As the new school year begins, we have the opportunity to support youth in new ways and see them in full-color. Caring and connected adults (Anchors) can make a profound difference in the lives of youth. Here are some tips to support students in and outside of a school setting:
1. Be present to deepen connections with the teens you Anchor
Work to deepen the connections between you and the teens you already Anchor by amplifying what is right and strong about them, celebrating them in ways that are meaningful to them, and by working alongside them on projects that you both choose.
2. Amplify what is right and strong about teens
Practice looking for the strengths within teens. When you see strengths, point them out, in words, letters, social media posts, or any other way that is meaningful to the teens.
3. Let teens know you will never give up on them
Adults are important influencers on teens and knowing that the adults in their lives believe in them and are there for them unconditionally is powerful!
4. Make an effort to reach out and celebrate teens
Move out of your comfort zone by introducing yourself to the teens in your neighborhood, school, faith community, and/or youth-serving organization.
5. Involve teens
Look around you. If there are are no teens on your committee, in your work environment, in your meeting, or in your midst, change that! Invite them in, and create an environment where they want to stay.
6. You (yes, that’s you!) have what it takes to Anchor teens
Never give up on yourself. YOU are the adult. Become an Anchor. You can do it and it will make a difference!
7. Encourage and support your co-workers, friends, and family members to see teens through a strength-based lens
Share the Web of Support with others around you and show them how easy it is to make changes in the community by Anchoring teens.