day, they don’t have the drive. I am here to say that this is okay! Our goal is to provide support and coaching solutions to help youth develop good ethics and in the end, they can sustain, without our “suggestions” or “prodding”.
We now how an opportunity to empower youth and let their voices be heard! Let’s all help our youth foster their dreams & goals in order to be the next generation of “change agents”!
Michelle Powers, B.A., B.Ed., CDP, RRP, CVRP
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