Teens Speak Out

Drugs, culture, leadership, myths, gender roles, conflict and equality were some of the topics of discussion amongst teens on Saturday, 24 January at the Family Resource Centre’s (FRC) Rethink Teen Forum.

As part of the programme, FRC seeks to address issues young persons face nowadays while giving them a chance to discuss them freely as a group.

Held at Camana Bay - and with over 70 teens in attendance - the day-long activities proved to be an eye-opener for many. These included self-discovery activities for teens to understand who he/she is and how they interpret the world around them. Presentations also focused on teenage myths, ways to debunk such myths and identifying leadership traits as well as how to use them positively.

Recognising the need for this event, Programme Coordinator Miriam Foster said, “We, at FRC, feel that over years, teenagers have gotten a bad reputation. Therefore, through this programme we as facilitators wanted to learn about the real challenges young persons are currently facing.”

Attendees 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.

During the forum, participants broke into groups and discussed the elements of culture and learning how to work with people of different values but still be true to oneself.

Painting a clear picture, facilitator Brendon Malice said, “For instance, let’s take a car. As humans, we often we 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.”

Ms Foster said it was really refreshing to see their opinions on how to resolve the world’s issues and identify cultural diversities.

Additional presentations included the importance of removing prejudice and treating others as equals.

At the end of the forum, teens were asked to write an inspirational word on a brick as a symbol of solid foundational trait.

Following the event, participants were asked to share what they learned with their peers and challenge them to stand for what is right.

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

As a result of their enthusiasm, participants were offered a chance to continue their leadership work with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Cayman is a voluntary organisation which aims to empower young persons while developing a healthy body, mind and spirit.

The department expressed much gratitude to event sponsor Dart Camana Bay and looks forward to continuing this type of work for the benefit of young persons, and in turn the community.

For more information on programmes offered by FRC, contact 949-0006 or frc@gov.ky.