Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A note from a teen highlights the highs and lows of youth work

We recently conducted an online survey of some local youth.  Attached to the question: Do you have an adult you trust in your life?" was this note from a young person I have worked with in the past. 
 My relationship with [ these people ] has been very distant for the past couple of years due to certain actions that I have taken ... they reached out too me soo much when I was young and still in elementary school and helped me with so much and guided me and was there for me when I needed them and I feel like I have just lost touch with everything between us!!! I feel like I don't even know them anymore and that I'm not really accepted in their lives anymore! and yet that totally contradicts the question being asked; as I do still totally trust them but that is because they never failed me...not once...so I guess I feel unworthy of them because I failed them [ along with myself ] too...
 This is the where the emotional balance as a youth worker is required.  On one hand I see the successes that we have had: despite this young person's choices we have communicated care.  On the other hand I see our failures as this teen feels so alone and isolated when they don't need to feel that way.  What keeps you inspired to keep on going with people when they give up on themselves?
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