The problems we face as individuals, neighborhoods, cities and as a nation, we cannot face them alone.
It takes a group of people, united in a common vision, to tackle problems that are as complex as we are as people. It is the same in working with youth, it truly takes a village.
There are so many people who can speak into the lives of youth and so many available resources. Somehow in the quantity of it all, people have fallen victim to the bystander effect. The idea that someone else will offer help, someone else will step up, someone else will champion for that youth, simply because they are around. In the end, since everyone has fallen to bystander effect, nothing is done and we grow more apathetic.
As student champions we must rally all the adults in a students life to work together.
No matter the organization in which you are dealing with youth, there are other adults that can influence the same child you work with. Their parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, mentors, aunt and uncles and even the guy at the gym their son tries to emulate. There is greater potential for influencing the life of a child when we rally together.
I have been working and researching a lot on at-risk youth the past year. The single biggest idea that I continue to come across is the more positive connections a youth has in their community, the more likely they will experience positive outcomes.
Think about that one kid that you love so much but somehow they just don’t see your vision for them in their life. Who are some other adults you can rally around them? Start of with their parents. Ask how you can help. Talk to them about what you see in their child and you want to make potential, a reality. Connect with other people, build a network of connections and people who want to see youth flourish. We cannot afford to be islands, isolated people, trying to influence youth. We must work together, collaborate, share ideas and resources in order to impact the lives of our younger friends.