We worked with more than 150 young people. And we loved it. And we’re going to do more.
In these divided times, it feels really good to explore with young people the importance of a curious mind versus a closed mind, and connection versus isolation. We talk stereotypes and stories, then dive into the mechanics of interviewing: how to introduce yourself, keep eye contact, listen closely, frame and ask effective questions. These soft skills are so critical to success in life, from getting into college to landing a job to keeping a relationship- and yet, young people are often missing them.
One by one, the adult volunteers told us how impressed they were by the youth, and in some cases, how surprised they were to discover the things they had in common. Ditto with the young people. One boy, after interviewing a teacher at his school, described it as “an adventure in my mind.”
We started in June with the fantastic students at Saint John Paul II Catholic Academy in Lower Mills, Dorchester. Then we ran workshops for awesome youth at the East Boston YMCA, the Dorchester YMCA, Sociedad Latina, More Than Words, Teens in Print, Mattapan Teen Center and Gardner Pilot Academy in Allston. In most cases, the workshops were coordinated by our awesome partner in this work, ENGAGE Boston.
Here’s Elyas and Bernardo, of the East Boston YMCA, on why it’s actually pretty fun to interview someone you don’t know.
Over time, we’re publishing some of those interviews- like this one, by Eugena Jacobs, of Sister Bárbara Gutiérrez, of Brighton.
In the meantime, here’s Mariana, of the East Boston YMCA, recalling one of her favorite stories from the community leader she interviewed, Debra Cave, of East Boston.
If you’re interested in integrating an Everyday Boston workshop into your classroom, or organization, please get in touch with Cara Solomon at email@example.com