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Making a Difference in a Teen's Life

Making a Difference in a Teen's Life

Teenagers tend to get a bad rep. Oftentimes, they’re noisy, irritable and maybe even disrespectful. From an adult’s perspective, teens can be pretty hard to manage. However, the teenage years are actually a very valuable time in a person’s life. The teen’s brain is still developing, they’re on the cusp of adulthood and they’re trying to figure out their identity. Not to mention, middle and high school can be a tough place to find friends and feel accepted.

Teenagers have a lot to manage and not a lot of life experience to utilize, which can result in a bad attitude and frustrating relationships. All of this is exactly why teenagers need valuable adult relationships in their lives. They need someone they can look up to, feel connected with and know they can go to during difficult times. If you’re an adult trying to live a more altruistic life, one of the most valuable contributions you can make is supporting a teenager.

Teenagers are our future; by building them up and encouraging them—even if they’re not our own children—we can create a better future for generations to come. Still, how do you start? How can you establish a valuable relationship with a teenager? Today we dive into some ways to make a difference in a teen’s life.

1. Volunteer with school programs.
One of the easiest ways to make a difference in a teenager’s life is by volunteering through a school or afterschool program. Whether you help out as a coach for a sport team, take charge of a club or work with a nonprofit organization, you can connect with teenagers of all different backgrounds in your community. Programs like these are constantly looking for new volunteers, and oftentimes will even provide valuable resources to help you learn more about communicating with teenagers. Check in your community to see what programs are available through the school or through an organization and learn how you can get more involved.

2. Show up consistently.
How do you gain a teenager’s trust? Keep showing up. People—teens especially—value those relationships with those who are there for them, no matter what. If you find a worthwhile program that you want to volunteer with, don’t just make it a one-time thing. One-time volunteering doesn’t allow you to build any sustainable relationships. Instead, keep showing up consistently, so the teens can get to know you more and more. The more you show up, the more they will recognize you and feel comfortable opening up.

3. Give them food.
Honestly, who doesn’t love food? As Charles M. Schulz said, “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Teens are no different—they go where the food is. And since teenagers often aren’t done growing yet, they need a lot of it. They also don’t have very much of their own money. When you spend time with teenagers, make them a home-cooked meal, take them out for fast food or even provide some snacks to really help build up a stable relationship. You’d be surprised how many teens will come for the free food, then stay for the conversation and bonding time.

4. Listen to them.
All of us want to know that someone out there hears us, including teens. Think about it—teens spend the majority of their day listening to adults tell them what to do. It’s no wonder they can feel frustrated sometimes; they don’t feel heard. The most valuable thing you can do to make a difference in a teenager’s life is simply to listen to them. Listening—true listening—is a gift. Listen to a teenager’s problems, struggles and joys in life without being quick to offer advice or condemn their choices. By opening up and really listening, you can truly be a meaningful person for teenagers to go to.

Teenagers are the future of our community. By investing in them, we invest in generations to come. Use these tips to get involved and make a difference in a teen’s life today.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

Dear Clients & Supporters,

As you may have heard, our office in Pueblo was maliciously vandalized by an unidentified gunman, just after midnight on the evening of June 2nd.

Footage from our security cameras shows an initially calm scene, before what appears to be a man walking by nonchalantly, hands tucked in pockets, suddenly stopping and turning to withdraw a firearm. The gunman then starts dashing, firing shot after shot directly at our storefront.

This person and their weapon have caused immense harm. Financially, the estimated damage exceeds $25,000. The same bullets that shattered glass and pierced through walls have wounded our hearts. However, the cost of this emotional damage cannot be measured in dollars. If there is a silver lining, it’s that nobody was physically hurt - or worse. For that, we’re eternally grateful.

To be clear, this individual and this destructive act, are not linked to the Black Lives Matter movement or protests of any kind. Unfortunately, we believe this anger to be rooted locally in a conflict between a tenant and their disgruntled clients.

In the wake of the ongoing pandemic and riots spurred by civil unrest nationwide, we know things are uncomfortable right now. We know people are upset and hurting. We're hurting too.

As much as it pains us to board up these windows and doors and close our building, we have no other choice but to do so until we can get them fixed. Despite our office being closed, rest assured, we are still working.

While the need for our services grows, so does our need for your support. In fact, we need you now more than ever. Whether it's time or a monetary donation, anything you can do to help us continue promoting healthy, vibrant neighborhoods across Southern Colorado is not only sincerely appreciated; it's vital to actualizing our mutual goals as a community. You can make your contribution, securely and conveniently online at https://nwsoco.org/how-to-help/donate.html or to submit interest in volunteering please visit https://nwsoco.org/how-to-help/volunteer.html.

We want you to know, we will be back, and we will continue to fight for a better Southern Colorado. To get there, more of us need to change. Amidst these changes, one thing will remain certain: our commitment to serving you and the entire Southern Colorado community.

The pain we feel now will pass, just like the time we have with those we love. Remember to take care of each other. If this unprecedented time has taught us anything, it’s that we need each other more than we could have ever known.


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

A Message about Our Services in Light of Coronavirus (COVID-19) – UPDATED 06/09/2020

NeighborWorks Southern Colorado cares about the health and safety of our customers, staff, and community partners. Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending in-person workshops and counseling appointments temporarily. We will continue to provide homebuyer education and counseling services virtually, and you can reach our employees by phone or email. We will not be receiving visitors to our office until further notice.

We are in the process of contacting customers registered for our Homebuyer Education Workshops or scheduled for an in-person counseling appointment to make other arrangements. If you need to reach us, please call (719) 544-8078.

We are monitoring the news closely and taking advantage of this time to do updates and upgrades to our building to better serve you when we re-open; we will post updates about our services to this website. Thank you for choosing NeighborWorks Southern Colorado as your trusted partner and first choice for homebuyer resources in Southern Colorado.

06/09/2020

Please take precautionary measures... Be safe and stay healthy

Our Impact in 2019

  • Attended Group & Online Classes

    1154

  • New Homeowners

    641

  • Dollars Invested Into Communities

    125,400,000

  • Dollars in Mortgage Loans Originated

    2,700,000

  • Dollars in Small Business Lending

    150,000

  • Homes Built & Sold

    5

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