March 24th FCC Teen Town Hall
My name is Leariah Lynch and I am a Future Culture Creator, The Future Culture
Creators program takes youth who are disengaged in school, employment, and their community and builds confident leaders who improve not only their own lives, but the lives of those aroundthem. Their training focuses on three major components: professional development and brand building, civic engagement and design thinking, and work experience through internships.
Culturally relevant curriculum is implemented using discussion, cognitive behavior techniques,
and group activities, all designed to maintain the full engagement of each participant. With a
focus on restorative practices, During my time with network connect as a future culture creator
myself and my coworkers have become trained in trauma in force care, This program has
helped me turn my life around.
We recently held a Teen Town Hall meeting on March 24th at the Community
Education Building located in Downtown Wilmington. The purpose of this event was for teens to have a chance to connect and come together to cover issues we face in everyday life as a teen living in New Castle County, and to begin to reach out for help and plan solutions.There were 30 teens in attendance which included a few teens from a fellow workforce development program called Game Changers.
We used a restorative practice tool called Connection Circles to discuss various issues
within our community. These topics included poverty, police engagement, social media impact,
gun violence, college, mental health, healthy relationships,communication with teens and drug
abuse. These discussions made it clear to me that the teens in the inner city of Wilmington
needed more help than I thought.
In short these are the points that we have gathered as a community. Poverty in
Wilmington is getting out of hand. We find it very discouraging that many of those who are less fortunate and homeless people have very little shelter, which causes a lot of the crimes being committed. We think if we had more shelters or more programs that helped teens and their parents it would be beneficial to our community.
Next we covered police engagement. We believe most Police in Wilmington need more
training especially on mental illness to help them understand different ways to interact with
community members. When it comes to handling an intense situation, we feel like a lot of us are losing hope when it comes to the police in our town and don't feel safe at all.
When it comes to mental illness there is a lack of options for effective treatment, most of
us just get written off like our feelings don't matter. Schools should provide more mental health
services because in this day and time we’ve experienced so many traumatic encounters and we never get time to process them. Mental health should be implemented more inside of schools not just when something traumatic happens this may avoid traumatic experiences from happening in the first place.
Next we covered gun violence the gun violence in our area has gotten extremely out of
control. Many of the people engaging in gun violence are young teens and adults. We must find a way for these community members to involve themselves positively within Wilmington.
Mentorship programs and safe spaces throughout the city would help keep people out of trouble and the entire community safer from gun violence as a whole.
Social Media plays a big role in our generation today as it is easily accessible and
updates in real time. It has affected the way teens judge each other and sometimes makes us
feel like we have to show a version of ourselves that may not be entirely true in order to fit in. It
can also contribute to the traumatic things we see on a daily basis and makes us desensitized
to images, videos, and events that may be triggering or harmful to our mental health and
relationships with each other. We also believe that there should be an age requirement to have
things like Instagram and Twitter.
Then we covered communication with teens.We believe that if there were more
workshops in schools and outside of schools that offered parenting classes that help teach
parents and children different types of communication skills and different types of parenting for
example soft parenting that those different techniques may help in school and home settings.
Lastly we talked about college we believe in most cases it’s forced we believe that
college is pushed on us but as we are growing our culture is changing.We also believe that our parents and peers sometimes don’t take into consideration the daily thoughts and feelings we are burdened with Family expectations or problems.most importantly these are some of the
things that come along with going to college or just being leaving the nest to attended college, lack of energy or motivation, hopelessness, being overwhelmed, low self-esteem,
elationship difficulties (emotional and physical aspects of intimate relationships.
Although we understand that many of these issues overlap we realized that drug abuse
has a great effect on healthy relationships within our community. As a teenager it can be difficult to see loved ones who suffer from drug abuse whether that be a family member or friend.
Maintaining healthy relationships become harder when those who are supposed to be
supporting you or taking care of you or are your friends prioritize drugs and getting high over
your relationships with them.
In conclusion we agreed that we should start holding more Teen Town Hall meetings
where we can continue to unite together to try to tackle issues that we all share and demand
changes we would like to see. Thank you for your time and we look forward to hearing from
Brian Miles Jr