Do you know your worth? If you are a young person, or if you can remember your teenage years, you know how difficult it can be to be fully confident in yourself and your abilities. One of the biggest psychological battles young people face is the difficulty of discovering their own identity apart from their peers. Many young people face this period of life without support from older peers, and often they feel they cannot discuss these insecurities with parents or other family members. That is why we at Your Choices Randolph are putting so much work into our WORTH program.
Right now, adolescents need mentors and peers who have already experienced the turmoil of adolescence. They may believe their parents and teachers don’t understand the difficulties they are facing as teenagers, but we hope we can encourage young people to view young adults and older adults as friends and mentors through this time in their life. Our WORTH leaders are trained to walk with adolescents and help them to recognize their individual worth and dignity.
Today, I participated in the Huddle program at Randolph Community College and Randolph Early College High School. This program is a joint effort between our WORTH program and Campus Impact, who is working to get students more involved on campus. When we met today, we spoke with students about their life goals. At first, they told us where they hoped to transfer to for university. After that discussion, the WORTH coordinator, Mary, explained to them that life goals do not have to be concrete things. They can also be abstracts, such as character goals, relationship goals, and physical or emotional goals. This led to a wonderful discussion with the students regarding character and relationship goals. One student told us that she felt it was very important to have a partner who is compatible with her Christian spirituality. Another student stressed the importance of getting to know yourself before placing yourself in a serious romantic relationship. All of the students had great input and life stories to share. If you have young people in your life, either through a church, a job, or a volunteer position, these are great conversations to have. Encourage them to communicate their goals and to discuss any obstacles they may be meeting in life. Having these conversations empowers young people to believe in their own worth and dignity. It can be the difference between a young person who is independent, and a young person who is unable to support themselves, whether spiritually, emotionally, or physically.
If you are someone who enjoys being a mentor, I highly recommend involving yourself in the WORTH program. Not only do we meet with students at RCC and Asheboro High School, we also have a WORTH club that will begin meeting at the Your Choices office in the near future. We hope to continue to grow this program and get more young people involved and interested in who they are, who they want to become, and how they can be an asset to their community. Email Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in getting involved. We would love to have you!