In the summer of 2017, Everyday Boston began working with young people across the city, encouraging curiosity and connection through a five-lesson workshop on how to interview for someone else's story. We worked with more than 150 young people. We loved it so much, we're doing 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 with in groups about 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.
On the last day of the workshop, the young people put all their skills to work in one-on-one interviews with community members. 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.