In Her Own Words...
Like most people who have grown up navigating technology, Google has become a primary source of knowledge for me. Whether it’s the latest news, historical facts, sports stats, or celebrity gossip, Google (or similar search engines) has it. So, it came as a surprise to me that my Google search for “inspirational quotes from children” was largely unsuccessful. Now, while I certainly want to leave plenty of room for user error, I did begin to ask myself, “At what point do we really begin to value the voices of our young people?”
This summer at AngelStreet, we decided to be even more intentional and take some time to simply listen. Listen to the voices of a generation that is often silenced. And what we heard was age-old wisdom that is too easily forgotten; bold truth that challenges the status quo...and a demand for change.
Like most, the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic encouraged us to slow down, take advantage of opportunities to connect, and deeply engage with our participants. Although finding the silver lining has proven to be a challenge during this season, this is one thing for which we can be thankful.
As a team, we are privileged to be connected to such powerful and passionate young leaders. We believe that our primary responsibility is not to speak for them but to provide a platform for the authentic voices of these young women that will lead us into the change that we so desperately need.
In this moment, this is their stage, and you are the audience. We hope you are blessed by their insight shared in the video below.
I believe that too often we look to speak at or for young people. We often underestimate the raw, honest, and thoughtful expressions that come from young minds. As adults, we can feel pressure to be the keepers of conventional wisdom, knowledge, and insight in an effort to lead in the right direction. But what happens when the world, our world, is suddenly turned upside-down? What happens when we don't have answers and sometimes barely have words for what we are experiencing? What then? Are we willing to pay attention to the young voices of this generation? Are we willing to glean from perspectives often not yet tainted by the chaos of this world? Are we willing to listen to voices that are filled with a hope that for us seems out of reach?
Ruth Abigail Smith
Executive Director + Co-Founder