Teens Dream: It’s Not Just for Teens

Posted on October 2, 2017

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The Las Vegas massacre is simply the latest onslaught to send us reeling. It seems that every day we have to face some kind of terrorism, random gun violence, war, famine, or natural disaster resulting from a climate that is reacting to our abuse of the planet.  And, on the days when we don’t have to face any of these, our own president steps in to fill the gap, armed with an astonishing array of words and actions that offend our sensibilities to a degree we never thought possible.

As boomers, we’ve seen the demise of all of the lofty goals we marched for all those years ago. It doesn’t seem possible that the boundless optimism and energy we expended then could have devolved into the mess we have today.

It would be easy to write it all off as the end of the world, except for one thing. There is a new generation in the making, one that is coming into adulthood, nurtured on the mayhem that defines our world.  While it’s obvious that many of these adults-in-the-making show the effects, specifically substance abuse and depression, it’s equally obvious if we care to take note, that many of them are using their awareness of what is wrong to take a stand for what is right.

Enter Linda Staheli, a visionary and a force of nature, who has singlehandedly created an avenue for the world’s teens to have a voice.  Linda is the creator of the Global Colab Network and Teens Dream, a global contest in which teens can submit videos of their visions for themselves, for their communities, for their world.  The videos have to be based on one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The grand prize winner gets $500 and a trip to Washington, DC, in order to attend an awards ceremony, show their video and receive their prize.

Now Husband and I attended the ceremony this weekend. It would be impossible to explain how much this impacted on me. Most importantly, it took me out of my ongoing mood of fear and loathing of everything that is happening in our world now. For two hours, my only thought was that these kids were up to something huge, and I wanted to be a part of it.

I’m planning to start a blog, in order to give these kids another way to use their voices. I’ll be coaching them on using writing in their videos. And I’m creating a network of retired teachers to help spread the word to schools across the globe, in order to make more students aware of Teens Dream.

Take a look at the video.  If you are a (retired) teacher or (retired) school administrator and you’d like to be a part of this incredible movement, please let me know. Needless to say, if you have ideas about funding, let me know.  At present, Teens Dream operates on an annual budget of less than $10,000. It’s not nearly enough.

You can reach me at lifeintheboomerlane@gmail.com. Even if you pass the website on to one person or make one phone call, you have had an impact.  Many, many thanks.

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