For teens, finding an identity can be a struggle, especially with the many influences they face. Local not-for-profit NaperBridge is providing a way for teens to deal with this together.
When NaperBridge launched as a network to serve teens in November 2013, one of the topics that kept coming up was how to give teens a sense of empowerment.
The first step in that journey is “Identity,” a workshop to help students understand who they are using activities that make them think about what’s most important to them.
I think that learning to be comfortable in your own identity and discovering what that is, is a huge part with what goes on in high school,” said Kristen Basgall, Junior at Naperville North High School.
The idea for the program came from Taylor Ross, a Member of the Student Advisory Board who wanted to have a safe space for teens to talk openly.
“To me I think it’s really important to give people a community where they can talk about these issues going on in their life,” said Ross. “Issues where people don’t always have a place to talk about this outside of their daily life.”
The intimate environment of NaperBridge, a space created specifically for teens, gives them the chance to connect with their peers and share experiences they encounter.
“I think it’s really interesting and it’s fun and I like how it’s a small group of people and you just talk and you have fun,” said Sydney Nakamura, Senior at Naperville North High School. “I would like to see it continue because I think it’s a great program and I’m glad it got started.”
This is the first in what NaperBridge hopes will be a series of workshops that helps students deal with teen issues.
“We hope to have kind of monthly empowerment workshops regarding different themes that you know the kids even today could come up with new themes that they want to talk about in the future,” said Margy Wedell, Program Manager at NaperBridge.
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