The new year is here! Only yesterday it seemed we were starting the program year, excited about the opportunities and challenges ahead. Now we are in 2016 and halfway through the year, pushing forward on our mission to celebrate youth, confront barriers, and build bridges.
One thing is strikingly clear in the new year — the time is now for people and organizations across Detroit to stand up and fight for the young people in our city. News reports of deplorable conditions in Detroit’s schools and health issues across the state are a frightening reminder that we must be intentional about standing up for the education and well being of our children.
Here at Teen HYPE we are addressing these issues in a number of ways — first and foremost, by providing a safe space for our young people to learn and grow. As we’ve seen, that is something they do not always get when they get when they are at home or at school. Secondly, we have re-convened our Advisory Board, the HYPE Coalition, to bring together community stakeholders that are interested in the health and education of Detroit youth.
Most importantly, we are engaging our young people on the issues that impact them. They are far more aware of the issues in their schools and their communities than we give them credit for. Our play this year is entitled “Walls”, and our Peer Educators are analyzing how walls and barriers — whether they are physical, political or educational — are impacting their daily lives. I am so proud that they are critically thinking about the current landscape and their capacity to influence change.
I want to ask you to do what our Peer Educators are doing every week — consider how, in this new year, you can get involved changing Detroit for the better. Whether here at Teen HYPE or elsewhere, please take a stand to make sure that the future is bright for youth in Detroit.
Happy New Year,
CEO, Teen HYPE