FROM POLLEN MIDWEST
Rapid City Area Schools – Teen Up (Teen Up) is a group of youth from a wide range of backgrounds and achievements who collaborate with each other and community partners to address issues they deem important. Since the creation of this collaboration, youth participation in the community has drastically increased.
Teen Up’s organizational structure is designed to shift at a moment’s notice to best fit the students participating in the group. That flexibility allows more students to share their opinions, network and brainstorm new ideas. Adult mentors have learned to let youth take the lead, even when it feels uncomfortable.
FLEXIBILITY IN DECISION-MAKING
Teen Up coaches community partners on how to engage teenagers in the mission of their organizations. This often requires a shift in perspective to reassure adults to let go of control and see youth for the true co-creators and leaders they strive to be.