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Three Predictions for the United Way Annual Meeting

Whenever I go to a conference that costs me or my employer money, I expect to bring back at least three things.  I want to get at least one new idea I can put to use quickly.  I want to make at least one connection with another person who is doing interesting things in their work and who I can follow up with later. And I want to be inspired.  I look for a passionate speaker who makes me want to do a better job and be a better person.

Lessons from Local Youth

Last month I wrote about ways to ask young people their opinions.  Well, we’ve been practicing.  We just completed community conversations with 5 different groups in Buncombe County.  As part of conversations in over 35 communities around the country, our local discussions will be folded into a national report on the kind of community people want to live in and what gets in the way – particularly around young people who have dropped out of school or who are out of work. 

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1 Recipe, 5 Variations on How to Let Kids Know their Opinions Count

 

Young people say that they have ideas but no one hears them. Last summer, I had a session with high school students and they said:

  • School staffs don’t ask students their opinions or if they do ask, they don’t listen. They gave some examples including food service and a tardy policy.
  • Students need to keep trying to make their voices heard.

 

Basic Recipe:

Ask for an opinion

Listen to the answer

Repeat what was said

Don’t express your opinion

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Three Ways You Can Positively Influence Young People

“How involved are you in the lives of young people?” This question came up as part of a recent dinner conversation.  Those of us with grown children tended to say we were when our children were at home, but not so much since then.  We talked about children who were friends with our kids and if we influenced them in a positive way.  I was reminded of Callie, a beautifully spirited young girl whose home life was chaotic.  I remember sharing with her our house rules along with the news that when she was at our home, she became part of the group expected to follow the rules.  She seemed pleased

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