On the first weekend of March, All It Takes hosted our first 3 day, 2 night adult and teen collaborative leadership training.
The Youth Leadership Certification Summit focused on upleveling teens’ ability to use their individual skills to positively influence their peers and communities while being honest and aware of their strengths and areas for growth. The Youth Influencer Intensive was focused on equipping adults with skills to further develop positive and purposeful relationships with the youth in their life. Although each group spent much of their time in different workshops learning skills applicable to them, the magic happened when we came together. We practiced together, shared openly with each other, and learned what we needed AND what we were willing to give to each other.
To become certified in AIT level 1 leadership, teens were required to demonstrate understanding and application of key leadership skills. Just a few of them were: Active listening and communication, authentic sharing, personal responsibility and the power of meaningful apologies.
Teens from different states and cultures openly discussed the similarities and differences of their own community and values. Teens from the Standing Rock reservation shared traits that signal active listening in their community that differed from teens who lived in California. This initiated a conversation on how active listening looks different between your peers, family, and teachers. These discussions challenged them to not only apply these lessons to the gaps they see in others and their community but most especially in themselves. Our teens spent an evening discussing, then demonstrating, what a meaningful apology looks and sounds like. Initially, this sounds and feels silly but the result of practicing mends relationships with others and themselves. They were able to voice apologies to friends, siblings, parents, teachers, and even to themselves. We often forget that sometimes the person we need to apologize to and forgive the most is ourselves.
Our Youth Influencers, joined from 5 states with careers in parenting, (once a parent it is forever one of our careers), education, youth advocacy, social work, substance abuse counseling, clinical counseling, and more, shared this extraordinary weekend together. Coming together as strangers they quickly found themselves in a deep dive of profound insights, vulnerable sharing, and a common commitment to upleveling their work with youth in their lives WHILE living their best lives!
The Youth Influencers participated in workshops on the 18/82® rule; serving vs saving; not taking things personal; understanding; living and thriving through anxiety, and all the other things that are part of us. They learned and practiced communication techniques that bridge divides and invite youth to engage enthusiastically and respectfully. They wrapped themselves in a beautiful exploration of self worth, forgiveness, visions for their lives and their ultimate job for the youth they have influence over.
In combined workshops, adults and teens were challenged to see each other as equals, both with individual and generational gifts and handicaps. In this understanding they were able to acknowledge the special set of skills that each brings to the table and allow the space and acceptance for that to come forward. This allowed each of the two groups to recognize the strengths of the other while also learning how to make proactive, respectful, and gracious requests of the other to contribute, grow, and learn in collaboration.
Their ability to effectively express what they appreciated and needed, whether it was an adult or teen, was the ultimate gift they offered one another. These are direct results from a workshop. Witnessing them bravely share these insights was magic, our hearts spilled over and tears of humbled gratitude rolled silent down our cheeks. Herein lies hope for all of us.
What they had to say:
|Adults to Youth||Youth to Adults|
|The gifts we see in you:|
– Courageous to be vulnerable
– Environmentally conscious
– Aware of impact
– Zest for life
– Social cause driven
– Highly informed
– Tech savvy
– Social-emotional awareness
|The gifts we see in you:|
– Role models
– Moral compass
|What we request of you:|
– Common courtesy
– Treat others the way you want to be treated
– Ask for what you need
– Be present to the world around you
– Have daily gratitude
– Be mood conscious
– Work with us/collaborate
|What we request of you:|
– Accepting generations gap/Don’t compare your childhood to ours
– Respect our emotions
– Don’t assume our feelings, circumstances
– Don’t belittle us because of our age
– Don’t interrupt
– Give us the same respect we should give you
– Adapt to modern technology
– Practice what you preach
– Respect our privacy
– Don’t overreact
– Don’t force your interests on us, let us pave our own path
|What ADULTS need from youth to help meet YOUTH REQUESTS:|
– Less attitude
– More flexibility
– More of your time
– Meet us in the middle
– Open the dialogue, don’t shut down
– Create space
– Teach and share tech knowledge
– Let us know your interests
– Be curious vs judgmental about our feelings and circumstances
|What the YOUTH need from adults to help meet ADULT REQUESTS:|
– Open communication
– Reassurance of safety without judgement
– Constructive feedback
– Be cautious of double standards.
As the group hugged their goodbyes at the end of this life changing weekend, it was evident that their futures were brighter because they had shared this profoundly empowered and connected weekend together. Because they now could see and feel how being in life together makes life more meaningful and fun!
Here are but a few of their departing thoughts:
“I am so impressed with how much was covered in such a meaningful and in depth way. So impactful, thank you! Looking forward to coming back with more people.” – Adult Participant
“I wish we could have spent more time working with them, I gained so much. I now know what adults need from me to live in a kinder world. ” – Teen Participant
“I now know our responsibility to transition from saving to serving our youth through empowerment is so necessary!” – Adult Participant
“I learned that even introverts can be great leaders. I have always wished I was an extrovert but being an introvert is who I am and I cannot force myself to change that but CHOOSE to love it. We all have a place in leadership.” – Teen Participant
We look forward to our future experiential trainings; where adults and teens unite to become their very best versions of themselves. We are truly #inthistogether.